MUSE MT VERNON

Sally Cowal, co-owner of Muse Vineyards, stands beside the vineyard’s three wines that now have Mount Vernon labels. Included, left to right, are Petit Verdot, Erato and Pitchet.

Muse Vineyards in Woodstock has partnered with Mount Vernon to add labels on three of its locally made wines.

Mount Vernon, situated along the Potomac River in Fairfax County, was the home of George and Martha Washington, and the specially labeled wines are for sale in Mount Vernon’s gift shops.

“It’s a very nice collaboration,” said Sally Cowal, co-owner of Muse Vineyards at 16 Serendipity Lane. “It goes beyond simply selling a product.”

Cowal had been interested in adding to the nonprofits her business supports or collaborates with, and she said it made sense to partner with Mount Vernon since her husband’s family had their first residence in Virginia in 1640 right next to the land where Mount Vernon is.

“There’s been an association of the Muses and the Washingtons going back to colonial times,” Cowal said.

The three Muse wines that Mount Vernon opted to label are the white wine blend Erato; a lighter-bodied red wine, Pichet, made mostly from Cabernet Franc; and Petit Verdot, a red wine and one of their top sellers.

“We were already selling them,” Cowal said. “But now they’re exclusive in the sense that they are their labels on them. … The corks and everything say Muse.”

Mount Vernon sent them the labels, which Muse adds each time an order is made for any of the three wines. Muse distributes its wines through Virginia Winery Distribution Company in Richmond. Local businesses like Woodstock Cafe at 117 S. Main St. and Woodstock Brewhouse at 123 E. Court St. carry its wine with the Muse Vineyards label.

Cowal said the partnership might expand to include additional Muse wines later.

This is Muse Vineyards’ first collaboration, Cowal said, but she’s hopeful for more in the future.

The partnership came about through one of Muse’s wine club members, Maura Donavan, whose mother is a neighbor of Merrill Margueron, who runs the wine and beverage program at the Mount Vernon gift shops, whose commercial operations are run by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. The shops raise an income for the Mount Vernon estate, Cowal said.

Margueron was looking for some products to feature at the gift shops, and Donovan recommended Muse Vineyards, Cowal explained.

When Mount Vernon requested Muse send some wines for them to try, Cowal selected several to bring for a special tasting for members of the Ladies’ Association shortly before Christmas, and they settled on the three that now feature the Mount Vernon label.

Featuring Muse’s wine in Northern Virginia also helps inform more people about the Shenandoah Valley, Cowal said.

Most of the people she met while at Mount Vernon had no idea what Muse is or where the Shenandoah Valley is, she said, and since the wine tasting, she said, many people have come to Woodstock “to hear more about the Muse story.”

For more information, visit mountvernon.org or musevineyards.com.

Contact Josette Keelor at jkeelor@nvdaily.com

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