Sunday, January 10, 2016
Vint Hill Spy and Wine
"Wine Saturday" brought us to a fascinating piece of history as well as excellent sips of wine. "Vint Hill Craft Winery" near Warrenton, Virginia, is an old cattle ranch which during World War II was used as a radio spying post for the Allies. A radio operator at the ranch found that due to unique geophysical features, he was able to receive broadcast transmissions from Germany and Japan, which were unsecured by the enemy. The government bought the ranch and kept the cattle on the site. But the people were re-populated by radio and translation specialists, who actually helped with the animals to keep up the appearance of a simple ranch. Meanwhile, men and women were at the radio stations upstairs, stealing Nazi secrets from the air waves.
The wooden interior in the image is the modern transformation of the old radio barn. Visitors drink wine in the upper floor space where the spies did their work. The barn has been decorated in the ultra-chic "industrial" decor style. Downstairs, instead of cattle, are the wine vats which you see on the bottom of the image. Vint Hill offers courses in winemaking for true wine lovers. Unlike the vineyards whose viney vistas I usually depict, Vint Hill uses grapes from not only Virginia but other states like California and Washington State. That way they can enjoy winemaking on limited land resources. Vint Hill has other attractions too such as the excellent "Covert Cafe" and the "Cold War Museum."
Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on iPad, about 8" x 10", January 9, 2016.