Many - very many - people consider Barboursville to be Virginia's premier winery.
Barboursville's Octagon, a Merlot-based blend of Bordeaux grape varieties, is often held up as the exemplar of Virginia's wine aspirations, even taking the state's top prize - the Governor's Cup - in 2013. Typically priced north of $50 - with library bottles running upwards of $100 - Octagon is a splurge for many, though many others think the price to be entirely reasonable for the quality.
If you're visiting on a weekend, consider stopping into Barboursville's Library 1821, a more relaxed and upscale tasting space, where you will have a good chance of sampling a vertical tasting of Octagon paired with some tasty tidbits for $20.
The historic winery is a 900-acre destination that warrants a relaxed settling-in. The tasting room is modeled after a Northern Italian farmhouse where more than 15 wines are available for sampling.
The bright and airy restaurant, Palladio, is open for lunch Wednesday - Sunday, and for dinner on Friday and Saturday (reservations recommended for both).
The on-site 1804 Inn offers a half dozen rustic/elegant suites and cottages, if you'd rather not drive home.
Barboursville is about as centrally-located as they come, with Charlottesville just 15 miles south, Monticello 20 miles north, and James Madisons Montpelier a nice 8-mile drive away.
Weddings and private parties welcomed; picnic area and snacks available; kids welcome at the winery.
Wines include Italian varietals such as Barbera, Nebbiolo, Pinot Grigio and Sangiovese joining the usual suspects: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Viognier, and Riesling. An unusual-for-Virginia Sauvignon Blanc is also available, along with sparkling wines and a couple of dessert wine options, including Phileo, a classic Northern Italian Moscato blend.
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