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!

Second Year of the Winter Coffee Pecan Porter

When the temperature drops there are a few things that become necessities: scarves, hats, mittens, wool socks and my morning cup of coffee. The way a warm cup of coffee warms me up and awakens my senses prepares me for the activities of the day. Throughout the year, Fearrington Village is enveloped in that same aroma of freshly roasted coffee. In the winter the aroma is more powerful and even more welcoming. When I sense that smell I know our coffee roaster Julian Vargas is busy at work at... Full Post >

Littorai: Above the Best, In a World of Its Own

Let's just say it, there are a lot of wineries that claim that they are the best (in their region, of all producers, of a certain grape varietal, etc). The idea of "the best" is, as I think we can all agree, largely subjective. Now, when we talk of a wine which is in and of itself completely different than anything else, I think that the classification "the best" no longer does that wine justice. How can you compare a wine so unique to others? When I speak about the wines of Ted Lemon from his... Full Post >

Coravin, A Wine Lover’s Perfect Gift

Over the past few years a new technology has swept the wine world by storm. Yes, there are a lot fads in the wine world, but sometimes an invention or innovation comes along that changes that world for the long run. The Coravin is that invention for those of us who love to drink and taste wines. What is Coravin? It is the best wine preservation system that has ever been created. It allows you to go into your cellar pick that bottle of wine that you have been wanting to try, access a glass... Full Post >

Virginia Wine Summit 2014

I recently returned from the Virginia Wine Summit in Richmond, and yep, I am pretty excited about the wine. It’s not just local, it’s really good. The Summit is a well organized event promoting Virginia, its wines, and its wine regions. For the event, I was asked to participate on a panel discussion about "Dark Horse" grape varieties. The opportunity was exciting because it deals with one of the most important issues in the American wine industry today: the necessity to move beyond... Full Post >

Being Creative with Fullsteam

Food, beer, wine, restaurants, service, music, painting, sculpting -- what do all of these have in common? Creativity and imagination! Some are individualistic expressions and some are joint, or better, collaborative expressions. The teamwork and creativity that goes into restaurants is something that when working well, should go unnoticed, it should feel natural. In our second year collaborating with Sean Lilly Wilson and Fullsteam Brewery I feel that natural mutual creative energy in... Full Post >

A Visit To Peter Michael Winery

In honor of our upcoming wine dinner with Paul Michael of the Peter Michael Winery -- I wanted to share my experiences with their amazing vineyard and wine. This past spring I had the honor to visit the Peter Michael Winery in Sonoma, California as part of their Sommelier Summit, an annual event they host. The Fearrington House has participated in the Peter Michael Foundation's charity dinners in years past,  and I have had the opportunity to become very familiar with their wines. Their... Full Post >

South African Winemakers Visit Fearrington

On September 18th, South African winemakers Eben Sadie and Adi Badenhorst will visit us for a four-course dinner at the Garden Terrace. Not only are these two winemakers distinguished, and altering the state of wine in South Africa, they also love what they do -- and you can tell once you sip a glass of their wine. I was lucky enough to spend a day with Adi last year. He is an amazingly passionate guy, a passion that is infectious, and that passion shows in his wines. Eben's wines are... Full Post >

The Wine of the Alps

Today, July 24th we will be hosting Trey Stephenson from Neal Rosenthal Imports (Mad Rose) for a dinner focused on the wines of Switzerland and the Valle d'Aosta of Italy. This will be a dinner featuring wines that rarely make it to North Carolina, wines so good that barely 2% of them are exported, the rest consumed by the in-the-know locals. Even more enticing are the grape varieties of Switzerland and the Valle d'Aosta, grapes like Petite Arvine, Amigne, Cornalin, and Humagne Rouge, grapes... Full Post >

Fearrington-Fullsteam Summer Beer

So with the coming of each season, we at Fearrington get excited to release the newest collaboration with Fullsteam Brewery.  This week we are releasing our Fearrington-Fullsteam Summer Beer, and it is: An American Berliner Weisse steeped with local Elderflower for lifted aromatics. If you recall from last Fall's beer, a Berliner Weisse was the traditional sour ale of Prussia, made with a wheat and barley base with a lower hop inclusion, it was referred to as the "Champagne of the... Full Post >

California, On My Terms.

This past May I took one of my bi-annual trips to California.  I love California -- the wine, food, natural beauty and diverse culture is an ever-beckoning call to visit. As a Sommelier I am fortunate enough to have visited many times, and have gotten to know Sonoma and Napa Valley in a very in-depth way.  However, all of the trips I have taken in the past were group oriented, and everything needed to be on a tight schedule, and, most importantly, I had no choice over which wineries I... Full Post >