DC based Urban Chic boutique partnered with Early Mountain Vineyard, located just minutes outside of Charlottesville in picturesque Madison, Va. to showcase the very best of Virginia wines while styling and shopping the latest accessories by jewelry designer Hyla DeWitt, experiencing Rochelle Behrens’ The Shirt first hand and picking up tips and tricks from wardrobe stylist Wendy Pilch, founder of Spendalla Wardrobe Styling.
The afternoon began with a rendezvous of the DC’s area’s top fashion and style bloggers at Urban Chic’s Georgetown location where our style chariot, provided courtesy of Reston Limousine, carried us in comfort to our destination situated in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, on the Monticello Wine Trail. During our trip, we were introduced to one of the wines offered at Early Mountain, its very own label Pinot Grigio, enjoyed a few nibbles and dished on the latest fall fashion trends we were sure to see at the event. Arriving at Early Mountain in just under two hours, we were ready to shop and take in everything Urban Chic and Early Mountain Winery had to offer.
The personable and knowledgeable team of Early Mountain Winery was on hand to greet us with their gracious and warm spirit of hospitality. Erich Broksas, senior VP of Innovation and Investment for the Case Foundation, gave me a quick personal tour of the winery and provided background on how the winery came to be.
The views of the winery were breathtaking. The tasting room is expansive with gorgeous wood details, warm and inviting colors and spacious seating areas. The beautiful patio area with generous outdoor seating led to over 330 acres of scenic rolling hills, rows of grapes basking in the glow of the setting evening sun and the picturesque foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains just beyond the vineyard.
The shopping area was uniquely situated on the lower level of the winery and gave shoppers a bird’s-eye view of the gorgeous clothing and jewelry. It was standing room only as we sipped on a Prosecco coupled with a wild hibiscus flower that was quite refreshing and was the perfect compliment to the local cheeses, charcuterie and array of sweets provided by local farmers and food artisans in the region. Blouses, shirts and dresses were displayed in sumptuous colors and necklaces and earrings with every stone and color begged to be worn. I could not make a decision as to which piece of jewelry I liked best and if money were no object, I would have left with everything on display. It was just that beautiful.
Early Mountain Winery is owned by Jean and Steve Case, former AOL executives. Ms. Case addressed the audience and told us a little bit more about the winery. As a social enterprise, the mission of the winery is to provide a showcase for Virginia wines and all profits from the winery are used to further the development of the wine industry in Virginia. She went on to say, “We love Virginia, and we believe that our state’s wine has the potential to compete with some of the best wine regions in the world.” It is this belief in the excellence of Virginia wines that motivates Jean, along with her husband Steve, to work so passionately on behalf of the wine producers of the state. It is truly a labor of love and is evidenced in the attention paid to every detail at the winery.
Wendy Pilch also spoke about the fashion trends that will be seen in the fall. Metallic and leather will be big this fall season, as well as mixing and matching different patterns and textures. In short, Ms. Pilch said all of the old fashion rules are out and we will see white being worn throughout the season, shorts paired with booties and the classic shirt paired with a dark wash or patterned jean, a jacket and a heel to create a polished, yet relaxed and sophisticated, look. She remarked that Rochelle Behrens’ The Shirt was a godsend, the perfect blend of structure and femininity. Designed beautifully and impeccably with the patent pending “button”, The Shirt prevents the unsightly gaping across the bust area that has plagued women for years.
The Sip and Shop event was the perfect pairing for Urban Chic and Early Mountain Winery and, based upon the success of this event, I am sure there will be many more events like this to come.
For more information on Early Mountain Winery, check out their website, and to shop the latest fall trends, check out Urban Chic online or visit one of their three area boutiques in Washington DC, Bethesda and Baltimore, MD.