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DeVault Family Vineyards

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Devault Family Vineyards

Watermelon Festival at DeVault  Family Vineyards

Less than 20 miles east of Lynchburg, VA you will find DeVault Family Vineyards.  Founded in 2000 by Terry and Sharon, when Terry purchased the 32-acre property that allowed Terry to return to his farming roots, the vineyard is a family dream come true.  The family has spent eight years perfecting the art of grape cultivation and have shaped the land into a stunning, serene landscape that you enjoy when visiting the vineyard.  The tasting room was added in 2009 to allow guests a rustic, but comfortable place to sample the various wines and enjoy the view of the rolling vineyard. In addition to the tasting room you can enjoy an indoor swimming pool, tennis court, volleyball and basketball courts, and a stocked fishing pond.  Or bring along a picnic blanket and wander through the vineyard until you find just the right spot to enjoy your DeVault wine.

DeVault Family Vineyards

DeVault Family Vineyards

DeVault Family Vineyards produces seven varieties of wines.  There are three reds: a sweet red table wine, a dry red, which is a complex bouquet of blackberry, gala apples and a touch of spice plus an oaked Norton.  Two whites are available: a sweet white table wine and a dry white with a light, fruity nose.  Two blends complete the inventory: their watermelon wine and a semi-sweet blended blush.  The red and white table wines make a delicious Sangria, delightful on a warm sunny day in Central Virginia.

Are you looking for something to do?  Saturday, July 2nd DeVault Family Vineyards will be hosting their 6th Annual Watermelon Festival!  Between the hours of 3:00 pm until 11:00 pm you can enjoy a variety of food vendors, five additional wineries, a local micro-brewery, arts, crafts and other vendors selling unique hand-made wares, six bands performing on two stages, a magician, pony rides and a talent show.  There will be something for everyone!  Tickets go on sale June 22nd or you may purchase them at the gate (at an increased price).  Ticket prices are as follows: Adult $15, age 13-20 plus designated driver $10, kids 7-13 $5.  Visit the DeVault Family Vineyards website, devaultvineyards@hotmail.com, to purchase your tickets in advance.

DeVault Family Vineyards are located one-half mile off Route 460 in Concord, VA.  247 Station Lane, Concord, VA. 434.993.0722 or devaultvineyards@hotmail.com.  Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday between 11 until 6, after May 1st.  Other hours may be available with prior scheduling.

Harley Owner Group Rally-Lynchburg VA

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Harley Davidson Group

The Harley Owner Group visits Lynchburg

The Harley Owner Group to visit Lynchburg.  Starting Wednesday, June 22 until Saturday, June 25th the city of Lynchburg will be filled with H.O.G.s!  Approximately 2,000 rally participants will meet in Lynchburg to participate in numerous activities.

There will be music, vendors, activities for all ages, games, obstacle courses, riding competitions, self guided rides, tour rides and more.  Highlights of the four days of events include: guided tour rides to Red Hill,  Appomattox Courthouse National Park and the National D=-Day Memorial, a lighted bike show, motorcycle riding concepts courses, historic architecture walking tou of downtown Lynchburg and a parade.

The Harley Owner Group hosts rallies throughout the year in various cities across the United States.  The last time this event was held in Lynchburg was 10 years ago.  The Milwaukee-based Harley Owners Group has more than 1 million members and 1,400 chapters around the world.  Benefits of belonging to this group include access to the Harley Davidson Museum, a magazine, members website, e-newsletter, touring handbooks that are road ready with maps and touring tips, merchandise and touring contests.

Harleys, a work of art.

Harleys, a work of art.

So, when you hear the “roar of thunder” between June 22nd and June 25th it may just be one of the many Harley enthusiasts experiencing our town and location in Central Virginia.

Strawberries and Cream French Toast

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Strawberries and Cream French Toast

Strawberries and Cream French Toast

June 2016 has brought a plethora of strawberries to our backyard garden, at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast!  To take advantage of these delicious morsels our signature dish this month is Strawberries and Cream French Toast. The dish is prepared the night before so, making breakfast is easy, just cook and serve.   We serve this dish with warm strawberry syrup, because we have plenty of strawberries to make the syrup, but it would be equally delicious with pure maple syrup.  If you need a delicious menu item to serve your dad on Father’s Day this just might be it.  And if you don’r have a garden with fresh strawberries in your backyard head down to the Lynchburg Community Market, on Wednesday or Saturday morning, to pick up from a local farmer.   Of course if you don’t have access to fresh strawberries, store bought ones also work.   Enjoy!

