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Wine Tasting and Strawbale House Tour

Wine Tasting and Strawbale House Tour

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society will hold a unique fundraising event in mid-November - a "Wine Tasting and Strawbale House Tour."
The event will be held from 1-4pm November 15 at an innovative "green" home completed last year near Whiting's Neck in Berkeley County. The home is one of the first in the area to use straw bales for insulation, and it has many other cutting-edge green features as well.
The event is being planned in lieu of PVAS's usual fall arts festival, which is not being held this year. All proceeds will be used to support the Society's education programs for local children.
In addition to tours of the home, the event will feature a wine tasting by Grapes and Grains Gourmet of Shepherdstown. The tasting will explore a variety of reasonably priced holiday wines including some that are organic. Light food appropriate for pairing with the wines will also be provided. Non-alcoholic beverages will be available as well, and musical entertainment will provide background.
There will also be a closed-bid silent auction featuring a wine-lovers basket, gourmet food basket, a "green goods" basket and much more.
Tickets to the event are required, and space will be limited.
Basic tickets are $45 per person. Those who pay $150 for two people will be recognized as Donors, those who pay $200 for two will be recognized as Patrons, and those who pay $250 or more for two will be recognized as Supporters.
All ticket costs will be fully tax deductible.
To reserve tickets, please call 304-676-3397 or e-mail and provide your name, address, and phone number.
The home that is the centerpiece of the event was built by PVAS's Executive Director, Kristin Alexander, and her husband, Jeff Feldman, a green building consultant.
It was designed by architect Sigi Koko, who has offices in the Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, PA metropolitan areas, and who specializes in strawbale construction. The general contractor was John Edmonson, of Westfield Development in Summit Point.
The home utilizes a post and beam framework, with locally grown bales of straw as infill. The exterior is covered with a lime plaster that is extremely strong and fully weatherproof, and the interior is finished with an earthen plaster.
One of the main advantages of this method of construction is the energy-cost savings it offers. Studies have indicated the insulating value of the straw is so great that it cuts heating and cooling costs by 75 percent annually. The thick walls also provide excellent soundproofing.
Other innovative features that can be seen on the house tour include a massive wood-burning masonry stove (also known as a Russian stove) for heat; countertops made of recycled paper; cabinets of wheat board and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood; recycled plastic decking; concrete floors with in-floor radiant heat; passive solar design; a grey water system that utilizes wetlands to clean water from sinks and showers; and composting toilets.
Businesses featuring green products are being invited to sponsor the event. All business sponsors will be recognized at the event and in PVAS's December newsletter. For sponsor information, please contact Kristin Alexander at the phone number or email address shown above.
PVAS is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and a member of the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle and the Combined Federal Campaign.

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