To celebrate the 35th annual Virginia Wine Month (October) we close the month with a trip to the Monticello American Viticultural Area (AVA). We hope you enjoy this blog from Andrew and Hannah recapping their trip to the Monticello AVA in Virgina.
In October, a trip to meet up with friends and enjoy the fall foliage landed us in the Monticello AVA in Charlottesville, VA. The location of this AVA is wonderful for having places to stay while you are visiting with an abundant amount of hotels and Airbnbs in Charlottesville. The Monticello wine trail is inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s vision of winemaking and cultivating grape growing in the United States. This AVA is often referred to as the birthplace of American Wine and is the official slogan for the Monticello Wine Trail. The wine trail has 40 wineries to choose from on your trip, with some offering craft beer in addition to their wine-making activities. Click here to plan your trip.
Making the most of a Saturday, we began the journey with a morning stop at Carter Mountain Apple Orchard and Winery, where we enjoyed their delicious baked goods and a fantastic view from atop the mountain. We had to make reservations for the weekend visit because it is their busy season, but it is worth the visit while you are in town. We then headed to Jefferson Vineyards and enjoyed a tasting flight of 4 wines in their outdoor seating area. I gravitated toward the 2021 Petit Verdot and the Tannat. The second stop would be King Family Vineyards, where you can choose flights or a guided tasting. I elected for a guided tasting where I had the opportunity to try the 2019 Brut, a 2022 Crose, a 2021 Sauvignon Blanc, a 2021 Merlot, and the 2020 Meritage. The wines were all well made, and the facility sits at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Crozet, Virginia, just 15 minutes from Charlottesville. The third stop landed us at Pollak Vineyards. There is an option to do a red or white wine flight on their patio overlooking the water feature outside. The wines at Pollak are highly rated by James Suckling and Decanter. I again found myself gravitating to the Meritage and the Petit Verdot wines, both 2019 vintages. To round off the Saturday adventure, the group found itself at Hazy Mountain Vineyards, which sits atop a mountain offering great views and lots of craft beer options for beer lovers.
On the way back down the mountain towards North Carolina, we decided to visit a spot that was recommended by about every place we stopped at called Mountain and Vine Vineyards and Winery (Previously known as DelFosse. This facility sits 30 minutes SW of Charlottesville in the lower hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The winery was a Virginia Governor's Cup winner in 2022 and had delicious wines to try while on site. The property sits about 3 miles down a gravel road off of the main road, but upon driving up to the tasting room, you quickly notice you are sitting on hundreds of acres of land and in a much more rural area. Surprisingly enough, we chose a bottle of their Grand Cru white blend to return to North Carolina with us. I would definitely recommend a visit to this winery but would not try to put it with other Charlottesville area wineries because of the drive to get to the facility. Luckily enough for us, we were heading right past it on our journey home.
All in all, the wines were significant in the Monticello AVA, and I would recommend anyone to take in the views and taste the uniqueness of their wines. I particularly enjoyed the Petit Verdot during our tastings, but there were many favorites you will just have to taste for yourself. With 40 wineries to try, we will have to make a few more journeys north to try them all.
Be sure to follow us on social media to stay informed of what wineries we will be visiting. We would love to meet you.