For the French Toast:

  • 18-20 slices of bread, cubed
  • 8 oz cream cheese, cubed
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 12 eggs
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cream

Grease a 9×13 baking dish.  Arrange half of the bread cubes in the greased baking dish.  Sprinkle the cream cheese cubes and strawberry slices evenly over the bread cubes.  Top with remaining bread cubes.  Beat eggs until light and fluffy.  Add maple syrup, milk and cream to eggs, mix well.  Pour egg mixture over bread cubes.  Press lightly to allow egg mixture to be absorbed by the bread cubes.  Cover dish with foil and place in refrigerator at least 8 hours or overnight.  Remove dish from refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to baking.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake, covered with foil, for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 30 minutes or until fluffy and golden.  Allow to sit about 10 minutes before serving.  Top with Strawberry Syrup.

**helpful hint: put the cream cheese in the freezer for about 20 minutes before you cube it.  It will slice a bit easier and more uniformly.

Strawberries and Cream French Toast

Strawberries and Cream French Toast from the oven

Strawberry Syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

Cook the sugar, water and cornstarch until thickened.  Stir in strawberries and simmer 10 minutes.  Add butter and stir until melted.  Serve warm over French Toast.

**helpful hint: before combining first 3 ingredients mix cornstarch with about 1-2 Tablespoons of the water and mix until well blended.  Add this slurry mixture to sugar and water solution for thickening.

 

Making a Signature Dish-Jefferson’s Virginia Festival

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Pumpkin Waffel

Pumpkin Waffle

As members of the Jefferson Heritage Trail, The Carriage House Inn Bed & Breakfast, is proud to offer a “behind the scenes tour” during the Jefferson’s Virginia Festival dates of May 28 until July 4th.

Each Saturday morning, during the month of June and on Saturday July 2nd, we will invite 2 guests into our kitchen to observe the preparation and cooking of one of our signature dishes that we serve for breakfast.  And then, they and our other guests will be able to enjoy this fabulously delicious main course.

Tortilla Breakfast Bowl

Tortilla Breakfast Bowl

Dishes may include: Apple Stuffed Croissant French Toast with Spiced Maple Syrup, Breakfast Frittata, Pumpkin Waffles with Maple Walnut Apples, Tortilla Breakfast Bowl, Sweet Potato Pancakes with Toasted Coconut and Pecans, Dutch Baby or Shirred Eggs Florentine.

How do you participate in this unique event?  Call us at 434.846.1388, tell us you are participating in the Jefferson’s Virginia Festival and would like to book a room and take part in our “behind the scenes tour.”  You will book your room for a minimum of two nights and we’ll take care of the rest.   Saturday morning of your stay you will join is in the kitchen, observe, take notes and leave the kitchen with a copy of the recipe served that morning.  Then you will join our other guests in devouring the signature dish offered.  This event is limited to two guests each Saturday morning, so book your space early.

We look forward to sharing some of our techniques and recipes with our guests.  See you soon!

Old City Cemetery Museum-Cemetery Center

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Old City Cemetery

Old City Cemetery’s Center and Museum

The Old City Cemetery, Lynchburg, VA, is Lynchburg’s most visited tourist site.  During the past four months we have posted a blog describing the individual buildings/museums found on the cemetery grounds.  This month we are going to introduce you to the Cemetery Museum and it’s artifacts.

The main focus of the Cemetery Center is it’s collection of American mourning customs and artifacts, burial records of the Southern Memorial Association, the Lee Reading Room, Taylor Conservatory and the Christian Vault.

This month’s blog post is going to concentrate on the American mourning customs and artifacts.

