Staunton: Sunday art exhibit at Ox-Eye Vineyards Tasting Room

Ox-Eye logoBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Check out historic downtown Staunton Sunday afternoon by stopping by Ex-Eye Vineyards Tasting Room, enjoy a glass of wine, and meet the artists at an art exhibit opening reception.

Ox-Eye invites guests to a reception welcoming  two art exhibits for your pleasure. Downstairs enjoy the creative drawings by Molly Kiers (yes, her parents are John and Susan Kiers who own the vineyards) with her “Every Day in Pencil” exhibit.

Upstairs will feature “iDistort: Manipulated iphone images” by Marc Borzelleca and Beth Trainum, a unique exhibit.

Both take place on Sunday, June 29, from 4-5:30 p.m. at Ox-Eye Vineyards Tasting Room located in the historic Wharf District of Staunton at 44 Middlebrook Avenue. The show will run through August.

About Ox-Eye Vineyards (from the website):

The 100-acre farm on which Ox-Eye Vineyards now sits was purchased by John and Susan Kiers in 1996 for the purpose of growing wine grapes. Their interest was drawn to the Shenandoah Valley because of its relatively low rainfall and cool climate, and its deep limestone soil. Of particular interest was the strong diurnal temperature shift — the difference between day and night temperatures that typifies most of the valley. Diurnal shift is desirable during late summer and fall ripening as it allows sugars to rise without overly diminishing acidity.

The site chosen is in Augusta County, near Staunton, Virginia. It has a top elevation of 1,830 ft. with slopes that face east-southeast. It was dubbed Ox-Eye after the ox-eye daisies that at times proliferate the landscape. The Kiers family planted their first two acres of grapevines in 1999, eventually covering 23 acres with vines.

The site has proven to be an excellent one. The limestone base provides vital nutrients for healthy vines and fruit. The deep soil allows the vines to thrive without irrigation. Even during drought years there has been little to no drought stress. The constant breezes help control diseases and create good air drainage to combat frost. The diurnal shift helps ripen fruit with some of the highest sugars in Virginia without loss of acidity.

After selling grapes to area wineries for over a decade, the Kiers family built their own winery in 2010 and now bottle 100% Estate wines from fruit grown on their farm.

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