Yesterday turned out to be unexpectedly delightful. After a relatively short drive from Raleigh to Richmond, we arrived at The Jefferson Hotel—our stay for the next two nights and home of the second annual Virginia Wine Summit, a two-day wine conference taking place in the hotel’s grand atrium and ball rooms.
You may have heard of the Jefferson Hotel. Built in 1895 and completed on Halloween day, the renowned hotel has hosted the likes of President Obama, both President Bush and George W., both Roosevelts, Taft, stars including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and the cast of several films.
Some speculate the grand staircase was featured in Gone with the
Wine Wind, and was where talent Bill “Bojangles” Robinson was discovered by his agent.
Another fun fact — the Jefferson Hotel’s fountains were once home to alligators brought up from Florida and abandoned when they we no longer “cute” enough to fit in someone’s purse… We can only imagine how the gators were relocated once they ripened to adult size!
The Wine Summit brings us here as one guest (Heather) and one contributing panelist (Phillip). The annual event, currently in its second year, is intended to expose buyers, sommeliers, retailers and wine producers to the scope of what Virginia wine production has to offer. There are even a few food writers, press professionals and a chocolatier on hand to provide a different perspective on VA wine’s reach.
When we arrived on Sunday, we were immediately greeted by Richmond’s hospitality and friendliness. If we didn’t love where we live already, we could easily see Richmond becoming home—a mid-size city focused on higher education, culture and family. Richmond is similar to Raleigh in many regards. We checked into our lofty hotel room with just enough time to head back out the door with a group of Wine Summit attendees en route to the welcome reception being held at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
The Museum, already closed for the evening, made the perfect backdrop for the meet and greet. Heather especially loved the setting. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is among the top art museums in the nation.
It’s easy to get to know folks in a crowd when the wine is flowing. Our first sip was a glass of 2008 Trump Sparkling Rosé from the Monticello AVA. Starting a festive evening with either a bubbly white or a sparkling rosé means you’re going to have a great time, and that we did!
- Wild Alaskan Salmon with Pesto Fettuccine plus a Homemade Pesto Tip
- Day Two of the Virginia Wine Summit in Richmond