By Torey Vanek
Last weekend, I got to spend time away from Norther Virginia in lovely Charlottesville! Our drive was exactly two hours from Alexandria and it was really a perfect way to spend a gorgeous weekend. We were there to celebrate my sister’s upcoming wedding so we decided to do a wine tour.
We used Blue Ridge Wine Excursions for our tour and I highly recommend them! Since there was six of us, we had a nice SUV but they also have vintage cars and limousines available. We started the day at Bleinheim Winery (aka Dave Matthews’ place) and it is gorgeous. The views on the property were perfect and we had a nice lesson in grapes and wines. Plus, we each bought some bottles home to share with family and friends.
Next stop was Albemarle Ciderworks and I think this was my favorite stop because I was pleasantly surprised by the cider like wine. We learned a lot about apples, had delicious peaches and plums from the orchard and then sat down to our fabulous lunch that the tour company provided. Technically, it was a ‘snack’ but it had local cheeses, great bread, an assortment of salami, olives, more fresh fruit and great local chocolates.
Next we visited Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyard and this place looks like it belongs in a movie. It is one of the newer vineyards in the area and I see why it is so popular for weddings. We enjoyed sitting on the lawn and just enjoying the view.
We returned to Charlottesville after our tour for some shopping on the downtown mall and a nice dinner at West Main. If you are looking for an easy getaway from here, definitely put Charlottesville on the top of your list!
And, on a travel note, in a small town about halfway between Charlottesville and Alexandria is the Moo Thru This might be some of the best ice cream I have ever had. I had dark chocolate and banana and I wish I had packed a cooler to bring more home!