The Rapp for April 26

A bridge to your local newspaper

Alex Sharp VIII | Rappahannock News

The U.S. 522 bridge over the Thornton River in historic downtown Sperryville will close for construction Monday (April 30), so follow the well-posted detour signs leading down Main Street. But don’t worry, you’ll still have a straight shot from U.S. 211 to the Thornton River Grille for our Fourth (Estate) Friday, open-to-the-public Rappahannock News story conference at 9 a.m. (April 27). Come one, come all, eat breakfast, and tell us how to improve the paper!

Pianist Audrey Andrist graces Washington

Audrey Andrist will return to the Theatre at Washington at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 6, to give a recital of music by Schubert, Beethoven, Schumann and MacDonald. The concert will include the Impromptu in B-flat Major, op. 142 No. 3 by Franz Schubert; the Sonata in E-flat Major, op. 31 No. 3 (“The Hunt”) by Ludwig van Beethoven; Carnaval, op. 9 by Robert Schumann; and a short contemporary work, “After Dark,” op. 24 (1991) by Andrew MacDonald.

Canadian pianist Audrey Andrist plays for audiences around the globe, from North America to Japan, China and Germany. Her performances are praised for their “passionate abandon,” “bright energy” and “great intelligence.”

A graduate of the Juilliard School, Andrist received first prizes at the Mozart International, San Antonio International, and Juilliard Concerto Competitions. She’s performed in many of North America’s fine venues, including the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Place des Arts in Montreal, Chicago’s Ravinia Festival and Alice Tully Hall in New York. A review in The Washington Post described “Audrey Andrist’s piano playing [as] riveting and radiant.” The San Francisco Classical Voice hailed her as a “stunning pianist with incredible dexterity.”

Tickets for the 3 p.m. Sunday, May 6 concert at the Theatre are $25 ($10 for students 17 and younger). For reservations, call 540-675-1253 or email

Clooney descends upon the Theatre

The acclaimed film “The Descendants” will play at the Theatre in Washington at 8 p.m. Friday, May 4, shown by the Rappahannock Association for the Arts and Community (RAAC). Admission is $6 ($4 for students). The film stars George Clooney and Shailene Woodley, is rated R and won the Academy Award for Best Writing and was nominated for four other Oscars, including Best Motion Picture and Best Actor (George Clooney). The concessions stand will be open for popcorn, candy and water. For a review of the movie visit RAAC’s website at, or call 540-675-3193 for further information.

Farm Tour: Time to sow for fall harvest |

Now that the spring farming season is here, plans are underway for the 2012 Rappahannock County Farm Tour this Sept. 29-30.

The family-friendly, self-guided tour draws hundreds from around the region to visit the farms, orchards, wineries, nurseries and farm-to-table businesses and school programs that make up Rappahannock’s agricultural base and sustainable way of life. This fall will be the fourth annual Farm Tour.

The tour is planned annually by a volunteer committee in partnership with the county tourism office and the local Cooperative Extension office. The tour encompasses all aspects of sustainable living, from horticultural practices for the home gardener to creating sustainable habitats for wildlife, from methods of viticulture and growing produce and fruit to the natural practice of rotational or “mob” grazing, and, most important, to teaching the next generation how to live healthier lives by becoming stewards of the land and the life it supports.

The county’s farm schools, including Belle Meade and Mountain Laurel Montessori, and farm-to-table programs at Rappahannock County’s elementary and high schools, have been favorite stops on the tour in past years. Also returning this year will be the popular “All Things Rappahannock” Market at the Sperryville Schoolhouse, the tour headquarters and primary ticket sales venue.

This year brings a new addition to the weekend – a commemorative Rappahannock County Civil War Heritage Day. The Sept. 29 Heritage Day will be held on the grounds between the Rappahannock County Visitors Center and the county library – a site which, not quite 150 years ago, saw a vast encampment of Union troops.

Applications to participate on the 2012 Farm Tour have been emailed and are being mailed to farm-related venues that have participated in past years, including vendors that have participated in the “All Things Rappahannock” Market.

The Farm Tour planning committee will hold an informational kick-off meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, May 7 at the Sperryville Schoolhouse, for returning tour venues, new applicants, vendors interested in the market and volunteers, including prospective planning committee members. Please RSVP by emailing, or contact Candace Wroth at 540-675-5330.

For more information about the Rappahannock County Farm Tour in general, contact For the “All Things Rappahannock” Market information, contact Beth Hall at

– Laura Overstreet

Precious medals found in . . . Amissville

Gray Ghost Winery’s 2011 vidal blanc captured gold at the 2012 Monterey Wine Competition in King City, Calif., making it a featured wine at the upcoming 19th Annual Monterey Wine Competition Grand Tasting in May. The Amissville winery’s Adieu was awarded silver at Monterey, and also won a gold at the Consumer Wine Awards in Lodi, Calif., making it one of only 16 non-California wines to take the top prize. Gray Ghost’s 2010 Reserve Chardonnay and 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon took silver while the Riesling won bronze.

Also, the San Diego International awarded Gray Ghost’s Adieu and reserve chardonnay silver medals, while the San Francisco Chronicle Competition awarded the Adieu silver and the reserve chardonnay bronze.

Meanwhile, at the Finger Lakes Wine Competition in New York, Narmada Winery’s 2010 Midnight, Primita, Reflection, Gulabi and Viogner all won silver medals, while the Amissville winery’s 2010 chardonnay and Dream won bronze medals.

The Park’s wildflower weekend

Native flowers will be in the spotlight during Shenandoah National Park’s 26th annual Wildflower Weekend, May 5-6 in Luray. Visitors may meet woodland beauties such as wild geranium, trillium, jack-in-the-pulpit and a variety of others on naturalist-led hikes.

Participants will search for wildflowers along the Millers Head, Mill Prong, South River Falls, Appalachian and Gravel Springs-Bluff trails, and at Franklin Cliffs. New trails included this year are Fox Hollow, Snead Farm Loop and Stony Man Mountain. A “Cultural Connections” walk will focus on historical uses of plants. There will be a wildflower walk especially for kids. Birders will have a chance to seek out feathered beauties with experts. The complete Wildflower Weekend schedule is posted on the park’s website:

Naturalists and professional photographers Ann and Rob Simpson will present a Powerpoint program, “Wild About Violets,” and will lead a hike on the Limberlost Trail, searching for wildflowers and offering photography tips. Their book, “Wildflowers of Shenandoah National Park,” is available in park bookstores.

Programs are free, and no registration is required.  There is a $15-per-car entrance fee to the park, good for seven days. For more information about Wildflower Weekend, call the park at 540-999-3500, ext. 3283.

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