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Wine: An auction to help Darryl Bagley

The Virginia wine industry is rallying around one of its own.

Keswick Vineyards, northeast of Charlottesville, is hosting an auction tomorrow evening, July 9, to benefit the family of its vineyard manager, Darryl Bagley, who was recently diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Bagley has managed vineyards in the Charlottesville area for the last 25 years, throughout the major growth spurt of the Virginia wine industry.

“Agricultural work doesn't always leave one in the best financial circumstances, and unfortunately Daryl does not have any life insurance to support his wife and girls,” Keswick said on the winery Web site. Bagley has two teenage daughters about to enter college.

In an email to those on his list, Tony Wolf, viticulturist at Virginia Tech, hailed Bagley for his generosity in helping growers and winemakers throughout the region and his support of research into vine diseases and pathogens bedeviling Virginia vintners.

“I know in the short time he was here with us, he had an amazing impact on the vineyard and helped put into place practices that have greatly improved our fruit quality and production, and we will miss him,” Al Schornberg, co-owner with his wife, Cindy, of Keswick Vineyards, said in Wolf's email. Schornberg later told me that Bagley also worked at Sugarleaf Vineyards and Sweely Estate Winery, among other places

Keswick won the 2009 Governors Cup for its 2007 cabernet sauvignon, and consistently produces some of the commonwealth’s best cabernet franc and viognier. I am especially fond of its verdejo, a crisp refreshing white wine.

Friday’s benefit at Keswick Vineyards will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and will feature live and silent auctions. Winemaker Stephen Barnard will don his auctioneer persona to conduct the live auction. Donated lots include rare aged Virginia wines, including some bottles signed by rock musician Dave Mathews, a co-owner of Blenheim Vineyards, which also made wine from fruit grown by Bagley. Vacation getaway packages from hotels and B&Bs are also included, along with cooking classes by professional chefs.

Admission is $25, payable at the door.

-- Dave McIntyre

By Joe Yonan  |  July 8, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Wine  | Tags: Dave McIntyre, wine  
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