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Vineyard to bottle wines for foundation

Proceeds from sale of two varieties will help battlefield preservation

By Preston Knight -- pknight@nvdaily.com

NEW MARKET -- There is not a victorious soldier around who would pass on raising a toast to the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation's latest fundraising initiative.

Through an exclusive bottling of two kinds of wines from Mt. Jackson's Cave Ridge Vineyards, the nonprofit organization will receive a portion of the sales to devote to preserving and interpreting Civil War sites throughout the valley.

The wines are a Chambourcin, which is aged for 10 months in French oak barrels and pairs well with cheeses and cured meats, and a Viognier, aged in oak barrels and steel vats to give it rich flavor, according to Cave Ridge owner Randy Phillips. Viognier was designated by the Virginia Wine Board this year as the state's signature white wine.

The foundation unveiled the wines during a preservation announcement at the Third Winchester Battlefield on Saturday. The proceeds will help put a dent into one of the most important numbers that lingers -- 13,000 acres of battlefield land in the national historic district that remains to be preserved, Executive Director Denman Zirkle said.

A person who has helped decrease the number to that point was honored Saturday when the foundation surprised Kathleen Kilpatrick, the director of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and a foundation trustee, with its prestigious Carrington Williams preservation award. Williams was the chairman of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District Commission, as well as the founding chairman of the group's successor, the current battlefields foundation. He died in 2002.

Chairman Nicholas Picerno presented Kilpatrick, whom he called his "hero," with a miniature version of a bowl that is engraved with all of the preservation award winners' names. Among the names on it is William J. Howell, the speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates and chairman of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission. He sat beside Kilpatrick on Saturday.

She talked briefly about everything that preservation provides for the public, including a spiritual uplifting of bringing everyone together to appreciate history.

"When things are lost," Kilpatrick said, "they're lost forever."

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