In Middleburg: A One-Stop Shop for Pizza and Wine


Middleburg, Virginia, the escape just outside of D.C., is a great place to venture for a change of scenery or perhaps to stay awhile — or even forever, as many former Washingtonians have.

If you’re looking for the perfect in-town takeout, Jarad Slipp’s Knead Wine is a new, one-stop pizza-and-wine shop in downtown Middleburg. Slipp, who left D.C. after 25 years, most recently worked as master sommelier at the now permanently closed CityZen at the Mandarin Oriental hotel.

Before settling in Middleburg, he ran RdV Vineyards in Delaplane, Virginia. Though he left intending to open a restaurant, the coronavirus pandemic changed his plans. “I pivoted, then ended up doing a takeout pizza-and-wine combo shop,” he said.

Slipp stumbled into a space on Main Street in Middleburg. He got the keys for it last year on April Fools’ Day and did 85 percent of the construction himself. Four months later, on Aug. 1, Knead Wine opened its doors.

“People ask me what it’s like to be open during the pandemic and I say: ‘It’s all we know,’” Slipp said. “I’d love to pat myself on the back and say I’m a genius, but the only thing that’s been ahead of the game is takeout pizza. And the worse the world gets, the more people drink.”

Slipp joked that he willingly packs a onetwo punch with his shop. After assuming he would sell more pizza, he is pleased and pleasantly surprised that he has sold equal amounts of pizza and wine.

“Part of being a master sommelier is to demystify wine,” Slipp said. “I try to make things super-streamlined.” That he does — the entire left side of his shop houses $20 wines and the entire right side $45 wines.

For the fancier celebrations, there are sparkling wine options ranging in price from $20 to $300, as well as some dessert wines. At one point, the shop had a wall with favorite wines from the travels of Slipp and his staff, but with COVID the wall remained stagnant; they ended up changing it to pinot noirs from around the world. Later this spring, the plan is for local Virginia wines to be shelved there.

Middleburg Happenings

ARTS

This month, the Byrne Gallery is hosting “Spring Bouquet 2021,” an exhibition of floral works in a variety of media by local artists, each of whom shows off color in a unique way. The show runs through March 28.

Artists in Middleburg’s latest exhibition, running through April 11, is “Birds, Birds, Birds!” If you decide to visit, expect the utmost safety, with four individuals allowed in the gallery at one time. Masks are required, social distancing is in effect, hand sanitizer is provided and visitors’ names and contact information is taken for contact-tracing purposes.

If you’re new to Middleburg, you’ll soon find out how steeplechase and other equestrian sports have been a vital part of the town’s background. The National Sporting Library and Museum will offer a free program via Zoom and Facebook Live on March 25 at 6 p.m. To sign up, email vpeacock@nationalsporting.org.

SALAMANDER RESORT & SPA

If you’re looking to get some health and wellness in, March 20 and 21 is March Wellness Weekend at Salamander Resort & Spa. An all-around wellness experience, the weekend will be full of exercise classes, weight training, yoga and meditation. Advance registration is required.

To top off all that wellness, Salamander is offering an Easter cake class with Executive Pastry Chef Jason Reaves. Recipes covered in the class: lemon pound cake, whipped white chocolate cheesecake and French macarons. Again, advance registration is required.

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