The rolling hills of the Piedmont and the history of Montpelier make this one of the more idyllic settings for showcasing our local wineries. I’ve been there in all kinds of weather, but this is a must for history buffs, wine lovers and gardening enthusiasts. This event is well organized and traffic flow is smooth. Wear your Wellies or rain boots (just in case) since the ground may be a bit mushy after all of our recent rain. Bring some camp chairs, you’ll want to be able to sit back a bit after walking the gardens and enjoy a nice Viognier or Cabernet Franc. For hikers, save your wine for the end of the day and head out on the Montpelier-Grelen Trail, MontpelierTrails, a 3.9 mile loop with 9 miles of trails to explore. The Governor designated this trail a “Virginia Treasure” and is a fun way to explore the historical grounds, mountain views and it links to the Grelen Nursery on the Grelen Farm. Grelen is another find and worthy of a separate blog post, family oriented, great gift shop and in season berry picking, plus a sand box for the little ones!
Don’t miss visiting the Mansion at James Madison’s Montpelier, but allow extra time! Mansion tour tickets will be discounted for festival attendees. Exchange Café, featuring BBQ Exchange barbecue, is available for lunches! Wineries that are featured are, of course, Barboursville and Horton Vineyards, as well as Cross Keys Vineyard, Well Hung Vineyard, Democracy Vineyard, Reynard Florence Vineyard, Delfosse Vineyards & Winery, Lazy Days Winery, Villa Appalachia, Kilaurwen Winery, Mattaponi Winery, Prince Michel Vineyard & Winery, Peaks of Otter Winery, Lake Anna Winery, Jefferson Vineyards, Rockbridge Vineyard (blog post waiting in the wings) and Stone Mountain Vineyards plus even more!
Note from Keswick Vineyards: Thank you so much to everyone who voted for us in the Virginia Wine Lover Magazine’s “Best of” poll! We are so honored to have won Best Winery -Central, Most Romantic, Best Viognier Overall, Best Cabernet Franc Overall, and our talented Stephen Barnard won Best Winemaker Overall! They received over 7000 votes and the full results will be in their Summer 2011 issue!
I have talked to several Moms this week who had no idea what they were doing to celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend! What they all agreed on was their expectation that their husbands should a) plan something, b) probably wouldn’t plan something and c) would wind up planning something themselves! This is a sad commentary on appreciating Moms! When I mentioned a trip to a winery, they loved the idea but thought it wouldn’t come together.
So, husbands, here are a couple of ideas that are close t0 Charlottesville and already planned for you. Buy a ticket, gas up the car and treat your lovely wife to something special. Maybe even line up a babysitter for a few hours if you have small children. There are several other wineries serving up wine and music as well. In addition to the ones listed below, check out Keswick Vineyards, Afton Mountain, Mountfair or Glass House Winery (decadent gourmet chocolates!).
Celebrate Mother’s Day with all the special women in your life at Sugarleaf Vineyards! Participate in a fun and informative wine and chocolate pairing. Sit outside, overlook the vineyard and enjoy the day with those you love while savoring hors d’oeuvres and wonderful Sugarleaf wines. $20 per person includes wine tasting, your personal box of wine infused chocolate truffles and hors d’oeuvres.
3613 Walnut Branch Lane
North Garden, Virginia 22959
The Montpelier Wine Festival is a two day event May 7 & 8 – showcasing the best of Virginia wines with music, wine cooking classes, upscale vendors and a kite extravaganza all on the beautiful grounds of James Madison’s Montpelier in rural Orange County. Enjoy a day in the country while sampling from 24 of our great wineries. Picnic on the grounds, take a carriage ride, fly a kite or sit back with your favorite vintage and listen to the music. Special tours of James & Dolley Madison’s home are just a short carriage ride away. This event is geared for the whole family to enjoy. Kids can make & fly their own kite, run on the grounds or make a balloon animal! Enjoy the whole festival with general admission or reserved your very own private table or tent to expand your experience!
11393 Constution Highway
Montpelier Station, Virginia 22957
Private Parties: You can choose to have a private table for 8 which includes tickets, glasses, seating under a tent and a complimentary bottle of wine with your hospitality basket OR a private tent for parties of 12 and up which comes with all of the above, extra tables, chairs and hospitality baskets as well as VIP parking! Call 540-672-5216 to reserve yours now. Bus/RV Parking: We welcome large groups. Parking is plentiful and we will greet your group at the bus. Call 540-672-5216 to arrange your special bus package. Child Friendly: This is a day for the whole family. Wings Over Washington Kite Club hosts special classes to make your own kite. Then they help you fly it. They also have fun kite contests. The grounds of Montpelier are a special place to play and picnic for the whole family. Specialty Foods: We look for the best of the best with our food vendors to compliment your favorite wines! Try butterfly shrimp or specialty crab cakes; wood fired pizza; honey baked ham treats; locally made cheeses with a great variety of breads; complete menu of vegetarian treats; baklava or chocolate covered strawberries – just to name a few tempting items.
<!– Adv. Tickets Required
–>Cost: $25 gate/$15 advance
Roses and Rosé for Moms
40 Gibson Hollow Lane
Etlan (Madison County), Virginia 22719 Date: May 8, 2011 Time: 11:00AM – 6:00PM
Join us on Mother’s Day with a rose for all the Mom’s and discounts on our new Rosé wine. Mattie Fuller will be performing on the patio too. While supplies (of both!)last, as they say. No charge, but bring a brag picture of the little one(s), Mom.
40 Gibson Hollow Lane
Etlan (Madison County), Virginia 22719
Roses for the Moms:
<!– Adv. Tickets Required
–>Cost: a brag pic of the little one(s)