I love the crisp, refreshing burst of  autumn air  on a cool October morning.  In my humble opinion, there is no better way to celebrate fall than by taking a drive along the winding roads of the Blue Ridge Mountains and looking out at the rolling hills that span the heart of Virginia Wine Country. This time of year conjures up images of ripe, plump grapes, a bountiful harvest and vibrant colors bursting from the trees that paint a magnificent landscape throughout Central Virginia.  For those of us lucky enough to call Virginia home, this is simply a way of life.

Pumpkin Patch at Carter’s Mountain, Charlottesville.

I had the privilege of living in Charlottesville for a few years and the lifestyle simply can’t be beat.  Virginia boasts more than 200 wineries with nearly half of them located in the Monticello AVA (American Viticultural Area).  I would highly recommend you visit the Charlottesville area to experience firsthand why Virginia has become the East Coast destination of choice for wine lovers.  President Thomas Jefferson, America’s first wine connoisseur saw tremendous promise in this fertile land and his lifelong dream of making Virginia a world class wine destination is finally being realized two centuries later.  Come experience all of the beauty and serenity this region has to offer.  Crystal Palate has you covered with recommendations on some of our  favorite wineries, Inns and restaurants.   Swirl & sip your way through the regions wine tasting rooms, savor sumptuous truffles at Gearharts Chocolates, dine at some of the area’s finest restaurants, relax in luxury at some of the most beautiful Inns in the country and perhaps take in a football game at UVA.  Round out your visit with a trip to Carter’s Mountain for a little apple picking. There is a little something for everyone here.  So what are you waiting for? Thomas Jefferson’s homeland is calling your name.

 Vineyards to Visit:

Charlottesville Area (Monticello AVA) 

Barboursville Vineyards – Founded in 1976, the Zonin family has played a formidable role in establishing Virginia as a world class wine destination.

Cardinal Point Winery – Nestled in the heart of Virginia Wine Country you will find this cozy & quaint tasting room.  The A6 is a must try.

Jefferson Vineyards – Jefferson may have never produced a bottle of wine in his 30 year effort. Two centuries later, the vines at his estate are flourishing.

Keswick Vineyards – Breathtaking scenery. The 2002 Viognier Reserve won best white wine in America.

King Family Vineyards – King Family has become synonymous with Polo and the family is known for their philanthropy efforts. They also make great wine and were awarded the Best Winery in 2013 in the C-Ville’s, Best of C-ville edition.

Moss Vineyards – A newcomer to the Virginia wine scene. Barry Moss is producing some beautifully balanced Bordeaux style blends.

Trump Winery (formerly Kluge Estate) – Produces some of the finest sparkling wines on the East Coast. The Blanc de blanc is sensational.

Veritas Vineyards & Winery – You will fall in love with the ambiance. Bring your sweetie and snuggle up by the fire with a nice flight of wine.

Places to Sip & Savor: 

Fleurie French Restaurant

Petit Pois

Bang!

Hamilton’s

Tastings of Charlottesville

Orzo Kitchen & Wine Bar 

Inn at Meander Plantation

Places to Stay:

Boards Head Inn 

Keswick Hall at Monticello 

Inn at Meander Plantation

Inn at Court Square 

Other Resources:

Virginia Wine 

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