Central Virginia Vineyards With On-Site Accommodations Offer The Option To Turn In After You Taste
Virginia currently ranks fifth in total number of wineries in the U.S., with more than 285, and is also the fifth largest wine grape producing state. About 75 wineries are located in Central Virginia, and nearly half of the grapevines in Virginia are planted on the rolling hills of the region.
Tourism is helping fuel the growth of the Virginia wine industry. More than 2.3 million people visited local tasting rooms in 2015, according to the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
To provide a more immersive wine experience, a number of Central Virginia wineries offer charming cottages, elegant B&Bs and historic farmhouses situated amongst vineyards with stunning views. Here’s a peek at some of the well-appointed accommodations where you can retire for the evening, weekend or longer after you taste and tour.
17655 Winery Rd., Barboursville.
Located about 20 miles northeast of downtown Charlottesville, Barboursville Vineyards is one of the most historically significant wineries in the commonwealth. Italian wine producer Gianni Zonin purchased the Antebellum property in 1976. Winemaker Luca Paschina, who came to Virginia from Alba, Italy in 1990, has helped grow Barboursville into one of the largest and most recognized wineries in Virginia. Visitors to the 1804 Inn & Cottages at Barboursville Vineyards can explore history, food and wine. The 1804 Inn includes six cottages and three suites, each with a unique historical connection. Claw-foot tubs, antique furniture and oriental carpets, private gardens, fireplaces and original mansion flooring (available in some rooms) add to the character of each room. Two of the suites—Octagon and Malvaxia—offer 45-foot balconies to relax and take in the expansive views of the Blue Ridge foothills, surrounding vineyards, and the ruins of former Virginia Gov. James Barbour’s home.
The 1804 sits adjacent to the historic ruins of Barbour’s former mansion. Designed by Thomas Jefferson, Barbour’s home was largely destroyed by fire Christmas 1884.
The Barboursville Vineyards tasting room is a short walk from 1804 Inn, where visitors can taste world-class wines made from grapes cultivated in vineyards on the surrounding hillsides. Next to the tasting room, Palladio Restaurant offers lovely multi-course meals paired with Barboursville wines. From $240/night.
Must Try Wines: Don’t miss the crisp, refreshing citrus and mineral-driven Barboursville Vermentino Reserve and newly released Fiano Reserve. Take home older bottles of Barboursville’s flagship red blend Octagon, available in the Library 1821 tasting room.
234 Vineyard Lane, Afton.
Situated on a 150-acre farm in the scenic town of Afton, about 25 miles west of Charlottesville and minutes from Shenandoah National Park, the cottages at Afton Mountain Vineyards are the newest accommodations in Virginia wine country.
The Vineyard Guest House and four cottages are situated on the sunrise side of Afton Mountain at 1,000 feet in elevation overlooking the vineyards and wildflower meadow with sweeping mountain views. The Vineyard Guest House has two bedrooms and two full bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen with gas range and stainless steel appliances, and outdoor screened in patio—perfect for a family getaway to unplug. The four single cottages are named after French barrel cooperages used by Afton—Cadus, ANA, Damy and Billon. Each cottage is one bedroom, one bath with a private deck (650-square feet). The well-appointed cozy cottages provide the perfect getaways for couples seeking a restorative weekend amongst the vines. Two complimentary tastings are included with each rental.
The cottages at Afton Mountain are steps from the tasting room, where visitors can taste exceptional wines crafted by winemaker Damien Blanchon, who hails from the South of France. Owners Elizabeth and Tony Smith cultivate 25 acres of grapevines planted to 11 different varieties. From $165/night.
Must Try Wines: As an aperitif while taking in the views from the private patio or decks, start with the refreshing Bollicine, a dry sparkling wine made in the traditional method with estate-grown pinot and chardonnay. To pair with dinner try the light, zesty gewurztraminer or the big, bold petit verdot.
72 Saddleback Farm, Afton.
Located in the picturesque town of Afton in the heart of Virginia wine country, Veritas Vineyards is operated by the Hodson family and offers some of the finest wines and most elegant accommodations in Virginia. The original Farmhouse was built in 1839 and served as a family home for nearly 175 years. Today, the updated Farmhouse is situated among the vineyards at Veritas and boasts eight stylish guestrooms and suites. Each well-appointed guest room offers views of the chardonnay vineyards and Blue Ridge foothills.
Guests receive a bottle of Veritas estate chardonnay and wine and cheese in the afternoon. A three-course breakfast and four-course dinner showcasing local bounty paired with Veritas wines are available to guests. The Farmhouse provides a relaxing food and wine retreat for couples or groups in the scenic heart of Virginia wine country. From $ 175/night.
Must Try Wines: Viognier! Winemaker Emily Pelton makes one of the most elegant and balanced viogniers in Virginia—fresh and delicious with notes of honeysuckle, white flower, stone fruit and hints of zingy pineapple. This is a delicious wine to enjoy while relaxing in one of the front porch rocking chairs, taking in views of the Blue Ridge mountains or walking around the property.
9423 Batesville Rd., Afton.
Also located in Afton in northern Nelson County, with stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is the 19th-century farmhouse situated amongst the 15 acres of vines at Cardinal Point. The five-bedroom, three-bathroom historic farmhouse offers a full kitchen, in-ground swimming pool and charming features like an inviting hammock, front porch swing and rocking chairs. The 2,200-square-foot renovated farmhouse sleeps 10 and is ideal for families or groups in search of a relaxing vineyard getaway. From $545/night.
Must Try Wines: The 2014 Union red blend recently won the 2017 Monticello Cup and received a gold medal in the 2017 Virginia Governor’s Cup.
6109 Wolftown-Hood Rd., Madison.
Located in Madison, just north of Charlottesville, Early Mountain Vineyards (formerly Sweely Estate) was purchased in 2011 by Jean and Steve Case, former America Online (AOL) executives. One of the many upgrades and improvements since the purchase is a guest cottage located on the east side of the 300-acre Early Mountain property. The charming one-bedroom cottage includes two sitting rooms, a kitchenette and inviting back patio that overlooks the Block 11 petit manseng vineyard and views of the Blue Ridge foothills. The backyard hammock invites guests out for a nap or a relaxing place to enjoy a book with a stunning backdrop of vineyards and mountains. Bicycles are available for a ride through the vineyards en route to the tasting room where guests can enjoy Early Mountain estate wines and those from other notable local wineries. Sandwiches, charcuterie and cheese prepared at the tasting room are available for delivery to the cottage. The Early Mountain Vineyards cottage is a perfect vineyard retreat for couples or small families. From $220.
Must try wines: Enjoy a glass of newly-released sparkling wine from winemaker Ben Jordan and vineyard manager Maya Hood White while taking in the views of the vineyards from the patio. The 2016 Rosé is fresh, light and full of watermelon and raspberry flavors, perfect for a mild evening on the cottage patio.
Also On The Wine Trails
Several other Central Virginia wineries and cideries offer lodging options including: Albemarle Cider Works in North Garden, about 25 minutes south of downtown Charlottesville, offers a four-bedroom farmhouse on the orchard property; Glass House Winery and Vineyard in Free Union, north of Charlottesville, has a five bedroom bed & breakfast on property; and Delfosse Vineyards and Winery in the town of Faber, about 30 miles southwest of Charlottesville, offers a one-bedroom, 100-year-old log cabin overlooking a lake and vineyards.