The main room in the Cemetery Center is comprised of doors, floorboards, beams and a fireplace mantle, all dated 1845.  This room contains mourning artifacts and decor.  Some of the most interesting pieces found include:

  • mourning and funeral photographs (c. 1900).
  • beeswax flowers (c. 1870).  These would have surrounded the casket during the funeral, then have been placed on the grave and finally taken by the family where they were framed and hung in the parlor.
  • a mantle clock draped in black crepe to signify mourning.  The clock would have been stopped at the time of death.
  • mourning stationary that is bordered in black.  It would have been used to announce the death and to invite friends and family to the funeral..
  • a cast-iron “shoulder casket” (c. 1857, from Diuguid Funeral Service). Used by upper-class citizen of Lynchburg it is painted to resemble wood.
  • an embalming kit (c.1900).  Some of the instruments are still used today.

A few of the interesting facts about mourning and burial customs found in the Cemetery Center are as follows:

  • widows were in mourning for a total of 2 1/2 years.  They were in deep mourning for 1 year and 1 day, during which time they could only wear black.  After their deep mourning period they could add a touch of white, more ruffles or trim and wear hats instead of veils.  Near the end of the mourning period they could wear clothing in dark colors:gray, purple, slate or blue.
  • women did not attend the burial.
  • flower arrangements were seldom used before the Civil War.  Between the 1880’s-1890’s fresh, dried and artificial flower arrangements  were used in profusion.
  • mourning attire for men consisted of wearing a black armband or hatband for a period of 3 months.
  • men wore mourning attire as a mark of respect.  Women wore mourning attire out of fear that the omission to wear black would be interpreted as evidence of a lack of affection for the dead.
  • immediately following the funeral all traces f death were to be removed from the house. Shutters were opened, blinds raised, crepe and flowers removed and clocks restarted.

The Cemetery Center is open between 11 until 3 daily, or by appointment.  It contains detailed brochures and booklets relating to the history of the cemetery along with information about the various buildings and museums located on the cemetery grounds (most of which we have discussed earlier this year).  There is a small gift shop that sells “Died and Gone to Heaven” honey (that is produced by the cemeteries bees), books (including Once Upon a Time…a Cemetery Story) and cookbooks (such as the award winning Food to Die For a book of funeral food, tips and tales), along with gifts and items pertaining to the cemetery.

Lazy Days Winery

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Lazy Days Winery

Lazy Days Winery, home of the Summer Solstice

Lazy Days Winery, located just north of The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Amherst, VA offers great wines and a spectacular view of the Virginia countryside.

Lazy Day Winery

Grapes at Lazy Days Winery

The first grapes were planted on 12 of the 100 acres by John Fitzhugh and his father, Bill in 2007.  Starting with petit manseng, petit verdot and merlot these grapes were quickly followed by traminac, tannat and a variety of trial vines, including malbec.

Lazy Days Winery Tasting Room

Tasting Room

The winery and tasting room are located in a restored cattle-auction barn, previously known as the Amherst Livestock Pavilion.  The comfortable tasting rooms adjoins the pavilion event area to offer a great space for spending the afternoon, attending a festival or theater production or celebrating a wedding.

Wines produced by Lazy Days include their award winning Petit Verdot, Chardonnay Reserve, Capuchin White, Sweet Lazy Days White Wine and Bill’s Blackberry Wine.  Other wines offered include a Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and their new Sweet Peaches (made with peaches grown in Nelson County).

Don't miss the Summer Solstice Celebration in June

Don’t miss the Summer Solstice Celebration in June

Lazy Days Winery hosts their Summer Solstice Festival each June to celebrate the beginning of summer.  Featuring other wineries, musicians, food vendors and local artists from the Lynchburg and Amherst area the festival allows guests to experience the winery before it gets too hot.  Throughout the year they participate in other festivals and tasting events throughout the state.  A member of the Jefferson Heritage Wine Trail they support the history and heritage of Central Virginia between Lynchburg and Charlottesville.

Located at 1315 N. Amherst Hwy (RT.29) in Amherst, VA they can be reached at 434.381.6088.  Winery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 am until 5 pm.

Stay with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed & Breakfast and we can plan your tour of this winery along with several others that are nearby and may participate with us in the Jefferson Heritage Trail.  A chauffeured wine tour package can be found on our web site.  Everyone always enjoys it!