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Wine Country Of The East Coast

C'Ville Weekend Recap

It’s officially, unofficially, Summer! And we kicked it off Memorial Day Weekend with a quick trip to Charlottesville, Virginia – or C’ville if you want to fit in with the locals. After visiting, I’m kinda, sorta wishing I was a local because it felt like Wine Country of the East Coast! We’ve been dreaming of going back to Napa and Sonoma ever since our 2014 trip. But now we know there’s a little piece of vineyard heaven just a few hours away. I wish we had more time, but we packed a lot into two fun-filled days and I’m spilling the details – but not the wine, never spill the wine.

We started off strong at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards. It was a must on every “best of” list and it did not disappoint. The wine was great (big fan of the 2017 Chardonnay Reserve) the views and property even better, and the food had me ready to move in.

I’m more of a white meat and seafood kinda girl, but let me tell you, Pippin Hill makes the best slider I’ve ever tasted, EVER. I can’t even tell you what makes it so good! Maybe it’s their very own Kitchen Garden with all the farm-to-table (or vineyard-to-table) ingredients dreams are made of, or maybe it’s the pickled red onions. Whatever it is, I’m still drooling over it.

The bartender at Pippin Hill suggested we make a stop at one of the small, family owned and operated wineries en route to the next stop on our tour. Wisdom Oak Winery is tucked down a narrow dirt road almost one mile from the main one, but the trek was worth a bottle of their Bourbon Barrel Merlot. The tasting room is super quaint, but their patio and outdoor space would make for a great place to grab a bottle and stay awhile.

And stay, stay, stay, for awhile we did at stop number three, Blenheim Vineyards, owned by Dave Matthews (see what I did there?) He purchased the farm property in 1999 and designed the winery building which was completed in 2000.

The tasting room portion has paneled glass floors where you can peek below to the wine production facility. We were all about the Blenheim Rosé, so we enjoyed a bottle on the deck overlooking thirty-two acres of estate vineyards. I have no doubt their concert events are where it’s at.

After day one of winery hopping, we switched it up, enjoying some margaritas and Southwestern cuisine at Junction in Historic C’ville. Brad thought he was being tricky when he ordered the chicharrones, but the Spanish version of pork rinds didn’t fool me. Reluctantly, I tried them, and I’ll admit, they weren’t half bad. Mostly because I drenched them in house-made Lime Crema (show stopper!)

After stuffing my face full of apps – we also got the Chicken and Chorizo Empanada and some chips and guac (duh!) – and Grilled Shrimp & Corn Enchiladas, I had to pass on dessert. I know, who am I?

We earned our wine on day two, starting with a hike at Humpback Rocks where we met up with my brother and his family. Don’t be fooled by the one-mile “40-minute walk” to the overlook – it’s no joke. All uphill with a side of stairs, rocks, and boulders. Meanwhile, our seven-year-old niece was practically running it.

But you totally forget how bad your glutes are burning when you reach the top and take one look at the view. Good news, the mile back is downhill.

So, back to the wine. On the way to the last leg of our tour, we made a pitstop at Pollak Vineyards where my brother and sister-in-law are club members.

It could have been the up close and personal Blueridge Mountain views, but for whatever reason I got the biggest Wine Country feels here. There were lots of great places to hang on the property – their tasting room deck, picnic tables by the pond, or patio offering a glimpse of their first vines.

Our visit to C’ville ended at King Family Vineyards. This was actually a venue Brad and I planned to look at for our wedding, but never made it to after falling in love with Bluemont Vineyard. Turns out, King Family would have been a strong contender.

The property, complete with polo field and horse stables, is beyond stunning and seems to go on forever. After our tasting, we tucked under a tree in the shade with some bottles of Crosé. No, that’s not a typo, it’s a dry rosé named after the small town of Crozet where King Family is located. And we enjoyed a packed picnic before ending our weekend near Richmond, Virginia at my brother’s.

Raising a glass to our unofficial Summer being off to a good start. And not just dreaming of returning to California Wine Country anymore. Because the East Coast version is waiting just down Interstate 95 in charming C’ville. Cheers, friends!

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