Culinary Pairings in Charlottesville

The Charlottesville area has solidified its position as a premier destination for wine lovers looking for culinary pairings. Charlottesville was recently named Wine Region of the Year in Wine Enthusiast’s prestigious Wine Star Awards. Among five global nominees, the Charlottesville area was the only one in North America, surpassing renowned wine growing regions in France, Italy, Australia, and South Africa. Visitors to the area’s wineries can also indulge in a variety of culinary experiences, as many of them offer exquisite food pairings and farm-to-table dining. This combination of award-winning wines and culinary excellence makes the Charlottesville area a must-visit destination for both wine enthusiasts and food lovers. 

Eastwood Farm and Winery

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Eastwood Farm and Winery has quickly made a name for itself since its opening in 2020. Women owned and family operated, this winery has already garnered attention for its gold medal-winning wines and captivating views. With an array of tasting options, delightful culinary offerings, and family-friendly activities, Eastwood provides an unforgettable experience.  

Eastwood is open year-round, welcoming visitors seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Led by Andrew Partridge, formerly of the renowned Marigold Restaurant at Keswick Hall, the culinary team at the Eastwood Grill has curated a menu that showcases the freshest seasonal and local ingredients. From mouthwatering bratwurst and squash flatbreads to indulgent treats like cranberry baked brie and chocolate fondue, every item on their carefully crafted menu perfectly complements their award-winning wines, beers, and ciders. The winery also offers a seasonal selection of Sugar Bear Ice Cream, a local business that boasts an impressive array of 80 flavors of gourmet ice cream handcrafted from scratch using local ingredients. For families, Eastwood goes the extra mile to ensure an inclusive and enjoyable experience. They offer juice flights for kids, and guests can purchase s’mores kits to enjoy by the outdoor fire pits, creating unforgettable memories for the whole family. 

Hazy Mountain Vineyards and Brewery

Perched on a hill with breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains is where you’ll find Hazy Mountain Vineyard and Brewery.Planted in 2019, the vineyards have flourished, allowing the tasting room to open its doors in 2021. Hazy Mountain is also committed to crafting a small selection of moderate alcohol-by-volume (ABV) craft beers.  

Whether you prefer wine or beer, Hazy Mountain offers a delectable selection of bites that complement their beverages, from charcuterie and cheese boards to heartier selections like freshly baked flatbreads and sandwiches. Hazy Mountain is the perfect destination for wine aficionados and beer lovers alike. Guests have the pleasure of choosing from a variety of dining experiences, including guided tastings at the inviting wine bar or the freedom to select a personalized wine or beer flight of their choice that can be enjoyed on the grand patio with sprawling mountain views.

Mount Ida Reserve

Mount Ida Reserve is an expansive 7,000-acre sanctuary located in the heart of southern Albemarle County, just a short drive from downtown Charlottesville. Among the standout features of Mount Ida Reserve are their incredible on-site vineyards and brewery, allowing visitors to indulge in an array of small-production wines and innovative craft beers. These libations have been expertly paired with a seasonal menu that focuses on locally sourced ingredients from nearby farms and food artisans to provide the freshest and most delicious culinary creations.  

Upon entering the tasting room at Mount Idea Reserve, guests are greeted by a warm and inviting atmosphere. Roaring fireplaces and a fire pit create a cozy ambiance, while the deck overlooking the lush grounds and sweeping mountain views sets the stage for a memorable dining experience. Their talented culinary team works closely with local farmers, growers, and artisan producers to curate a rotating menu that highlights the best seasonal ingredients and housemade components. From delectable small plates featuring items like premium tinned fish and selections of assorted cheese to oyster po’ boys and gumbo, there is something for every palate. The Reserve also offers an elevated brunch on Sundays with menu items like chocolate mocha pancakes and fried green tomato eggs benedict.  

