Harvest season when grapes are picked and crushed.
The science and study of winemaking.
Secondary bacterial fermentation which reduces acidity and adds complexity.
Wine made according to the traditional methods of in-bottle fermentation and
rotation are called methode champenoise sparkling wines.
Elevation, wind direction, and bodies of water can affect growing conditions.
Used for aging wines; made in France or U.S.
Wines made primarily from a single grape variety, such as Chardonnay or Pinot
Sampling a winery's varietal from sequential years.
95% of the grapes must have been harvested in the stated calendar year.
Geographically definable grape-growing area.
Charlottesville is located in central Virginia, about 125 miles southwest of
Washington, DC, and 75 miles northwest of Richmond. About 30 miles west are the
Blue Ridge Mountains, crested by the beautiful Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge
Parkway; it's ten miles further to lovely, historic Staunton. Inns, sights, and
restaurants are rather spread out, so a car is essential.
For an area overview, visit
Tastings of Charlottesville wine shop and restaurant, right in town.
About 15 miles north of Charlottesville,
Barboursville Vineyards combines the fascinating ruins of the
Jefferson-designed home of Governor James Barbour with a European-style winery.
Close to Monticello is Jefferson
Vineyards, on land given by Jefferson to an Italian winemaker in 1773.
For beautiful Blue Ridge views, drive west through beautiful rolling
countryside to the Oakencroft
and White Hall
Vineyards. More info:
Virginia Wine Marketing Office.
Monticello, home of
Thomas Jefferson, is the top attraction, and offers fascinating insights into
the life of the third President of the U.S.
Michie Tavern and
Ash Lawn-Highland, home to President James Monroe, will also delight
history buffs. Save time and money by first buying a President's Pass for all
three at the Monticello Visitors Center, on Route 20, just south of the I-64
exit. The center also has a free movie and display of Jeffersonian artifacts.
About 25 miles north of Charlottesville is
Montpelier, home of President James Madison.
Tour buses descend on Monticello by the zillion in October (also April and
May). If it's mobbed, skip the shuttle bus and house tour, and walk up the hill
to join a tour of the grounds or gardens. Arrive early (Monticello opens at 8
Designed by Jefferson, the beautiful
University of Virginia offers free guided tours of the Rotunda and Lawn
daily, except during vacations and exams. Families will enjoy the
Virginia Discovery Museum, located on the east end of Charlottesville's
For canoeing and fishing nearby, contact
James River Runners. It's an easy drive to a wide variety of hiking
trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains; a favorite is the three-mile hike to
Crabtree Falls, the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi River. Golf,
tennis, and horseback riding are equally popular options. More info:
Charlottesville/Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Stay in town if you want to be able to walk to shops and restaurants. The
Inn at Court Square has an ideal location on a quiet, historic,
tree-lined street. The 21-room
200 South Street Inn is also well located, close to UVA and the train.
Dating back to 1780, the gracious
Silver Thatch Inn has an atmospheric restaurant and guest rooms with
wood-burning fireplaces and canopy beds (eight miles north of town). Two miles
from Jefferson's Monticello is the
Inn at Monticello, done in charming Colonial style. South of town is
the Chester B&B,
with a bucolic setting, classic architecture, and beautiful decor. Five miles
east of town is Clifton,
an elegant country estate with 14 guest rooms and a fine-dining restaurant.
Continuing northeast another ten miles is
Prospect Hill Plantation Inn, one of Virginia's oldest country inns.
Approximately seven miles west of town is the
Foxfield Inn, with five guest rooms in a single-story wing; most have
cherry four-poster beds, gas log fireplaces, and whirlpool tubs. Lovely Blue
Ridge mountain views can also be found at the
Inn at Sugar Hollow Farm, about 15 miles west of town. Spacious,
well-designed luxury guest rooms; ideal location for hiking and biking.
Stop for lunch at the 1784 Michie
Tavern--pronounced Mickey-- for traditional Southern-style food.
The Ivy Inn Restaurant
has knowledgeable waitstaff and exceptional food. Favorite restaurants on
Charlottesville's pedestrian Downtown Mall include the fascinating Hardware
Store Restaurant and the popular Bizou diner.
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