Old House Vineyards and Distillery

And coming soon, the Old House Brewery.

On a rainy mid winter day, the urge to drive to the countryside was too much to resist.  It was cloudy, drizzly, cool (but not too cold), grey and wet near Washington DC.  It was cloudy, drizzly, cool, grey and wet in Culpeper, Virginia as well.  And yet, none of that mattered when I visited Old House Vineyards and Distillery.  The vineyards and winery that Patrick and Allyson Kearney developed in the Virginia countryside is a wonderful place to visit.  And on a soggy Saturday morning, the mood was anything but damp.  Wine, chocolate fondue, good food, what could be better?

Rum.  Maybe not better, but the spirits sold by the distillery certainly lifted the spirit of this damp visitor from the DC suburbs.

A walk to the World War II themed ABC store was greeted by several samples of Old House Bumbo 1758 Spiced Rum and Grog 349 Rum.  Brewed in house by Keith Ballurio, the rums are enticement enough to make the drive through the rain more than worthwhile.  Ryan Kearney, the other partner in the distillery business, has a wonderful vodka and an agave nectar that provide even more reasons to drive to the countryside.

And did I say that the place is beautiful?  This is a great place to celebrate a wedding.  A vineyard, a lake, wine, vodka and rum.  Oh, the bride and groom would be ideal accouterments as well.

On this day in February, a groundhog was walking the grounds.  Maybe winter isn’t over after all.  One thing is certain.  No matter the season, Old House is certainly worth a visit. And after a few tastings, you will probably go home with a bottle (or two, perhaps even more) of wine, vodka, rum, agave nectar,…  I did.

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The Blue Super Moon (missed out on the eclipse part)

Two of three isn’t bad, but the missing part made this event special.  In the early morning of the last day in January, the second full moon of the month was setting.  The eclipse – well, that was for other people to see.  This is a composite image of two different images.  The first image exposed for the clouds, the second image exposed for the moon.  This combination was then converted to a black and white image.

When I Listen to Beethoven’s Ninth

I feel like I am at Mesa Arch again, watching the sun rise through the distant mountains, Washerwoman Arch etched in the brightening light, the soft glow of the sun reflected on the red hued arch above me.  Great music is a gift of supernal majesty.  Like the beams of sunlight illuminating the valley below, it lights up my soul.  He could not hear, but his music speaks to all mankind.  Let not our differences divide us.  We are all born from the dust of stars, our humanity an enduring testament to the greatness that we, as a species, can achieve when we transcend our limitations and draw inspiration from the Creator that made us all.

Delaware Sunrise

I was driving to northern New Jersey for a Christening.  I figured, what the heck, wake up early, try to get to Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge by sunrise, and watch the sun rise.  The sun and the clouds and the sky cooperated.

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I came for the birds, and ended up with the sun.