Thursday, April 12, 2012

In Vino Veritas

Here’s the final installment of our Charlottesville Adventure! It’s easy to pair a visit to Charlottesville with a few stops along the Virginia Wine Trail. The first stop on our journey took us to Barboursville. At wine festivals, the tents from Barboursville are always packed to the gills with people who are eager to sample their award winning wines. Luckily for us, we practically had the tasting room to ourselves at the winery.

Barboursville's most well known wine is Octagon, a Bordeaux blend.  We sampled about 20 different wines including white, red, blush, and dessert.  I'm not a wine connoisseur at all; I simply buy something that I enjoy. My favorite was the Viognier Reserve 2010. It is smooth and is delicious paired with chicken or fish. One of the more interesting things we tried was the Malvaxia Reserve 2006 which is so sweet and thick, it reminds me more of an after dinner liqueur than a wine. 

Here's a view of the vineyard and main building where the winery and Palladio restaurant are located.

Barboursville is the home to historic ruins of a mansion designed by Thomas Jefferson.  Governor Barbour's mansion was destroyed by a fire on Christmas in 1884, but the ruins still show the incredible design of the residence.  The central area of the home is shaped like an octagon.   The ruins are a short walk or drive away from the winery. 

Our next stop was Horton Cellars.  At Horton, there were so many choices to taste, that it would have been difficult to try all of them.  We stuck with the whites and were very impressed with the 2008 Petit Manseng and the Sparkling Viognier

On the day of our visit, we had the opportunity to take a tour of the wine cellar.  Our tour guide gave us a sample of some port wine straight out of the barrel.  He said that the tool he used to pull out the wine is called a wine thief!  Everyone enjoyed it so much that he gave us a second taste. 

I learned a lot about the winemaking process and got some tasting tips.  I wonder how many bottles are in each barrel.  Elizabeth McKay's Elizabeth Dress in Chambray was a perfect choice for a day of touring, sightseeing, and wine tasting. 

Wine Trail Maps are a huge help to navigate from place to place while you're in the Charlottesville area. 

What is your favorite wine? 



  1. I want to go there! Looks like fun.
    I just entered to win the Lilly cup but couldn't figure out where to leave a comment, here on the blog or on your FB page... I feel so dumb! ;)
    Anyway, maybe I'll win it for my birthday!

  2. Thanks for your comment and for entering to win. As long as you used the widget to sign in for the giveaway, you're good to go.

    Happy Early Birthday!

  3. My favorite wine is Robert Mondavi Private Selection, it's a California Cab. I am really in awe of the ruins you saw, I love anything to do with Jefferson! xoxo

  4. Hi Bethany, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  5. I'm going to Charlottesville to wine taste tomorrow. Great photos!

  6. Horton is one of my favorite VA wineries!



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