Virginia is for lovers- of wine.

Jul 16, 2009 by

Virginia is for lovers- of wine.

I am lucky enough to have in laws who live in Charlottesville.  I am even luckier that my in laws who live in Charlottesville love food and wine, especially that grown from the earth in Virginia.

So I have spent the past few years exploring the wineries in Charlottesville and other parts of Virginia. So here is my advice of what is worth a stop and sip.

Flying Fox-

flying fox

A quaint little country store front located in Afton, Virginia.  With Veritas and Pollack wineries nearby you might pass right by this little shop and think it isn’t worth a stop, but you would be wrong.  The red and whites presented here offer a good variety of tastes and very well blended wines.  The Petit Verdot is the perfect porch sipping red, while the 2006 Cab Franc presents an excellent crisp red, that will only get better with a little age.  The chardonnay wasn’t too oaky or fruity, but a nice balance.  The staff are also personable and knowledgable about their wines.  I went here with a group of ladies and we all expressed the opinion that Flying Fox was much better than Pollack and Veritas, which are pretty wineries, but not the best in terms of taste.

White Hall Vineyards and the Greenwood Gourmet Grocery


I was at White Hall quite recently and was really impressed.  The location is really beautiful.  Located on the slopes of Break Heart Mountain it is nestled into its location, not overbearing the landscape.  It is nicely landscaped with grassy areas and picnic tables, a beautiful arbor in front and nicely manicured gardens.

It would be a lovely place to pack a picnic for, they don’t sell any food on sight, but you could certainly pick up something in Crozet, in fact if you take the Crozet exit off 64 there is a little grocery called the Greenwood Gourmet and Grocery, pictured above, that stocks local products and produce including fresh bread.  They also have sandwiches and prepared items.

White Hall had whites and reds that were really good.  The highlights were the 2006 Chardonnay Reserve which was crisp, refreshing and fruity with a nice rounded flavor of oak, the Break Heart Red is a steal at $10, it can be sipped like a white, but has the rounded flavor of a red we bought extra bottles to take as presents to people, the Touriga is also very good another lighter red wine, but if you like a full bodied rich red wine the Cuvee de Champs is your wine.  This is the answer from White Hall to Barboursville’s Octagon, but at $10-15 dollars less without the discount.  Even the 2006 Soliterre a sweet dessert wine shows refinement, it is not overly sweet and sappy, but has a crispness that makes it lovely and delicate.  It would be great drizzled over some peaches and fresh ice cream.  All in all this is perhaps one of the best wineries to visit as they really have a nice varied selection.

Barboursville Vineyards-


I haven’t gotten to go to this winery yet, but it is high on my list after having a few bottles of their lovely Octagon and their chardonnay.  Octagon is very full bodied, yet it has a crispness to it that makes it refreshing, as well.  This wine was served at a Inaguration Conservation Gala.  They have Palladio restaurant, which I am eager to check out, as well.

The last winery I am going to feature in this post is the King Family Vineyards-


This winery is in a lovely location overlooking their vines and fields.  They have polo matches and outdoor seating.  Inside not only do they have wine they also offer a variety of meats, cheeses, crackers and other accompaniments so you could have a nice meal outside.  Their wines are not as good as Barboursville or White Hall, but they are still much better than Veritas and Pollack and some other wineries in the area.  And they really are nice wonderful people.  My favorites were the Meritage 2006 a nice blend to make this a full bodied red with a smooth finish it can also be aged until 2012 to let the flavors age.  The Pedit Verdot was another nice sipping red, but it is a little spicier than your typical Petit Verdot.  They also have a nice Chardonney and Brut sparkling wine.  They have sold out of the Cab Franc so I won’t tell you about it as they should have a new vintage out this fall.

So go explore!  And after all that wine go to Three Notch’d Grill in Crozet.  It has a nice variety of entrees and each come with a salad.  After our last visit I highly recommend the shrimp penne with cream sauce, sundried tomato, pancetta and spinach.  Both the shrimp and spinach were very fresh and had great flavor.  The dish was so rich you won’t want dessert, but the entree is good enough to not care.  The lasagna was also particularly good made with fresh pasta.


  1. Matt B

    The Virginia Wine Association makes available a great winery guide with along with a state wide map with all of the locations. You can order a free map or download regional guides at their website:

  2. Hi Katelin- You are very lucky to have in-laws in Cville. I just posted a similar list to my blog on Tuesday. You should check it out. I disagree with you about Veritas though. Veritas iis one of my favorite wineries in the area. To each, her own palate I suppose. 🙂

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