Iron Heart Winery

Instead of attending to the ever present “to do” list, I sent a last minute text to my friend Amy and visited a new winery.

Iron Heart Winery may be new, but the land it sits on is definitely not.  “Nestled in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains in Allisonia, Va., the charming family-owned winery is located in an Industrial Revolution-era farm dating back to the 19th century, providing a rustic and modern atmosphere for visitors to its historic grounds” (

Since we only had a couple hours, I didn’t spend as much time learning the history of this farm and winery as I would have liked.  It was hard to miss this blast furnace which was once used to convert iron ore to more usable types of iron.  The winery website, much to my delight, is full of the history of the farm and the surrounding community.  These folks aren’t wine lovers who decided to open a winery, rather a family who wanted to preserve the land. ❤

“In 2010 the winery started planting vineyards and established their Farm Stay, where you can rent cabins on the property for a lovely weekend getaway. After years of perfecting their grapes for distribution, Iron Heart finally opened the winery to the public in 2017. Currently they are producing Vidal Blanc, Riesling, Rosé, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and Chambourcin wine styles” (

We were greeted by Rosie, and then entered the tasting room, which is converted from an original corncrib.

The family built this gorgeous stone fire place, and I look forward to sitting by the fire this coming fall and winter.

All the labels celebrate the strength of women in the fashion of Rosie the Riveter, and all of the models were family members or friends.

How can you not love that?!

The day was perfect with bright sunshine, almost too bright for photography, and a steady breeze.  We enjoyed the patio, and playing fetch with Rosie,

Then we took our glasses and walked around the property.

Before we left, Adam, the owner, took us into the wine making room (I’m sure that is NOT what it is really called) and offered us a taste from the cask.  What a treat!  The man is working full time in his “real” job and more than full time in this job / hobby, yet he could not have been more interesting, inviting, and generous with his time.

What a fun, impromptu afternoon.

The ‘to do” list remains, but I have no regrets.

For more about the history of the farm, check visit this link from my friend Brooke Wood, reporter from the Southwest Times.

Nestled in the Blue Ridge

While on the way to meet my parents and son in Charlottesville for a Mothers Day lunch, I took a brief detour to King Family Vineyard.


Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the vineyard offers near 360 views.


The visit was brief (just one little sip of wine),

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but the detour was worth it (even if I did get fussed at for pulling over onto the grass to catch this reflection).


The best part of the day, though?  Time with my parents and son!

Hope the day was lovely for you as well!

Full Circle

Family and Friends.

I’m so very fortunate to have been loved and surrounded by both this past year, and I truly believe that I would not be where I am today without them.  One year ago this coming Saturday, the final destination of a 4 day fall bike trip was the Harvest Festival at a winery in North Carolina.  After being struck while riding my motorcycle through an intersection, the plans changed dramatically.

As the anniversary of the wreck drew nearer, friends and I talked about ways to recognize the one year mark.  If I think too much about the wreck, it freaks me out (just a bit!), so I just keep focusing on celebrating life!

My friend Amy suggested that we come full circle and “finish” last year’s trip.  So despite the rain, we headed off to North Carolina’s Wine Country.  Home to more than 100 wineries, we decided to visit 3 of them.  Amy doesn’t ride, so we took off in the truck.

I’m sure you’ll not be surprised to hear that I have many, many photos to process, but I wanted to share a few with you today.  It rained on and off the whole time but we had a blast none the less.

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Thank you, Amy, for coming full circle with me!


As you read this post, I’m driving to Pittsburgh with my friend Ruth to watch the Virginia Tech / University of Pittsburgh Football Game.

Life never offers me a dull moment, and I’m doing my best to practice gratitude daily!

Wine and Roses

Our local wine and beer shop, Barrel Caves Wines, devotes one evening every month to women. The Divas gather for wine and tapas and friendship, and my camera is alway ready to capture the fun.

Kathy makes sure that the flowers are fresh,


the food delicious,


and the wine chosen just for us.



This particular night offered an extra treat. As we walked out the door, feeling relaxed after another great evening, we were treated to this gorgeous sunset.


Not a bad way to support local business!


Wine at Night

Most of you know that I enjoy a glass of wine occasionally (just occasionally mind you – quit snickering!). A few friends and I gathered on my screened porch for a spring birthday celebration this past weekend, and of course I had to document the evening.



As the day waned and the darkness gathered in, I decided to bring out my new tripod.  I’ve been resistant to using one because I like to shoot on the fly and from the motorcycle, and I feared the tripod would take the spontaneity out of my fun with the camera.  (I’m sure the photographers reading this are rolling their eyes right now).  I sure did like the result, though!

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Liz’s home baked Orange Sponge Cake with Mangoes and Ginger Cream was so yummy!


Happy Birthday!

No Whining!

We’ve got a new wine and craft beer shop in our small community!

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Barrel Cave Wines is a welcome addition to the locally owned business community in the New River Valley.


Thank you Kathy Jordan and Bill Zuti for opening such a fun gathering place!


It sure is fun supporting locally owned businesses 🙂


More Than Book Group

A group of friends, and lovers of books, has been meeting in my home once a month for the past 13 years.  As many as 18 and as few as 4 have gathered to discuss the month’s chosen book, after which the conversation turns to movies, current events, and life.  We’ve gone “off site” to watch plays, such as The Vagina Monologues, to search for authentic Chinese Food, and to taste wine.

And sometimes we’re able to meet on the porch.


5 Days ’til Vacation and the Annual Ride!!!


Military Brats Reunite at Jefferson Vineyards

If you lived in the Northern Virginia area in the 1970s, you may very well have been part of a military family.  My father, a 30 year Naval Officer, was stationed at The Pentagon during that time and we lived in a neighborhood that, while not a military base, was full of other Navy, Army, Marine and Air Force families.  Being raised a Military Brat  is like being a part of a unique culture that only those who lived it understand. 

Military families move frequently and friendships, often made quickly, endure.  Many of the friends of my parents were like Aunts and Uncles to me and I remember them as fondly as I do some of my own extended family members.

This past Sunday, two former military families (Navy and Air Force) met for a reunion at Jefferson Vineyards in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The Buchwald and Maddox families became friends in the 1970s and have shared many of life’s good, and challenging, moments.

Virginia boasts over 220 wineries and has become known for wines made from the Viognier and Cabernet Franc grapes.  The Charlottesville area, a central location for most  members of the 2 families, has over 25 wineries.  We chose to meet at Jefferson Vineyards.





Fittingly, our celebration was held one day after Mr. Jefferson’s 270th birthday.


It was a gorgeous spring day and some of the flowers were starting to bloom (at least those that survived the snow storm last week were blooming).



The trees were starting to leaf as well.


We enjoyed a private tasting followed by a picnic lunch.


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I’m confident that it wasn’t just the wine that had us laughing.



And the wine casks (which my sister kept calling caskets) provided excellent seating for group pictures.




It was the perfect place for a reunion!  Check it out if you’re in the area!



And no … I didn’t ride the bike … wine and motorcycles just don’t mix … at least for me!

This last photo is from the Jefferson Vineyards website.