Ask anyone in Northern Virginia what they know about Fauquier County and they’ll either say ‘Horse Country’ ‘Wine Country’ or ‘The other side of the boonies’. Many (if any) don’t know the rich history behind the county or the man of whom the county is named after. Francis Fauquier was known in his time to be a rule breaker, scoffing at labels he didn’t approve of, and to write his own history. Funny enough, his personality seemed to seep into the valleys because Fauquier County has the same kind of attitude.
Francis was brought up to be a renaissance man, and became one of the governors of Founding Hospital for abandoned children while living and working in England (His father, to note, worked with Sir Isaac Newton). When he came to the colony of Virginia as Lieutenant Governor he earned quite the reputation. He disobeyed instructions, gained and maintained friendships in the House of Burgesses, dissolving the house when it passed a resolution against the Stamp Act, and sympathized with colonists. Known as ‘young and hotheaded’ he was also one of the ablest and most popular of the royal governors. Sums up the spirit of Fauquier County doesn’t it?
In honor of the 252nd anniversary of Francis Fauquier’s validation of the successful cultivation of a vineyard of European vines in Virginia in 1763, the winegrowers of the county join together for an annual tradition to celebrate the Francis Fauquier Tournante. This event is inspired by a similar Tournante, the Saint Vincent Tournante a Burgundian tradition, and is of great symbolic importance in recognizing the winegrowing community of the northern Piedmont region of Virginia.
The celebration date falls between the vine’s dormant winter state and the first appearance of new growth, the time when pruning begins, and it signifies the beginning of the new winegrowing season. A procession of flags bearing the arms of each Fauquier winery process in ceremony lead by the Knights of the Vine, proceedings rooted deep in the history of wine. The procession is followed by a general assembly of the brotherhood. Member families and guests then sit down together for a grand pig roast feast. The event is hosted by a different Fauquier winery each year, and the day’s activities include: The Fauquier Wineries Tasting, live music, the Francis Fauquier Ceremony, and traditional Pig Roast feast.
Eleven wineries will be participating in this event: Desert Rose, Naked Mountain, Barrel Oak, Rappahannock Cellars, Cobbler Mountain, Winding Road, Mediterranean Cellars, Molon Lave, Three Fox, Marterella Winery, and Philip Carter (who will also be the host).
The Knights of the Vine plan to attend, Pastor Kim of Sermon from the Vine will give the message, Kevin McGrath will sound the bag pipes, and the pig will be from Dark Hollow in Markham and catered by Chef Victor of Orlean Market. The procession is open to the public. Reservations are required for the pig roast, seating is limited. Follow this link to register and join in this historic event! http://www.eventbrite.com/e/