You know…it truly is amazing when you think about it. Here we are, more than 400 years into the history of this great Commonwealth, and toiling toward the same goal as those that settled here in 1607. They navigated to this new land, aided by the stars (can you imagine???) and probably would have hated having a moon as bright as this one we’ll see this weekend.But when I look at the sky, I feel a kinship with the adventurers who set out to explore the possibilities in this new land. In many ways, they wanted the same things we sought when we settled here in Delaplane: some self-actualization, a little bit of elbow room, and a great glass of wine. In order to have sturdy economic development in the mercantile colonies, the British Crown insisted that the colonies cultivate cash crops; including a decent supply of wine. The success of those early vineyards was notoriously poor, but to know that those folks walked off the gang plank onto Virginia soil with wine in mind, and knowing that their ideals are finally bearing fruit (pardon the pun) is awe inspiring.
And to think, we ended up here, on land that was once owned by a man not too far removed from the legacy of those early settlers. John Marshall’s dear wife, Mary “Polly” Willis Ambler’s family line links directly with some of the first merchants to establish trade from the early colony. Wow. When we walk the grounds of Oak Hill Estate, and see the native Norton vineyard in its second leaf, we are nearly overcome with reverence.
We’ve had an amazing experience researching the life of John Marshall. One tidbit we uncovered recently was an accounting of his social budget, which included a respectable amount of wine. He also apparently liked barbecue. In fact, he recorded paying for barbecue on May 22nd, 1786, just 222 years and one day before the opening day of BOW. wow. Wonder if he had some wine to go with it?
When we wake up in the mornings, with the mist covering the vineyard, and the farm at Oak Hill Estate coming to life for the day, as it has for the past 250 years, we sometimes have to pinch ourselves. We can’t believe our good fortune led us to a place that is so full of history. Two “adventurers” from far-off lands, who chose Virginia as a home and a place to build their dreams. We know the true meaning of “Common”-wealth, as we are so appreciative of those who paved the way for us to be the new generation of Virginia wine-farmers, with only stars to guide them. We owe them a debt of gratitude.
This will be a great weekend to visit Barrel Oak Winery and the Oak Hill Estate. The Supermoon will light up our Saturday, and the history and hospitality of Oak Hill Estate welcomes you.