Contributor Profile

Maximilian Kast, Wine Director

Max joined The Fearrington House in 2007 as Sommelier, and within a year was promoted to Wine Director with responsibilities for the beverage program for the entire property. He organizes and hosts Fearrington House’s popular wine dinner series. And he also teaches popular and inexpensive wine and beer classes at The Fearrington Granary Restaurant. Read more about Max here or view his blog!

Celebrate April with the Wines of Southern Italy and the Craft Beers of North Carolina

Did you know we are featuring a new wine region throughout the Village Center each month? Read about what we did in March! April, one of my favorite times to live in North Carolina, brings with it the promise of renewal and regeneration after a long winter.  With its flowers and buds it brings back memories of times past while refocusing us on the freshness and excitement of the future. It is a time to explore new things, and in our opinion, to explore new things to drink. So, in honor of... Full Post >

Wines of Rioja

Rioja, the most recognizable and famous wine region in Spain, is the focus of March's wine class at The Granary on Thursday, March 6th. We will be taking a look at the region's history from the middle ages, to the first "modern period" when the influence of the Bordelais changed the regions course in the mid-19th century, to the second "modern period" in the late twentith Century when Rioja delved into a more international style, creating a divide between classical and modern producers. We... Full Post >

Fall Time Beer

After much success with our summer collaboration with Sean Lilly Wilson and Chris Davis of Fullsteam Brewery, last week we released the Fearrington Fall Beer at a release dinner on our Garden Terrace.  We also had the release of the great art work that Win Crannell from Georgia created for the Fullsteam Fearrington Beer series label, an oak tree in each season.  Thanks to Sean at Fullsteam we will be featuring the art work at the entrance of The Fearrington Granary.  Each season as we... Full Post >

Mas de Daumas Gassac Wine Dinner

Mas de Daumas Gassac is not your everyday wine. You will not see it at your local grocery store, you will not easily find its scores in your favorite wine magazine, and you might just have a hard time placing it in your wine vocabulary -- yet, to taste these wines is a necessity for any wine lover. These wines represent the very essence of what makes wine great.  On September 19th we will have Vergile Rousseau, National Brand Manager for the winery, and Thomas Meunier its importer, joining us... Full Post >

A Big Congrats to Paula

Paula de Pano has been working with me at The Fearrington House Restaurant since 2010.  When she started she had just graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York (the other CIA), and I could tell that she had a serious passion for wine.  In the beginning the majority of her experience was in the back of the house (restaurant speak for the kitchen), at first she was timid, shy, but always driven to get better.  She was always full of questions, and as soon as she got an... Full Post >

RDV, The Future of Virginian Wine

I arrived early at DC's Union Station; it was a cool morning with a constant drizzle of rain. I met up with my group, and we shot out of town toward the countryside west of DC.  One of the group members was Adi Badenhorst. He is one of my favorite winemakers from South Africa, whose Badenhorst wines from the Swartland are taking the American wine world by storm at the moment (as they should).  With a long salt-and-pepper beard, hair to match, and a "t-shirt for any occasion" style, Adi... Full Post >

A Collaboration in the Name of Beer

A few years back I remember reading an article about a brewery that was opening up in Durham.  They were going to make beers with a "Plough to Pint" philosophy, and they were making beers like a Hickory Smoked Porter, that was made for Barbeque, and a Lager made out of sweet potatoes.  The name of the brewery was even better: Fullsteam.  I thought "I have got to meet these guys." Fast forward a year, and one afternoon I meet up with Sean Lilly Wilson to taste some of their beers.  Right... Full Post >

Of Wine, Goals, Dreams, and the Art of Getting Better

Like many Sommeliers around the country I have been studying and working towards a goal for many years. This goal is the certification of Master Sommelier, one of the most difficult professional certifications in the world. To achieve this goal one must first pass the Introductory Class, the Certified Sommelier Examination, the Advanced Sommelier Examination, and then be invited to sit the Master Sommelier exam. The examinations are in three parts, blind tasting, theory, and practical (which is... Full Post >

Tenuta Mazzolino Wine Dinner

To start, I am very excited to be hosting Jean-Francois Coquard, the wine winemaker for Tenuta Mazzolino on May 8th at the Granary.  His wines are amazingly elegant, distinctive, and most importantly easy to drink.  Coquard, who is originally from Burgundy, has been the wine maker at this winery in Oltrepo Pavese for 30 years. They focus on Sparkling Wine (made in the Traditional Method, as they are made in Champagne), Chardonnay, Bonarda, and Pinot Noir.  Oltrepo Pavese is in the heart of... Full Post >

Castello di Verduno, The Noble Star of Barolo

Often, as in more times per day than I can actually remember, I am asked the question "What is your favorite wine?" This is a great question and one that for most of my time as a sommelier I have answered by just stating my favorite regions (which is of course a perfectly good answer).  However, as I have grown and traveled and met amazing people in the wine world, some wines and wineries have gained a very special place in my heart.  Castello di Verduno, in the small town of that same name... Full Post >