Just about a year ago, my favorite traveling buddy and I took a trip down US-29 to one of our favorite road trip destinations – Charlottesville, Virginia. Considering our affinity for fall foliage and our love of good vibes, views, and vino, our return trip was a no-brainer. (If you haven’t yet read or need a refresher on my blog post from our first visit, check out Time for Wine Part 1.)
Even if you aren’t wine aficionados like me and mom, don’t stop reading! This region, and even the wineries, in particular, have a lot to offer anyone who can appreciate the tranquility of the charming countryside. If you are looking for a quiet, hassle-free getaway with dope views and good vibes, Virginia Wine Country should be on your list.
Veritas Vineyards and Winery
Our first stop this time led us to Veritas Winery, which is in Afton, VA, about 20 minutes west of Charlottesville. Out of the four wineries I’ve been to in this area, I would rate this one #1 as far as a total experience. Not only were the wines delicious, but the scenic views were breathtaking, and the friendliness of the staff and the overall warmth of the surroundings made Veritas feel like home. In addition to the inside fireplace, we also loved the fire pit stations looking out to the lawn and vineyard, which is where mom and I decided to set up shop for the day. And what a gorgeous fall day it was!
Now onto the vino! Each winery offers different tasting options. Most commonly they serve flights, which offer small amounts (typically 1-2 ounces) of a selection of wines to try. Veritas offered two different types of flights, called the Classic and Reserve, both serving 4 selections (two red and two white, or a rose replacing one of the whites). The Reserve was slightly higher in quality, so if you know us you can probably guess our choice. This time the Sauvignon Blanc stole my heart, so much so that it came home with me.
I absolutely loved the attention to detail they offered in the description of each selection in the flights, which they called Taste in Place. In fact, I found myself serving as our makeshift sommelier by reading aloud the detailed descriptions as we sipped, which mom and I both got a kick out of.
We also enjoyed the food menu, which consisted of an assortment of cheeseboards, sourdough toasts, salads, and sandwiches, to accompany our wine selections. They also allow you to bring in outside food and non-alcoholic beverages.
Last but not least, if you are a person like me who appreciates good photo ops, this place is a winner! From the flower-adorned vineyard to the tree-lined frame, this vineyard offers a little bit of everything for everyone.
This beautiful vineyard is located about 15 minutes from downtown Charlottesville in the heart of Virginia Wine Country. According to its website, it is “part of both the Monticello Wine Trail and the Route 231 Trail, a protected tourism corridor running along the Southwest Mountains and proclaimed as one of the most beautiful drives in America.”
Keswick has an expansive vineyard, which made for some great photo ops as well.
It also happens to have the best of all the wines I tasted during my visits to the region thus far. At the other wineries, I loved one wine and enjoyed the rest, but I loved every one of the Keswick wines I selected. One of the things I appreciated most about this winery was that it offered build-your-own flights. The tastiness of all the wines made it difficult to choose, but the red medium-bodied Norton was the ultimate winner for me. I recommend the Viognier here for anyone who prefers sweet wine.
This winery doesn’t have many substantial food options, so bringing in your own food is ideal if you want to spend a day there. They offer light snacks like an assortment of cheese and chocolate, and they just so happen to have the best white cheddar popcorn we’ve ever tasted. You’re welcome!
Additionally, I want to offer a special shout-out to Ron, who assisted us. He offered mom a few complimentary tastes in order to select her glass of wine, and even made a special blend for her.
It’s also important to note that we visited this winery on a particularly crisp fall day and they did not have fire pits or a working fireplace at the time. Sitting in the sun made the cooler fall temps more bearable, but we also had to compete with some pretty aggressive bees for the sun. By the time we return next month, they plan to have their heated glass-enclosed area in place and a propane refill for their outdoor fireplace.
Considering there are more than 40 wineries in the area, we still have a lot of ground to cover, but we’re happy to continue to do the research for you. Stay tuned for part three coming soon!