#94: Go Wine Tasting.
Charlottesville is home to many wonderful establishments: Monticello, the University of Virginia, countless wonderful dining spots…and of course, an inexhaustible amount of top-notch vineyards. We have compiled a list of some of Charlottesville’s best (and even some unknown!) vino gems so that you can cross off Number 94 at your ideal location with the perfect glass of wine in hand.
General tips for wine tasting: Bring 2 forms of ID (a lot of vineyards require 2 forms), go on a gorgeous day to get the full effects, bring a picnic (if you’re allowed by the vineyard), and don’t forget your camera!
Most Popular for UVA Students:
Blenheim, Jefferson, Pippin Hill, King Family, Veritas
Most Upscale/Fancy Experience (a.k.a. where to have your parents take you):
Barboursville, Trump, Wisdom Oak
Glass House, Burnley, Mountfair, Pollak
Address: 17655 Winery Road, Barboursville, VA 22923
Hours: 10AM-5PM, Monday-Saturday; 11AM-5PM on Sunday
Price to taste: $5 per person for the tasting of 16-20 wines. Price includes inscribed wine glass. Bring your glass back, and only pay $3 for your next tasting!
The bottle to buy: Octagon (red)
Queen Elizabeth II wasn’t served this wine for no reason when she visited Virginia in 2007. Barboursville Vineyards offers a variety of award winning wines, friendly staff, historic ruins on the property, and a classic Napa-like vineyard feel. Feel free to bring a picnic to complement your tasting!
Address: 31 Blenheim Farm, Charlottesville, VA 22902
Hours: 11AM-5:30PM daily
Price to taste: $5 per person. Groups of 8 or more, $10 and reservation required. Glass included in price.
The bottle to buy: Petit Verdot (red)
Founded by our favorite C’Villian, Dave Matthews, in 2000, this vineyard is home to a gorgeous plot of land, a cool barn for the chillier days, and an awesome glass of Petit Verdot. The wines are not notably exceptional, but the views and relaxed atmosphere of the 150 year-old property certainly are!
Address: 4500 Winery Lane, Barboursville, VA 22923
Hours: 11AM-5PM daily after April 15
Price to taste: $3 per person
The bottle to buy: any of their dessert wines, such as Rubix or Aurora
A small, family run vineyard, Burnley is no upscale or pretentious place. Burnley has a laid back vibe with a handful of wines that are affordable and unique in taste.
Address: 500 DelFosse Winery Lane, Faber, VA 22938
Hours: 11AM-5PM, Wednesday-Sunday
Price to taste: $5 per person for Classic tasting (7-8 wines), $10 per person for Reserve tasting (14-16 wines including the high end wines not included in Classic tasting)
The bottle to buy: Meditation Port or Chardonnay (white)
DelFosse has plenty to do. If you don’t want a mellow wine tasting experience, you can peruse the trails on grounds by foot or bike (no biking under the influence though!), sit by the lake for a picnic, look at some historical buildings on the grounds, or take a personalized tour of the facilities. Don’t forget to try the well-reviewed food and award-winning wines! French Crepe Day is also celebrated the first Sunday of each month.
Address: 1650 Harris Creek Road, Charlottesville, VA 22902
Hours: 10AM-6PM, Monday-Friday; 11AM-6PM, Saturday-Sunday
Price to taste: $5 per person, but will be waived with the purchase of 3 bottles
The bottle to buy: Cabernet Franc (red) or Sweet Shenandoh (white)
First Colony has 2 beautiful and spacious outdoor patios, which explains the plethora of events and weddings always being held here when the weather is nice. More than just good looks, though, the winery has an enthusiastic and accommodating staff, a relaxed vibe, plenty of fun events (wine cooking classes, grape stomping, etc.), and even a friendly little cat that will keep you company while you taste.
Address: 5898 Free Union Road, Free Union, VA 22940
Hours: 12PM-5:30PM, Thursday-Sunday; 12PM-9:30PM on Friday
Price to taste: $5, engraved wine glass and handmade chocolate sample included
The bottle to buy: Pinot Gris (white) and Barbera (red)
Glass House is one of the more unknown wineries in the region because it is a “boutique” winery, focusing on wines with a tropical flair, making handcrafted artisan chocolates, and an undoubtedly unique setting. The onsite Greenhouse houses many of the exotic and tropical plants used, which adds to the one-of-a-kind experience you get with Glass House (it’s actually really cool! Think papayas, pineapples, etc.). Also, Glass House is pet-friendly for any of you dog owners. All around, a fabulous place for animal-loving chocoholic wine tasters looking for a memorable winery!
Address: 6399 Spotswood Trail, Gordonsville, VA 22942
Hours: 10AM-5PM daily
Price to taste: FREE!! (15-16 wines can be tasted)
The bottle to buy: Viognier (white)
This place has won more awards than you can shake a stick at – nationally and even internationally. Horton Vineyards looks like a castle when you first arrive, and you will find that the wines match that regal taste. This is the place to go for a lush, wannabe wine-connoisseur way to cross off #94.
Address: 1353 Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville, VA 22902
Hours: 10AM-6PM daily
Price to taste: $10 per person, crystal Riedel (a.k.a. very nice) wine glass included
The bottle to buy: Chardonnay Reserve (white) or Cabernet Franc (red)
Named after our favorite founding father, Jefferson Vineyards is actually located on the land TJ himself initially began growing grapes on. With sprawling lawns, a deep-rooted history, and a prime location between Monticello and Ash Lawn, this vineyard is a Charlottesville classic.
Address: 1575 Keswick Winery, Keswick, VA 22947
Hours: 9AM-5PM daily
Price to taste: $5 per person
The bottle to buy: Viognier Reserve (white) – dubbed the “Best White Wine in America” at the Atlanta International Wine Summit in 2002!
