Charlottesville Mini-Vacay; Day 2

Day 2 on our Charlottesville wine tour brought us lots of coffee, a few Egg McMuffins (essential to a successful winery Vacay), lots of H2O, and of course– more wine!  We planned to drive a little further away from the downtown area on the second day so we began our trip with a stop at Barboursville right when they opened (in true wino style).  We pulled up to the grounds and were immediately impressed- the vines and views made for a beautiful setting and some good photo ops!
Barboursville Winery:

The most exciting part about this place for us was that we were finally able to bring Robbie inside (dog-friendly, yay) so we could enjoy a tasting and step out of the summer heat.  The inside of the tasting room was pretty but did feel a little commercial.  There is a pretty large wine souvenir shop in the front of the tasting room and wines are served in the back.  This place has so many wines to try that they break them down by whites, reds, and desserts and you move from station to station.  Our first pourer was super friendly, knowledgable, and had a great personality.  She did our whites and reds and we enjoyed the Chardonnay (obvi) and the Octagon (their big award winning wine released earlier this year- the Queen has even had it)!  We moved to a new pourer for our dessert wines who was obviously very new (yeah, she told us).  She also didn’t seem to enjoy wine at all so it was a bit awkward when she prefaced most of the tastings by telling us how bad each wine was.  However, we did make a friend during our tasting and enjoyed hearing about California Wine Country from him (some day we’ll take our talents out west!).  Overall (mostly for the fact that we finally got to enjoy a tasting) this was one of our most memorable experiences of the trip.  We’d recommend stopping in for a tasting, getting some insta-worthy photos and picking up some cute wine souvenirs before moving on to your next winery of the day!  There are also some ruins on the property for any history buffs out there.

Amy and Robbie Enjoying the View from Tasting Room

Horton Vineyards:
Okay, so this place is weird.  In fact, we were so disappointed that we didn’t even take any pics!! The drive up was so pretty and then you step inside the old school castle thing and ohhhhhh my… It looks like the Nana’s house.  Old flowered table cloths, old smells, just old.  Not that there is anything wrong with old, but the old decor, coupled with the awful customer service we received here made for a forgettable experience.  In theory, the concept is cool.  They basically let you pick the wines you want to try so that was nice, however each wine pretty much tasted the same to us (a sweet and sour sort of thing- like a really bad Riesling) and our pourer was just that– she poured, no explanation, no deets, no nothing.  If you must, try it for yourself, it’s only a few minutes from Barboursville, but be warned– you may actually be entering a creepy, haunted, unfriendly, and cold winery.
Trump Winery:
Ahhhhhhhh. Our favorite.  This was our second trip to Trump and it was once again the best.  Typically when people think of Trump they think of the Donald and the ritzy, fancy, stuffy sort of attitude.  This place is not any of those!  It’s owned by the Don’s son and what a terrific job he has done here.
Let’s start with the tasting room.  It’s small, square, cozy, classic, quiet, and inviting.  The big windows in the back provide tons of natural light and overlook the beautiful patio and view.  The tall shelves filled with wine bottles gives the room more character but doesn’t overwhelm you.
The service = Phenomenal. Each time we’ve been we have been impressed. Knowledgable, warm, friendly, personable– trump knows what’s up.
The wine….  Sparkling…. Yummmmm.  They have 3 sparkling wines on their menu right now and they were all delicious and thirst quenching!  The other wines on the tasting menu were tasty and well-balanced which made for an enjoyable afternoon.
The view.  WOW.  Even though the tasting room is on the smaller side, the view is no such thing!  This place has one of the best views we have ever seen (Pippin Hill puts up a good fight though).  It’s one of the larger wineries and biggest properties in the Charlottesville area.  It overlooks the mountains, a lake, the vines, and the pure beauty of the valley!
You can’t go to the Charlottesville wineries and miss Trump.  It is a must-see (and taste)!
We’ll that concludes our Charlottesville Winery Vacay.  We of course enjoyed the downtown mall as well and spent some time sitting outside, people watching, and indulging in delicious meals.  We had pasta our first night outside at Sal’s and dined at Hamiltons on Main our second night.  Both meals were quite tasty after a day of wine drinking.  Robbie also enjoyed exploring the downtown area during the summer evenings.
This blogging thing is pretty fun after all.  And done for today.
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