On our return trips to Charlottesville from Northern Virginia and D.C. we occasionally pause to enjoy just one of the many pleasures of living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. A brief stop at Prince Michel Vineyard and Winery for a glass of Symbius, a deep ruby colored Meritage of Bordeaux varietals, is my personal favorite. As you approach the northern edge of the Monticello Wine Trail you can’t miss the three steel wine goblet wind sculptures. Very contemporary in contrast to the Jeffersonian architectural details of the winery itself. The tasting room entrance is flanked by pergolas and white columns surrounding brick courtyards.
The expanse of the tasting room is a little cold and impersonal but this time we were greeted by the friendly smile of Patty Sevre. Intrigued by her display of cut decanters and stemware we hovered over her as she cut custom designs for visitors while they toured the winery. Patty’s family has been in the glass cutting business for fourteen generations. Her family hails from the Alsace-Lorraine region of France (incidentally, where I first tasted wine as a child!) and is very proud of their incredible legacy in the art of glass works. She had a career for forty years cutting glass for Tiffany & Co.
Presently, she and her husband Kenneth Sevre work together blowing glass and are on site at Prince Michel on Thursdays! Seizing the opportunity, we selected a small glass to be cut personally for a Christmas gift for my Mom! It is beautiful and I look forward to giving her such a special gift this Christmas! Check out her website for more in-depth historical background and contact information.
Finishing our wine, we marvelled at the wine and dining accessories on display in the tasting room gift shop. It is a great place to purchase personalized gifts for any wine lover in your family and we highly recommend it for a Black Friday shopping stop where everything will be 20% off that day only!
I had recently heard about the luxury suites available for rent at the vineyard. Driving to the rear of the winery and up a curved drive you will find two homes each including two one-bedroom suites decorated in the French provincial style featuring a luxurious bath, romantic fireplace and galley kitchen. The Suites at Prince Michel are elegant and have private secluded garden patios with views of the mountains and vineyard. According to the website, you can select one of four themes from the blue and beige of the La Concorde, the green and gold of the Les Champs Elysees, the tailored elegance of La Tour Eiffel or the provincial charm of La Paris. They are very affordably priced at 175.00 per night or 300 for two nights. Weddings and events are welcome at Prince Michel and the location situated centrally between Charlottesville and Washington D.C., wonderful for a midway spot close to historic sites and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
I’m not sure if he thinks Tom can’t do it alone or he just wants to come to Cville in the Fall and enjoy our beautiful town during peak Autumn color! Either way, for all you folks who want to avoid crowds or support Robert Hurt by being absent; Pollak Vineyards will be an evening worthy of a President!
Friday evening from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m., the last of the Friday Night Sunset Concert Series for 2011 will be the happening place for wine lovers and Fall foliage enthusiasts. I’m not sure who the entertainment will be, but the terrace at night is beautiful, the wine is superb and our weather should be perfect if a little chilly, so bring a blanket or sweater!
Directions to Pollak from Cville-
Take Interstate 64 West to Exit 107 (Crozet). Turn left onto 250 West. Go about three miles, passing the estates of Mirador, Seven Oaks, Ramsey and Ridgley all on your right. Just past Ridgley estate, take a right fork onto Rte. 796 (Brooksville Rd.). Continue about a half mile and turn right on Newtown Road. Entrance to Pollak Vineyards is about a half mile on your left.
Tonight on the West Lawn at Monticello! The Monticello Wine Festival is an opportunity to sample some of the best wines in our area in a historic setting. The weather is fabulous today and everyone should have a great time, not sure if tickets are still available at this time, but for future events, check out the Monticello Wine Trail! One of my favorites will be represented, Pollak! Try their Cabernet Franc!Cabernet Franc 2007 Reserve was recognized with gold at the Grand Harvest Awards sponsored by the Vineyard and Management magazine while the 2008 vintage received gold at the Virginia State Fair.