You can’t go wrong at a vineyard with the slogan, “Taking pleasure seriously” – seriously! Keswick is notoriously classy, so feel free to bring your own picnic or borrow one of the vineyards bocce ball or croquet sets if you want to complete this upscale tasting experience. Gorgeous grounds boast a full schedule of weddings and events, but the friendly staff and elegant, yet relaxed, ambience welcome all (even us students)! One of the most popular vineyards in Charlottesville, it is definitely a favorite to students, locals, and tourists alike.
Address: 6550 Roseland Farm, Crozet, VA 22932
Hours: 10AM-5:30PM daily
Price to taste: $7, engraved wine glass included
The bottle to buy: Seven (port) or the Meritage (red blend)
This charming vineyard also doubles as a polo venue every Sunday from Memorial Day through mid-October, giving it a unique and extra-classy feel. Many wine tasters have said that this is arguably the best view of the Shenandoah Valley of all of the regional vineyards, especially with the fabulous seating out back.
Address: 4875 Fox Mountain Road, Crozet, VA 22932
Hours: 12PM-6PM, Friday-Sunday
Price to taste: $5 per person
The bottle to buy: Cabernet Franc (red) or Wooloomooloo (red blend)
At the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this small but charming vineyard offers a variety of rich red wines and gorgeous scenic views. A lesser-known wine tasting destination, Mountfair is never crowded which makes it a good place for a fun group tasting.
Address: 5022 Plank Road, North Garden, VA 22959
Hours: 11AM-5PM, Tuesday-Sunday
Price to taste: $6, wine glass included (limited to 4 wines, but these are aggressive pours – not sips)
The bottle to buy: Viognier (white) or Select Red
Pippin Hill is postcard picturesque. From the stunning barn and quaint tasting room to the spectacular verandah nestled among the gorgeous Virginia mountains, you really can’t go wrong. A favorite of UVA students and wedding parties (it was recently listed as one of the top 50 most romantic wedding venues by brides.com) alike, Pippin Hill also has awesome food and great affordable wines for beginners like us. Get there early to get the best seats – this place gets busy!
Address: 330 Newtown Road, Greenwood, VA 22943
Hours: 11AM-5PM daily
Price to taste: $5 per person, $10 per person in groups of 6+
The bottle to buy: Petit Verdot (red), Meritage (red)
Blurb: Pollak Vineyards is a smaller, family-owned vineyard all about making wines like the French. That might not mean much to amateur student wine tasters, but to put it in general terms, Pollak is a vineyard loved by many for the delectable wines, spacious tasting rooms, lovely views, and outstanding service.
Address: 4744 Sugar Hollow Road, Crozet, VA 22932
Hours: 11AM-5PM, Thursday-Sunday
Price to taste: $5 per person, but fee is waived with purchase of a bottle
The bottle to buy: Sauvignon Blanc (white)
Calling all sustainability lovers! Stinson Vineyards is an eco-friendly and sustainable boutique vineyard, with a country-store style tasting room that adds to the cozy vibe of the property. Among the newer vineyards to pop up around Charlottesville, it is not one to miss! There are plenty of great wines that are very affordably priced for the collegiate budget (some as low as $15!).
Address: 3550 Blenheim Road, Charlottesville, VA 22902
Hours: 11AM-6PM daily
Price to taste: $8 per person, groups of 8+ must call ahead
The bottle to buy: Kluge Rosé
If the name didn’t give it away already, you should know that Donald Trump owns this stunning vineyard – meaning that everything about the 2 year-old winery is just about perfect. A majority of the wines have won the most extravagant of awards, and it’s not uncommon to see lavish weddings each weekend at this crème-de-la-crème vineyard. Not for the typical “lets get drunk” kind of afternoon…maybe more of a place to take your parents.
Address: 151 Veritas Lane, Afton, VA 22920
Hours: 9:30AM-5:30PM, Monday-Friday; 11AM-5PM, Saturday-Sunday
Price to taste: $5 per person, wine glass included, reservations required for groups of 8+
The bottle to buy: White Star (white)
“In vino veritas” is Veritas’ signature saying. Scarily, it’s true: “In wine, there is truth”…especially after a few tastings of Veritas’ fabulous wines. The indoor tasting room is gorgeous, making this the ideal spot for rainy day tastings or chillier afternoons. Just like every other vineyard in CVille, though, they have a great view and plenty of outdoor seating for days when you want to taste your wine while you look out onto the Blue Ridge Mountains. During summer months, they also offer “Starry Nights” with live music and entertainment – as well as plenty of wine!
Address: 5282 Sugar Ridge Road, Crozet, VA 22932
Hours: 11AM-5PM, Wednesday-Sunday
Price to taste: $5 per person, wine glass included
The bottle to buy: Gewurtztruminer (white)
While many enjoy heading to White Hall during the winter months for its cozy tasting room, the vineyard is also a great place to taste wines during the spring and summer with great outdoor views and tours that sometimes the owner himself will give.
Wisdom Oak Winery (formerly Sugarleaf)
Address: 3613 Walnut Branch Lane, North Garden, VA 22959
Hours: 12PM-6PM, Thursday-Sunday
Price to taste: $7 per person (9 wines tasted), $10 per person for groups of 8+
The bottle to buy: Petit Verdot (red) or Cabernet Franc (red)
Voted one of the “best of weddings” venues by TheKnot.com, this place is b-e-a-u-tiful. The leisurely environment known better to locals and wine connoisseurs is a gem not often visited by students, so bring your friends here to cross off #94 with a uniquely elegant and relaxed experience under some impressive oak trees (hence the name!).