A Weekend Along the Monticello Wine Trail

A long winter and a few spring-like days inspired our most recent trip to the Central Virginia Wine Region. We were craving the views, the wine, the friendliness and the quiet countryside, and that is exactly what we got!

We began our journey bright and early on Saturday morning and drove straight to our first destination, Moorman’s River Hike just beyond the Sugar Hollow Reservoir.  When we arrived around 12pm the parking areas were already filling up but we managed to grab a spot in the main lot.  Armed with our hiking boots, camelbacks, a few too many layers (that sun warmed us right up!) and our trusty sidekicks, Robbie and Ollie, we began our afternoon.  Moorman’s River Hike is a fairly flat out and back trail with a  few places to enjoy rock scrambling.  The real beauty however, is the flowing stream and swimming holes (we’ll be back here in the summer for sure!). There are quite a few swimming holes and stream crossings along the trail, as well as some small, but beautiful waterfalls.  The trail was fairly quiet and we enjoyed the calm and serene atmosphere.  We turned back after about 1.5 miles, we had wineries to get to after all, but we’d highly recommend this hike.  Easy, relaxing, enjoyable– the perfect a place for an afternoon away from the city.

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Post hike, we made our way to one of our favorite wineries in the area– King Family Vineyards. We fell in love with this spot several years ago and every time we are in the area we try to stop.  The friendly staff, the gorgeous scenery, the sprawling lawn and the dog-friendly grounds, oh and the great wine, combine for an absolutely wonderful experience.  2 glasses of Chardonnay + a picnic on the patio = perfection.
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Following our visit to King Family Vineyards, we traveled a little further south just past the town of Scottsville.  We rented an Airbnb for the evening on the most picturesque family-owned farm, Woodhaven Farm.  The accommodations at the Woodhaven Farm Carriage House were exactly what we were hoping for and exactly as advertised.  Tom, Alicia and the rest of their family, including the horses and dogs, made sure that we had everything we needed and more!   We would highly recommend a night or two on their property!

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We enjoyed our morning coffee fireside, looking out at the property and the Blue Ridge Mountains and wishing we could stay longer to savor the peacefulness.  Alas, it was time to  head back towards the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  Fortunately, we built in some extra time (despite losing an hour), and we had two more winery stops to look forward to, Veritas Winery and Pollak Vineyards.

At Veritas we opted to enjoy a glass of their 2014 Chardonnay outdoors.  It was light and crisp and added a little sunshine to the somewhat dreary day.  Although it was cloudy, the view was still as magnificent as ever and we enjoyed watching the sheep in the meadow down below, complementing our weekend in the Virginia countryside.

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Last but not certainly not least, we stopped at Pollak Vineyards just down the road from Veritas.  This was our first visit to Pollak, but definitely not our last.  The view, the high-quality and award winning wines, the delicious soup we had on the patio and the friendly and personable service made for a fantastic experience.  We loved their 2013 Cab Franc and Petit Verdot (snagged one for the collection), but were impressed with all of their wines on their current tasting menu.  We can’t wait to head back when the weather warms up and their free concert series begins!

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Returning to Charlottesville is always one of our favorite experiences and this trip certainly did not disappoint.  Pairing the breathtaking views and idyllic scenery with some of the best wine Virginia has to offer makes for an unforgettable weekend getaway.

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