Wineries in Charlottesville: My Favorites!


Central Virginia is known for its wine and vineyards. Here are the wineries in Charlottesville that I recommend for a tasting, picnic, or music events.

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville, VA is known for many things: presidential history, the University of Virginia, a charming downtown, farm-to-table food, and of course wine tasting!

Known as “The Birthplace of American Wine,” Thomas Jefferson first started growing grapes near his home, Monticello, in 1773. Now there are more than 40 wineries in the surrounding areas of Cville. From best-selling Virginia wines like Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Viognier, to classics like Chardonnay and Merlot, to refreshing white and red blends, the grapes grown and wines produced range from traditional to creative.

Charlottesville’s vineyards have beautiful landscapes, and visiting the wineries is one of the best ways to explore the countryside surrounding downtown. In just 10-15 minutes, you’ll feel like you’re in another world.

Many of the vineyards have live music, special events, and most of them have tasting rooms where you can sample a wine flight before buying a bottle to open on the spot or take home.

The Monticello Wine Trail has a handy app that will help you navigate the vineyards as you go. Use it to map out your day and get up-to-date hours and tasting room info.

When planning your day, keep in mind that many of the vineyards are closed Monday – Wednesday. Some have caps on the size of your group too, so if you have a large one call ahead first.

Lastly, these are the vineyards I frequent most, but there are even more wonderful spots I have yet to visit! Please share your favorites in the comments.

Wineries in Charlottesville

1. Jefferson Vineyards

This gorgeous setting is the original land of Jefferson’s first vineyard – one of the oldest wineries in Albemarle County. With a small tasting room, expanded tasting barn, and plenty of fields to run, Jefferson Vineyards is perfect for sunny, warm days. Sip wine in Adirondack chairs while the kids run up and down the hill and visit the music stage. It’s a great spot for throwing a frisbee or bringing a picnic to enjoy in the grass. It’s also one of the closest vineyards to town so if you’re looking for a quick tasting, this is your spot.

2. Merrie Mill Farm & Vineyard

This newer vineyard is not your traditional formal affair – the decor is loads of fun! Purchased by the Pelly family who relocated from the UK, the main house on the farm dates back to 1857. The tasting room, pictured below, is sparkling with new paint and decor. And it’s decorated with a very eclectic collection of art and design elements, like animal print wallpaper and a Victorian sea lion suspended from the ceiling (sealing?) floating by pink balloons. They have a small menu of food, including charcuterie boards.

3. Keswick Vineyards

Just down the road from Merrie Mill is the 400-acre family-run estate of Keswick Vineyards. The drive out to Keswick is through gorgeous Virginia countryside. The draw at Keswick for me are the big trees that shade the front terrace area, so it’s a great spot for a hot summer day. The views are nice too! They often have huge fans to help cool off the patio. The terrace has nice tables with umbrellas, so if you bring a picnic, you don’t have to eat on the ground. Great spot for a bachelorette party!

4. Veritas Vineyard

Veritas was founded in 1999 with only 5 acres and now covers more than 50 acres in nearby Nelson County. It’s one of the “fancier” vineyards with a tasting room with big leather sofas and tall ceilings. They’re also known for weddings and Starry Nights events that had drawn thousands of people for a concert once a month throughout the summer. Last I heard these are now more intimate dinners for wine club members only. We had so much fun at Starry Nights in the past!

While the drive to Veritas is a bit of a haul, you can stay on the property in The Farmhouse at Veritas. They have 8 rooms and you can opt in to four-course farmhouse dinners paired with Veritas wines Tuesday through Saturday evenings. The breakfast is amazing as well!

5. Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

15 miles southwest of Charlottesville, Pippin Hill sits on the land that my husband grew up romping around! Known for its beautiful gardens and incredible views, Pippin Hill has a full restaurant on the property, so it’s a great destination vineyard to enjoy farm-to-table food. Many of the ingredients on the tasting room menu are harvested from the property, from honey from bee hives to herbs and greens. The large terrace (seen below) is great for sitting to take in the view, and there is indoor seating for the hottest and coldest of days as well.

6. Loving Cup Vineyard & Winery

A dirt road drive away, Loving Cup is just around the corner from Pippin Hill. Loving Cup is the only certified-organic vineyard and winery in Virginia, and one of only three on the East Coast. Their wines are great! The vineyard is small, and the tasting room doesn’t pull in busloads of people like some of the other spots, but if you’re looking for a family-run winery with attention to detail, this is it!

7. Stone Mountain Vineyards

As its name suggests, Stone Mountain Vineyards sits on top of a mountain! Located in Dyke, Virginia, you might want to print out directions because it’s easy to lose cell service out that way (speaking from experience!!). The windy, twisting dirt road leading to the vineyard is tricky to navigate, but the views (and the food and wine) at the top are worth it! The tasting room is rustic, but there is space to spread out.

