Being from California, wine country has always meant Napa/Sonoma. Until this past week, I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t know much about Virginia Wine Country… and even more surprised to experience it and realize how amazing it is! My visit along the Monticello Wine Trail, which is compromised of about 30 wineries, is considered the birthplace of American wine and was inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s version of wine making. It afforded me some seriously jaw dropping views, with sprawling hills, amazing colonial houses, interesting historical markers, and the lingering beautiful colors of fall that make me fall in love with places that have actual seasons.
Our first stop was at Blenheim Vineyards, which is owned by Dave Matthews, the musician, who is a native from Charlotesville, VA. This vineyard is situated on a historic estate and is fairly unassuming, at least in comparison to our next visit to Trump Winery just up the road. But then again, I would expect most things sporting the Trump moniker to be a bit flashy. The tasting room is a cozy space on the top level of a two-level rustic wood structure, with paneled glass floors that allow you to peer down into the wine production facilities below. There were only a few other people there during our tasting, and we chose to have an additional glass of wine out on the deck overlooking some gorgeous views of the winery, all while creating our own Dave Matthews playlist on the iphone… I am super cheesy like that!
Trump winery did not disappoint, with over 1300 acres of breathtaking scenery. My favorites here were the sparkling wines, and I paired that with a delicious cheese plate because you definitely should not forget to snack while wine tasting! This winery definitely had more visitors and more of an upbeat and lively atmosphere, but it was easy to escape outside to embrace the serenity and take in all of the gorgeous views.
We also made a quick stop at Jefferson Vineyards right before closing and were able to taste some great wines, and pick up a few great bottles to have on hand at Thanksgiving before relaxing on the deck to watch the sunset behind the Blue Ridge mountains.
I am a huge fan of wine, and so of course I think wine tasting is an excellent activity that allows you to expand your knowledge and uncover some new favorite wines in the process. It makes all the sense in the world to make a short trip out of it. What better way to spend a weekend getaway then seeing the countryside, enjoying breathtaking views, and sampling some amazing new wines?! If you live in this area or find yourself wanting to visit, do yourself a favor and experience this wine region… you won’t regret it.