What news? Well since the last newsletter it seems as if a million things have happened. So to get to the point this “newsletter” is going to be more of a kaleidoscope (from the Ancient Greek καλός (kalos), “beautiful, beauty”, εἶδος (eidos), and σκοπέω (skopeō), “to look to, to examine,” hence “observation of beautiful forms”) of events – merely a collection of pictures that catalogue what we at Veritas have been up to in the last three months, with just a few editorial comments along the way.
Patricia and I went to France: first to Paris, and then with Christine and Dennis Vrooman we drove to explore Burgundy, ending up in the ancient city of Beaune, the heart, the very coeur of Burgundy, to celebrate the auction of wines at the Hospice de Beaune.
The Hospice de Beaune is an event that started in the sixteenth century and is as steeped in French history as the very wines we went to explore. We had a terrible time going from one Burgundian winery to another in search of the golden Grand Cru in the sky. So we soaked our way through most of the top spots in expectation of the Grand Banquet held at the end of the auction of wine that goes to benefit the Hospice. The Hospice is a hospital that was set up in the fifteenth century to look after the sick and poor – this was in the days 500 years ago when the poor and sick were looked after by the society of the time – this was just before the Affordable Health Care Act.
The auction was set up by the wealthy wine merchants to help pay for the sick in this wonderful building that stands today as an emblem of compassion and selflessness. In learning the history of this institution it really makes one think of how far we have come today in caring for the sick and the poor.
Well after that we were so full of compassion and warmth we just had to go out and celebrate at the Banquet held every year at the culmination of the auction. I have never tasted so many world class wines with dishes of the most wonderful French cuisine that your imagination could not even imagine.
And then it was Thanksgiving!
December 6th 2013
So being footloose and fancy free Patricia and I needed some time to recover. The answer? A cruise to the Caribbean on the largest sailing ship that actually sails – up to twenty knots under full sail – The Star Clipper. The back story here is that at the 2011 Opportunity Ball we bid for this at the auction and with the aid of a few glasses of Scintilla we managed to secure this seven day cruise that we kept putting off. We even tried to give it to the kids, but alas it was either take it or lose it – so we took it.
At one point we even raced the sister ship called the Royal Clipper.
And then it was the Masked Ball!
Then we got the first chills of winter. It all started with an ice storm as the Polar Vortex wobbled and temperatures plunged. It was the very coldest that we have experienced in fourteen years in Virginia. We were worried about the vines not surviving temperatures of minus 17 degrees Celsius but fortunately it was a short polar blast and as far as we know we did not lose vines.
We survived the first blast so much so that the crew was able to get out into the vineyard to prune. Something we learned in Burgundy is that pruning does not get seriously underway until the Feast of Saint Stephen on January 22nd. So we dutifully took hot mulled wine out into the vineyard with our trusty crew of guys and toasted Saint Stephen to bless the vines in expectation of a wonderful vintage.
And then it was The Retreat!
Special thanks to Jill Shirey, our Employee of the Year 2013-2014! A picture says a thousand words – here she is with all her well-deserved awards. Jill is one of a kind and we were lucky to find her. She is superb at what she does and what she does is to make everyone happy- from the brides to the bride’s mothers and even more impressively – everyone and I mean everyone that Jill has the pleasure of working with.
And more Special Thanks to the two people who have worked so well together at The Farmhouse: our new Chef and Gardener Andy and Leticia, who between them have caught the ball that Joel threw them and have scored and scored – just check with Trip Advisor! Andy Shipman actually worked with us briefly several years ago before deciding to take cuisine into his life along with his passion for everything that is natural and home grown. In addition to his wonderful talent for cuisine he has a bachelor’s degree from Mary Washington in American Studies.
Leticia is another one of those people that seem to gravitate to Veritas. She is full of smiles and energy- she sees things always as half full. She works tirelessly at doing just what Andy is doing and that is making our guests happy.
And the latest addition to the Veritas family – can’t go wrong with this one:
And to finish up, as I always do and why so many people enjoy our news from Veritas.
End of Story.
Post – Script: March 17th, three days before the first day of Spring!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from all the folks at Veritas where all the children are above average and look out when they start dating!
Happy Easter and come on Spring!
Emeritus: Bottle washer, Wine maker, Dilettante and Raconteur