Attention all wine lovers! You may know the Charlottesville area for its historic sites like Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. After all, this UNESCO World Heritage site is prominently featured on the back of the U.S. nickel. But did you know that Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia, are also known for their renowned wines? The Monticello Wine Trail connects the Charlottesville area’s forty-plus wineries and continues to become more established and well-known each year–and it’s cranking out wines that are making oenophiles from all around the world take note.
The Charlottesville area is situated at the foothills of the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, just a short two-hour drive southwest of Washington, D.C. And though Jefferson himself attempted to grow his own grapes in the area, it wasn’t until more modern times that these efforts succeeded. The terroir here is well suited to growing a variety of grapes, and the wines have accrued accolades regionally, nationally, and even internationally.
The wineries are just as lovely and unique as the wines themselves. Come find your new favorite vino while sipping in a tropical conservatory at Glass House Winery. Or discover your new favorite chardonnay at Blenheim Vineyards—owned and operated by none other than Dave Matthews (yes, that Dave Matthews, of the Dave Matthews Band).
Do a tasting in a more intimate setting at one of the many boutique wineries that dot the landscape or enjoy a glass at one the larger vineyards like Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards or King Family Vineyards. Soak in those epic views of the surrounding mountains while you sip.
You could up the ante a bit by combining your love of wine with outdoor adventure on an unforgettable horseback ride through the luscious vines. Or ride in style on four wheels and let one of our many transportation companies do the work. They’ll plan the perfect itinerary for you and transport you to multiple wineries in style, meaning all you have to do is sit back, sip, and relax.
Since you’ll be visiting multiple wineries, be sure to check out the Monticello Wine Trail Digital Passport. Just check in, sip, and win a prize after your tenth winery visit. It’s as easy as that!
When you’ve gotten your fill of vino, there’s so much more to explore. The Charlottesville area has been named a top foodie destination for a city of its size, with farm-to-table restaurants at every turn. Stroll the historic pedestrian Downtown Mall, for dozens of restaurants with patio dining, cafes, boutique shops, and entertainment venues like the Paramount Theater or the Ting Pavilion.
When it’s time to turn in for the night, the area boasts a variety of places to stay including resorts, inns, bed and breakfasts, chain hotels, and vacation rentals, perfect for resting up and recharging for another day of wine-filled adventures in Charlottesville and Albemarle County!
Start planning your trip today at Visit Charlottesville‘s website.
- by Erin Byers Murray
- by TLP's Partners
- by Erin Byers Murray
- by Jennifer Stewart Kornegay
- by Emily Havener