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DC to Charlottesville - Which wine trail?

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DC to Charlottesville - Which wine trail?

We are in DC 9/23 - 9/24. Then we hit the road to Charlottesville for a wedding. We would like to hit a few vineyards on our way down from DC....but as I look at the different regions/routes you can take, I'm unclear on what would be good? Any suggestions?

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1. Re: DC to Charlottesville - Which wine trail?

There are so many great choices. Check out wwwmonticellowinetrail.com. It will list the wineries as well as the activities they are having when you are travelling through. There are many large popular wineries, but many hidden jewels as well. All have beautiful scenery.

capitol hill
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2. Re: DC to Charlottesville - Which wine trail?

of course you have lots of options for winery tours as you approach the Charlottesville area.I would certainly use www.monticellowinetrails.org as a reference. But there is one winery you should strongly consider and that is Stone Mountain. It's located in the foothills of the piedmont on the edge of the blue ridge mountains with breathtaking views. Not the type of views you would have in the land of 10.000 lakes And the winemaker/owner not only makes great wines but he is also a lot of fun Enjoy your trip and report back.

Charlottesville, VA
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3. Re: DC to Charlottesville - Which wine trail?

We run wine tasting tours here in Charlottesville and so are most familiar with the ones down here. There are so many you need to qualify what you're looking for.

Coming down 29 you can hit Barboursville where 33 crosses. Then I would continue to Keswick Vineyards.

Once you are here I can tell you our tour guests' favorite route (we've been doing this for 8 years) has been 15 miles west of town to

King Family ( winner of the Governors Cup this year)

Pollak Vineyards (winner of the Monticello Cup this year)

Veritas ( poured their Viognier at the White House for Mrs. Obama and Hillary Clinton)

Cardinal Point

Afton Mountain Vineyards

North of the above Crozet area I love Mountfair's Bordeaux blends too.

If you are going to Monticello, grab a picnic at the Welcome Center and go to

Blenheim ( where you can have your picnic inside or out)

Kluge ( bear in mind they are small and don't really go over the wine - they give you a plastic carrier with pointy cups holding the wine. Be sure to request a wine glass so you can pour each tasting into the glass to properly swirl, sniff and taste) they also sell cheese plates.

And about 8 more miles down the road past First Colony is the custom crush winery of Michael Shaps - Virginia Wineworks- only open Sat/Sun, one of the top winemakers and probably top consultant to wineries down here. It's not fancy - just a concrete building and you're tasting next to the bottling machine, but you may get a glimpse of some winemaking action, and his reserve Chardonnay was identified recently at a blind tasting in DC of CA and VA wines as "positively from Burgundy, France".

So if time is tight, and you have to choose between First Colony and Virginia Wineworks, I'd choose the latter. If you have time, you can enjoy your picnic at First Colony after tasting at Wineworks.

Virginia Wineries do very well in blind tastings.

If you're driving past Charlotesville on 29 south towards Lovingston, the Lovingston Vineyard winery has fantastic wines as well..

You can get driving directions at www.virginiawines.org Check days of operation. Most of wineries are open 7 days a week, but not all.


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4. Re: DC to Charlottesville - Which wine trail?

Most of the good wineries are in the greater Charlottesville area. I would just head straight down 29. I agree with some of the other posts on some of the better wineries in the area. Some of the best for the actual wine are King Family, Blenheim, Sugarleaf, Keswick, and Pollack. Ones with great places to sit and enjoy the scenery include Veritas (best location by far but wine has gone slightly downhill over the past few years but is still solid), King Family, and Pollack.

All of the ones mentioned above (other than Keswick) is either South or West of Cville so it is not on the way down.

Sweeley Estate is less than 2 miles off of 29 about 1/2 hour north of Charlottesville. Excellent tasting room. The whites are about average but their reds are some of the best in the area. Their Cab Franc, 2007 merlot and 1867 are all excellent so I would definitely hit them up on the way down.

Message me if you have specific questions

5. Re: DC to Charlottesville - Which wine trail?

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