Chester Gap column for Feb. 12

Rappahannock Cellars on VA Wine Time

Rappahannock Cellars owner John Delamare and winemaker Theo Smith will be speaking today (Thursday, Feb. 12) at 7 p.m. with VA Wine Times blogger Frank Morgan. They will be reviewing three wines: 2014 Viogner (pre-release wine!), 2013 “Black Label” Chardonnay (wine club only wine!) and 2012 Meritage. The live web chat can be seen at and questions can be sent to the participants via Twitter (#VAWineChat). This is a great opportunity to learn about Rappahannock Cellar wines. I will be covering the event live and look forward to reporting back to everyone.

Tres Bella Consignment and Gifts

I recently visited with Olivia Meadows, the owner of Tres Bella Consignment and Gifts at 126 East Main Street in Front Royal. Olivia is also the owner of Tres Bella Day Spa at 426 North Royal Ave. This consignment shop is not your run-of-the-mill secondhand store. They carry high-end women’s and children’s clothing and accessories, a variety of books, costume jewelry, handmade scarves and assorted gift items. Olivia says that they are very particular about what merchandise they will accept. Her staff researches the merchandise online to determine the authenticity and fair market value. One of the higher-ticket items in the store is a Louis Vuitton purse with an original price tag of more than $4,000.

The building that houses Tres Bella Consignment and Gifts has been in Ms. Meadows’ family for many generations. Her uncle originally ran a men’s clothing store in the same space, and in later years her grandfather ran his carpet business out of the front of the building while her grandmother ran the Alley Inn eatery out of the back. Olivia says she can remember spending many afternoons with her grandparents going between the store and the diner.

The boutique is open 10 to 5 Wednesday-Saturday. If you haven’t already done so, this might be a great opportunity to pick out your sweetheart’s Valentine’s Day gift. If not there, then you could head over to Tres Bella Day Spa and treat them to a day of pampering.

Chester Gap Volunteer Fire Department

The fire department meets at 7 p.m. the first Wednesday of every month. The next meeting will be March 4. Anyone interested in volunteering his or her time can pick up an application at the fire department or by calling 540-635-5482.