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Virginia Vineyards - Route 29 Corridor


dcs
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We will be driving north from a little below Charlottesville back to the metro area next Saturday via Route 29. We always pass those signs with grapes on them highlighting nearby vineyards and this time we built in some time to stop and visit. Can anyone recommend any places within a reasonable detour off Route 29 that would be worth visiting? Obviously, having a tasting room would be a must. If they served food (light fare or full fare) it would be a plus, but it is not essential. I have been on the Virginia Wine site, but I am not finding it the most user-friendly, and it certainly is not as useful or credible as a personal recommendation from someone here. Any help would be appreciated. TIA.

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I concur that Barboursville is very good. I wouldn't bother with Blenheim (insanely crowded with buses of UVAers) or Trump (nee Kluge). Pearmund has become our new local favorite close to home though. We always enjoy the wine and the view. They are also very picnic-er friendly. It is less then 10 minutes off 29 just be careful to watch for the turn if coming from the south, it comes up quick. But there is a light right after the sign that you can u-turn at if you miss it. Plus stopping there will give you the wine-induced patience pill you need to make it through the disaster that is Gainsville just further up the road.

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I've always been a Horton fan. Lots of wines, friendly, free. But it's been years since I've been there.

Just as an aside: Mrs. B and I went to the Georgetown Safeway to buy wine during their 30% off sale (plus 10% more off if you buy six bottles of any kind of wine) and cleaned out the shelf of the Horton Vigonier. (I did find a stash in another part of the store, but thought it wise not to mention it to Mrs. B B).) They didn't have any of the Pinot Grigio (Gris?), much to my dismay--the two bottles I put out for the "Kitchen Daughter" book party last July were gone before I even got a taste. A ridiculously good value.

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I would go to Barboursville, Horton and Keswick, if you will be a bit South (near Blenheim and Trump) then I would go to Jefferson, their tasting room isn't all that great, but their wine is pretty consistently good. Barboursville is a great stop though (of course then you could cut up and get on 15 instead of going all the way back to 29) AND if you are hungry stop in Gordonsville for some BBQ.

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Barboursville is a beautiful winery with some very good wine.

I've always been a Horton fan. Lots of wines, friendly, free. But it's been years since I've been there.

Another bonus is that they're only about 5 miles apart. Veritas in Afton is also nice and you can buy a picnic lunch.
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I would go to Barboursville, Horton and Keswick, if you will be a bit South (near Blenheim and Trump) then I would go to Jefferson, their tasting room isn't all that great, but their wine is pretty consistently good. Barboursville is a great stop though (of course then you could cut up and get on 15 instead of going all the way back to 29) AND if you are hungry stop in Gordonsville for some BBQ.

I have been to The BBQ Exchange in Gordonsville and that I can say is darn good bbq.

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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. We visited Horton and Barboursville. Horton is still free for the tasting. We enjoyed the 2011 Viognier, which has just been released, and the 2009 Norton, which we tried primarily because of Kliman's book and ended up enjoying. This is a nice laid back place, sleepy almost at 10:45 in the morning. We enjoyed Barboursville, but it was much more an amped up affair. Much more crowded, and a much more organized tasting as you just went down the line and they poured you one of everything. This had us trying some wines that we would ordinarily avoid, but wound up appreciating nonetheless. At Horton, the guy just asks you what you want to try, so you tend to stick with what you expect you will like most (we did not get the vibe that they wanted us going down the line tasting everything, but we could be wrong about that). The standout for us at Barboursville was the 2009 Cabernet Franc Reserve. We bought way too much wine at both places. Then again, maybe not. ;)

After all that wine tasting, we had no choice but to venture over to Pomme in Gordonsville for more wine and a nice late lunch at what turned out to a pretty respectable French restuarant in just about the last place on earth you would expect to find one. More here.

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(we did not get the vibe that they wanted us going down the line tasting everything, but we could be wrong about that).

It might be the individual pourer, but I've done that most of the time. It's just that they have SO MANY wines you can try, you tend to get a bit tipsy if you do!

Not that it's stopped me from going through the whole list, then going back and trying other ones over again. :D

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It might be the individual pourer, but I've done that most of the time. It's just that they have SO MANY wines you can try, you tend to get a bit tipsy if you do!

Not that it's stopped me from going through the whole list, then going back and trying other ones over again. :D

If you go during their twice annual celebrations they have vertical tastings of many of their wines including Octagon vertical tastings. It is great, but if you tasted everything you would have tasted over a bottle of wine by yourself. It is quite fun though, just bring a DD.

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Well if you don't have to be on the Rt 29 corridor, I actually enjoy a lot of places on the 250 stretch. I really HIGHLY recommend: Mountfair, White Hall, King Family and Veritas is fun and pretty. Tons of good restaurants- more on the casual side, although some fancy ones.

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If you go during their twice annual celebrations they have vertical tastings of many of their wines including Octagon vertical tastings. It is great, but if you tasted everything you would have tasted over a bottle of wine by yourself. It is quite fun though, just bring a DD.

That would be Barboursville, right? I was referring to Horton. :D

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That would be Barboursville, right? I was referring to Horton. :D

Yes, Barboursville. I don't know if Horton has a wine festival. Will have to look. I am surprised that Barboursville didn't compete in the Governor's Cup this year. There is a big wine festival going on in April in Cville, actually looks like a lot of fun, I normally avoid these they are so crowded, but it looks like a nice group of wineries.

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