8. Stinson Vineyards

West of Charlottesville in White Hall near Crozet, Stinson Vineyards is known for its French-influenced small lot wines. The tasting room is housed in an old three-car garage, and it has a modern feel. There’s a nice patio with tables and umbrellas. If you can find availability, you can stay on the property at the Inn At Stinson. There’s a pool, so I recommend visiting in the summer months! During our stay, we had a chef dinner that was outstanding, and breakfast was wonderful too.

The Inn At Stinson Vineyards during fall

9. King Family Vineyards

Also west of Cville is King Family Vineyards. My favorite wine is the Crosé, named for the town of Crozet where it is of course. (GENIUS!) King Family can get quite crowded – for good reason – but there is tons of space to spread out! Flat grassy fields are perfect for kids, sports, dogs, and groups.

In addition to a vineyard, there is a full polo field! Try to plan your trip around polo season in the warmer months, so you can sip your wine while watching a game and buy wine from one of the golf carts selling it!

King Family Vineyards

10. DuCard Vineyards

DuCard is about an hour north of Cville, nestled right into the mountains in Etlan, VA. On the drive there you can’t imagine a vineyard and winery at the end of the rainbow, but sure enough there was not only a winery at the end of the road, but plenty of people enjoying it as well! It’s the kind of place where you’d meet the owner hanging out with guests – that’s exactly what I’m doing below!

DuCard is just 15 minutes from the famous hike Old Rag and just a few miles from White Oak Canyon. So go on a hike and then spend the afternoon sipping delicious vino!! There are picnic tables and supplies at your service.

Foodblog (17 of 17)

11. Blenheim Vineyards

If you’re a Dave Matthews fan, this is your spot! Owned by Dave Matthews, Blenheim was founded in 2000, and he designs some of the labels as well. Blenheim’s wines are 100% sustainable and made from grapes grown in four different blocks across the 30 acres of vineyards. The tasting room is two stories where you can see down into the production facility below. There’s a really nice view! There are plenty of picnic tables and deck areas.

12. Barboursville Vineyards

On an 18th-century estate about a 25-minute drive northeast of Charlottesville is Barboursville. It’s been a while since I visited on a college trip with my roommate, and I need to go back! Barboursville is one of Virginia’s most well-known vineyards, and it’s massive. There’s an Italian-inspired restaurant, Palladio, where you can enjoy a lavish lunch. There’s an inn on the property as well. They have many award-winning wines – Octagon is a favorite! You can even buy library vintages of Octagon for an investment price 🙂

13. Mount Ida Farm & Vineyard

For some very odd reason, I have yet to go to Mount Ida! But my friends all rave about it, so it’s at the top of my vineyard destination list. The grounds are expansive, they have a full kitchen, and they’re open every day! And a rare find: they serve wine AND beer so groups divided on the best drink will all be happy!

14. Eastwood Farm & Winery

Only about 10 minutes south of Cville is Eastwood Farm, a newer, woman-owned vineyard to add to the list. It also gets my vote for one of the best family-friendly vineyards. I just love that they have juice flights for kids and offer charcuterie boards for all ages. My parents used to drag us to wineries for tasting before we were of age, and it was so boring. A juice flight makes it more fun! Eastwood has an indoor barn space for cooler months and a gorgeous tent at the top of the small mountain where you can enjoy views of the terraced landscape.

15. Early Mountain Vineyards

30 miles north of town, Early Mountain is one of the most sophisticated vineyards in the area. The tasting room is gorgeous, and the wines are crafted to match. Have lunch with a view at the Virginia Table where they serve charcuterie boards, shareable plates and main courses featuring local ingredients. An accolade on their website says they were voted the #1 tasting room in America!

16. Afton Mountain Vineyards

Beautiful views, a heated and cooled glass pavilion, and an outdoor patio area make this a lovely spot to take in the mountain views. I love their slogan: “Grapes don’t grow in ugly places.” 🙂 The glass pavilion is open year-round where you can enjoy a self-guided flight.

17. Pollak

Near Greenwood in western Albemarle County (on your way to Veritas or Blue Mountain Brewery), you’ll find Pollak. The small, family-owned winery was founded in 2003 and has a coziness like you are visiting someone’s home. Enjoy your wine by the pond near the veranda and vineyards with mountain views!

18. Septenary Winery

This adults-only vineyard feels like someone rented a private estate (with a pool at the center!) and invited you over for a wine tasting party. There is only limited indoor seating, but lots of options outdoors. The grounds have pebbled stone walkways, shady tree paths, and pergolas to lounge under. A few different table options – from small to square to round – are great for picnics and conversation.

If you’ve been to Cville before, please share your favorites!

More posts you might like:


Source link

Leave a Reply