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!

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 >

Meet Xavyer Burroughs, Sommelier at The Goat

One of the most exciting things about introducing the new Goat (now a deli, coffee shop and wine bar), is that we have had the pleasure of welcoming Xavyer Burroughs to the Fearrington Team.  Xavyer has worked and studied under Inez Ribustello at her and her husband Steven's fantastic Tarboro restaurant, On the Square. Risbustello is the former Wine Director for Windows on the World in New York and American Sommelier Society's third place winner for "Best Sommelier in the United States" in... Full Post >

Max’s Wine of the Moment: 7 Fuentes

Recently I have been obsessed with Island wines, that is wines grown on Islands, and some of my favorites come from the Canary Islands. The 7 Fuentes is a blend of Listagn Negro 90% and Tintilla 10% from vines which age up to 100 years old. It is aged in mostly cement vats to allow the pure aromatics of the fruit to express itself, with 10 % being aged in French Oak Barrels to add some roundness to the wines. This wine has aromas of dark berry fruit, dark plum, leather,... Full Post >

Hurry to the Granary for A Gregarious Beer

We are super excited to be offering the Stift Engelszell, Gregorius, Trappist Ale.  It is the 8th official Trappist Brewery in the world, becoming part of the organization last year.  It is the first Trappist Brewery in Austria and only the second outside of Belgium.  We only get one 20 L keg, they are the lowest of the eight breweries as far as production is concerned, with a total of 2,000 HL a year.  Hurry down to The Fearrington Granary and enjoy! - Maximilian Kast, Wine Director Full Post >

Wine For Your Valentine

Bernard et Marjorie Rondeau, Bugey-Cerdon, France, MV From the border area of France and Switzerland comes this characterful and delicious rose bubbly. It is made similar to Moscato d’Asti or Clairette de Die, but this wine is made with 100% Gamay. This the perfect Valentine’s wine -- refreshing, bubbly, slightly sweet, and yes pink. It is a perfect partner for Chocolates of all sorts, great with Panna Cotta and raspberries, and if you are in the mood for some savoury food I would try... Full Post >