We drove from nc up to Charlottesville. Planned on blue Ridge parkway part of the way but too rainy and fog even on i81. Got off at exit 99 on i64 heading east to stop at some wineries.
Afton first - beautiful scenery, ok wine - perhaps it was just because it was our first and pallet wasn't ready but not enough flavor.
Veritas second - scenery was nice and it was Very busy. Tasting was a bit disorganized. We bought some wine but got home and was given the wrong bottle. Check your package before you leave. Not the best wine.
Pollack third - very nice scenery and wine was better. You have to buy glass if you want to keep it.
Blue mountain brewery - ready for food and we picked the right place. Great pizza - can feed at least 4. Great brews and the best scenery ever outside at any winery. Corn hole and soccer ball for kids to play around in too. Friendly bartender - bearded guy who gave us a lot of info about the area. Went back next night for dinner and had great salads and sandwich And another beer.
Cardinal point - some pretty good others had to dump. Only winery that gave you $5 off of you bought instead of paying for the tasting so we bought a bottle. Nice feature. No view per se compared to others.
Wolf brew - flight of 5 Beers. Most of them we left at the table. Maybe liked one. Didn't eat but place seemed nice overall.
Went to monticello the next morning. Made first reservation since I figured the place would be like biltmore in Asheville and have no AC. It did so it was much more pleasant. The tour was cool. Lots of info although several questions to the guide she didn't know the answers. Some seemed basic like how big is the house. After they let you walk under it to see brewery, winery, kitchen and stables. That part was neat. Architecture cool given he was self taught. Your lasted longer than they said about 1 hour inside and another 30 outside. We did miss our shuttle to get there so do arrive well ahead of your ticket time. Also make reservation online. Place was packed by the time we left.
Left monticello and went to carter mountain orchard about a mile away. Spectacular view of whole city. Plus great cider, wine tasting and fruit.
Went to Jefferson winery - not sure why it is rates so high. Wines just ok. Most expiate tasting at $10 but they give it to you but it is just plain so not really a souvenir.
Blenheim next - Dave Mathews. Like his music more than his wine. Needs time. Place is nice though and extra cool feature with glass floor to see barrels and wine room below. Nice patio with expansive scenery.
Trump - saugivnon blanc was best and I don't normally like that wine but drank theirs. For lunch - crab cakes and shrimp salad. Both fantastic. Views amazing and they had live music but wine tasting is an hour affair. They have the same people giving you wine that serve the guests their lunch outside so they leave without saying anything to run back into kitchen and walk all around the grounds to serve people then come back. Too much time and also too much time talking about the wines. By the end we were just getting impatient since this was not our entire day and left without buying wine. They can improve that aspect but worth the stop.
Va state grape is Viognier and they offered a lot of them. Sweet wine and my Taste is a good buttery or barrel Chardonnay. Almost all vineyard did steel as that is cheaper but not as much flavor. Love some reds too but didn't really land on reds as much here as in CA.
Kings family had the best Viognier. Best views we saw on the trip - just stunning. Polo on Sundays but we would not be there. Maybe next time. Friendly handsome server named James who we read afterward is a vet. After reading about him and his wife we liked them even more.
We drove to keswick but had to dump a few of there and the server was just odd. View ok but not as good as trump or king.
Drove to Horton but left. Didn't like the vibe and then to barbousville. Oh gosh so glad king didn't do what they did. They got too large and decided to take personal away from the experience. You have to walk in pay at a cash register you don't know it is for tasting and then stand in a long line in a dark room. Not our idea of a wine day. We like open areas, views and personal experience along with great wine. We left without tasting. It was a cattle call to even if I read they had good wines. We can buy good wine elsewhere.
The drive in that area though is just beautiful. Equestrian estates so it wasn't a wasted trip.
We loved Nelson county though. Look up Nelson 151. Next time we will check out the hiking and waterfall.
Went to downtown on July 4. Many shops closed cut restaurants opened. It was ok but not enough for us to go back. Nice feature to allow walking in middle.
Went to univ of va last morning before drive back. Great campus founded by Jefferson. Nice walk - hilly so go our desired exercise.