Featured Participants

Angus Barn with Williamsburg Winery

Williamsburg Winery

The history of the land that the Williamsburg Winery occupies can be traced back to the earliest English settlement in the colonies, predating Jamestown by a day.  The 300 acre farm is known as Wessex Hundred.  The use of “Hundred” to name a property dates to the Colonial era and describes parcels of land sufficient to support a hundred families regardless of actual acreage.  It is said that when you visit Wessex Hundred today, you can feel the drumbeat of history as it unfolded on these grounds. The events and the people who played pivotal roles in the rich history of Williamsburg live on through the products we create today. 

In 1983, Patrick and Peggy Duffeler, after an exhausting search covering 52 farms and plantations, came upon the land that would become home to The Williamsburg Winery. Planting of the vineyards began in 1985, and the first crush was in 1987. The release of the iconic Governor’s White in 1988 was met with a Gold Medal awarded within two weeks of its release. Today, Governor’s White is the best-selling Virginia wine in the state.

From humble beginnings, The Williamsburg Winery has experienced continuous growth through an expanding portfolio of wines. The introduction of the 2007 Adagio is, for the moment, the culmination of a single-minded goal to produce the highest quality wines in the world. Noted wine educator Kevin Zraly has opined that The Williamsburg Winery makes “some of the Best Wines in the World’.



Winemaker, Matthew Meyer, came to the Williamsburg Winery via Napa Valley, California.  His resume includes tenure working for some of the country's most prestigious wineries: Heitz Wine Cellars and Grgich Hills. As risk-free as a winemaker's work may seem, Matthew tells us that it is not without its hazards: during his time with Heitz Cellars, he amassed a few emotional scars at the hands of Joe Heitz. Joe walked with a cane, and when an assistant winemaker would have a wrong approach on a process, Joe would not be above using his cane to make his point known! But the lessons learned in the midst of, arguably, one of the finest wineries in the world proved invaluable.

Matthew is uncompromising with his wines. If a harvest does not yield the quality of fruit needed to produce one of his signature wines, the winery simply will not produce that vintage. It is an unyielding policy, and it ensures that every wine bearing Matthew's handprint will not simply be a great regional wine, but one that can compete on the world stage.



Angus Barn

angus barn photoThe Angus Barn has been in service to the Triangle for nearly half a century. The rustic red barn has been praised highly through its many awards. It is consistently ranked by national trade publications as one of the 100 best restaurants in the country; Southern Living calls it a “one-of-a-kind scene.” In addition to helping the Frankie Lemmon Foundation through the annual Wine Maker Dinners, the Angus Barn also supports mental health through their non-profit organization, The Foundation for Hope.

http://www.angusbarn.com/images/walter2.jpg"Iron Chef America" Walter Royal: Alabama-born Walter Royal, Executive Chef of the Angus Barn and Pavilion, knew at the formative age of 14 that he wanted to spend his life exemplifying the southern way of spreading irresistible food before guests.  Although his mind may be totally focused on pleasing guests, his imagination is always soaring thinking of new ideas. And soar it did when Walter was asked to be appear as a guest chef on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America. Back at the Barn, Walter shares his wisdom in his well-known forum “Walter’s Teaching Kitchen,” a monthly class during which the public has a chance to learn and to interact with this brilliantly imaginative chef. Although awards, distinctions and recognition carry weight and great importance, there is no value that can be placed on Walter’s contributions to the Angus Barn. Any chef who can run two main kitchens, the gourmet wine cellar kitchen, The Pavilion catering kitchen and a kitchen team of 150, and do it all in a way that would make his grandmother smile, is worth his weight in gold.

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