Merrie Mill Farm and Vineyard

Merrie Mill Farm and Vineyard

As you step into the tasting room at Merrie Mill, one of Charlottesville’s newest wineries, you are greeted by eclectic decor that blends vintage and contemporary elements. The space is adorned with antique furnishings, captivating artwork, and unique taxidermy pieces. The winery is owned by the Pelly family, who moved from the United Kingdom in 2018 to start Merrie Mill after falling in love with Virginia wine country while visiting for a wedding. They were thrilled to learn much of the fields at Merrie Mill consist of a rare Manteo soil, a rocky and well-draining soil perfect for growing grapes, allowing the family to produce their first vintage in 2021.   

In addition to the stunning views and admirable architecture of the main house, which was built in 1857, Merrie Mill also boasts impressive culinary offerings. The Pellys are also the owners of feast!, a local restaurant known for gourmet sandwiches, cheeses, and meats. In the Merrie Mill tasting room, you will find gourmet paninis by feast!, like the turkey, brie, and cranberry, along with a selection of charcuterie, hummus, and pimento cheese plates. The winery has also teamed up with the much-loved Cake Bloom of Charlottesville to deliver delicious artisan cakes and ice cream sandwiches as the perfect ending to your meal or wine tasting experience.  

Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyard 

Pasta dish at Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyard.

As a culinary vineyard, Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyard takes pride in its commitment to sustainability and self-sufficiency. They produce a variety of food on their farm and vineyard property, allowing guests to enjoy hyper-local ingredients on the seasonal menu. They have introduced egg-laying hens to the farm, providing eggs for their kitchen, and have established an apiary with honeybees to aid in pollination. The kitchen gardens also yield a variety of vegetables and herbs that are used in their culinary offerings across the estate.   

At the heart of Pippin Hill’s culinary experience lies the renowned Vintner’s Table. This exclusive dining experience offers the very best of vineyard-to-table cuisine. With the option of a four-course or five-course menu, this intimate dining experience ensures that guests have the opportunity to truly savor the nuances of Pippin Hill’s exceptional wines. For those seeking a heightened wine-tasting adventure, the Reserve Vintner’s Table offers the chance to indulge in exclusive wine vintages that are not available for tastings at the bar. Beyond the Vintner’s Table, the tasting room beckons guests to sample inspired cuisine like yogurt and mint chicken thighs or short rib fontina arancini. For a more casual outing, guests can opt for the “nosh on the lawn” menu, where they can enjoy beet hummus, beef sliders, and toffee pumpkin cake as they bask in the grand views of the estate.   

Glass House Winery 

Glass House Winery is a boutique winery set along the Monticello Wine Trail. Since its establishment in 2006, Glass House has been a pioneer in bringing a tropical twist to Virginia’s wine culture. The property’s name-sake glass conservatory, overlooks the 15-acre vineyard, providing breathtaking views. This paradise-like setting serves as the perfect backdrop for indulging in their award-winning wines. A unique feature of Glass House is the exclusive culinary offering of handcrafted chocolates. These edible masterpieces, created by their talented in-house chocolatier, beautifully complement the wines and elevates the tasting experience. Guests are also encouraged to bring their own lunches, allowing for a picturesque vineyard picnic amid the tranquil surroundings.

Southwest Mountains

Southwest Mountain Vineyard

Located in the scenic Keswick area of Albemarle County, Southwest Mountains Vineyards is Charlottesville’s newest addition to the wine scene after opening in September 2023. The vineyard’s tasting room, housed in a restored, converted barn dating back to 1903, sets the stage for a memorable wine experience. As you indulge in their exceptional Old World-style wines, you’ll be treated to sweeping views of the majestic mountains that surround the vineyard.   

Enhancing the experience is the culinary expertise of chef Gregory Lewis. Having honed his skills at acclaimed establishments like Maya Restaurant and Barboursville Vineyards, Lewis brings his passion for the culinary arts to the table. Using the finest seasonal ingredients sourced from central Virginia, he creates simple yet delectable dishes that pair nicely with the wines of Southwest Mountains, like chorizo mussels in white wine sauce and ratatouille flatbread with fresh vegetables.

Plan your Stay

Charlottesville and Albemarle County offer diverse lodging options, from luxury resorts to your favorite chain hotels, cozy inns and B&Bs at scenic wineries, plus a selection of vacation rentals, cabins, and cottages. 

Find your culinary pairing in Charlottesville and plan your trip to the wine region of the year at 

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