Notaviva Vineyards: Wine & Music – A Perfect Pairing!

Hello Friends,

I recently had the pleasure of participating in Notaviva Vineyard's 2nd Annual Wine and Music pairing event, aptly titled, “The Notaviva Experience.” Notavia Vineyards is located in Hillsboro, Virginia on the Loudoun Heights cluster in Loudoun County. Notaviva is a grape’s throw away from Breaux Vineyards and Grandale Farms; so consider visiting the two producers and having lunch at Grandale Farms, a farm-to-table restaurant that’s a local favorite. Grandale makes an awesome blackend catfish sandwich - "trust me" - and offers a generous number of Virginia wines on the wine list. 

Notaviva Vineyards

Notaviva is owned by Stephen and Shannon Mackey, who both have music backgrounds and share a passion for the art form. Prior to opening doors to the public in the summer of 2008, the Mackey’s beautiful tasting room and home was featured on the HGTV television network show Dream House. Click here to watch the archives. It’s amazing what the Mackey's have accomplished in such a short time and defines the phrase, “dare to dream.” Where I think food and wine, the Mackey’s think music and wine, and as I found out during the event, pairing wine with music required a bit more thought than expected. How deep is Notavia’s love for music and wine? Their wines are named after musical terms and the tasting notes follow suit in a really cool way.

Beautiful Views from the Tasting Room

The tasting event encouraged you to put away your personal likes and dislikes for a particular song and/or wine and focus on the wine and track played and how the two worked together. Just before the event, Stephen Mackey got on the mic and stated, “What if every wine had a genre of music that could heighten your tasting experience.” A few days prior to the event, I posed this question on Face-Book: What type of wine goes with punk rock? Jordan Harris, winegrower at Tarara Winery, had the right idea when he responded, “ Chambourcin - it’s edgy, can be all over the place, often has a lot more behind it, and makes some a little uncomfortable, but those that like it, love it.” During the event, we tasted five wines blind and each wine was accompanied by ten 30 second clips of music from varying genres. Our job was to evaluate the wines, the music, and select our best sensory pairing experience. Sounds easy, but was highly thought provoking and fun!

The Notaviva Expereince!

At the end of the tasting, results were submitted, compiled, loaded into a research database, and I’m looking forward to seeing the results. I wonder how consistent we were as a group with our sensory evaluations since we listened to the same music and enjoyed the same wines. I bet we were all over the place! In closing, Notaviva has a nice lineup of wines ranging from Viognier and Vidal Blanc to Chambourcin and Cabernet Franc, so make a date with Notaviva and enjoy the wine and music pairings for yourself, friends! Be sure to check their events page too. The tasting room was built with live performances in mind and they host many weekend music events. Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned friends ...More to come!

Info: Notaviva Vineyards,13274 Sagle Road, Purcellville, VA 20132, T(540) 668-6756

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