Charlottesville Report: Wine Tripping

Feb 13, 2012 by

Charlottesville Report: Wine Tripping

I am just so happy that my lovely In-Laws live in Charlottesville.  I just have a love affair with Ablemarle and the surrounding counties.  The landscape is beautiful, the food and wine are devine and the shopping isn’t bad at all either.  We had the opportunity to take a lovely wine trip with some friends and host them at Hubby’s parents beautiful house in Ivy.


We went down by way of Gordonsville because I had been hankering for the BBQ Exchange.  I had heard about this place before it got popular.  And it is no secret now so it is best to get there early or late.  But luckily they can move things pretty quickly.  Our friends chatted up the pit master regarding his smokers and techniques.  They have a wide selection- pulled pork, pulled smoked chicken, smoked quarter chicken, brisket (I know, I know…), smoked pork belly and even BBQ tofu.  And an excellent variety of sides including really good hush puppies, coleslaw and cornbread.  We loaded up with provisions and then headed to Barboursville Vineyards.

Barboursville is very consistant, but this trip yielded a new surprise for me, a lovely brut sparkling wine.  Not quite as good as Thibaut, but close it had a nice balance of dryness and fruit without being very sweet.  Hubby played with Max in the lawn and we picked out a nice selection to go with our BBQ that we took out for us all to enjoy.  We then ate out on a picnic table in the sun.

Next up was Keswick Vineyards.  I am not as fond of it as other wineries, but it is close to Barboursville and on the way into C-ville so you might as well stop off, as everyone has different wine tastes.  That evening we had a lovely dinner at the Local.  We had a great time trying everyone’s dishes and were all really happy with the flavors and lovely local produce and meats cooked perfectly.  The Local is modern American farm to table.  It is upscale casual and really worth a try.  It’s over in the Belmont neighborhood which has a great selection of restaurants.

The next day we went to taste at White Hall which is one of my favorites, although they rotate the selections they taste and sometimes there is something I really want to try before I buy to see if their new vintage is as good as the old.  It is worth the trip to White Hall as I think it is one of the other very consistant wineries in the area with really quality products.  Another surprise was found here- a port style wine that is really quite a nice after dinner drink.

We then crossed the street to Mountfair Vineyards.  This is my new absolute favorite winery in Virginia.  They only have reds, but their reds are oh la la.  AND they taste the Thibaut Janisson sparking wines, which I really like, although Blanc de Chardonnay is better than Fizz.  The Mountfair reds will really blow you away though.  Let’s  just say we served a bottle to a friend who doesn’t like red wine and he loved it, he commented on how smooth it was, I am sure if we told him it was from Virginia he would have even been more amazed.

We lunched at Blue Mountain Brewery, which has such a good Afton Mountain Stout mustard that honestly they should bottle and sell it.  The flatbreads here are great, but really huge.  Hubby loves the soft pretzels.   We then hit Flying Fox, which I must comment- it was one of my absolute favorites, but they are now reserving their best wines for wine club members only, which I find slightly annoying.  But they do put together some good wines, they are a very small producer though so when you visit they may be out of some of their best stuff.

If you would like some local bottles without being able to get to all the wineries Food of All Nations has a great selection, as does the Greenwood Gourmet.  I always like to pick up favorites that the wineries are further out or we have been to them previously such as Jefferson, Blenheim and King Family.  Also another place in Charlottesville to pick up great picnic provisions is the Bellair Market, they have a huge selection of sandwiches and prepared food.  They have fresh roast meats that they cut for sandwiches and wraps and they even have freshly made desserts!

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