Editor’s note—If you’re looking for more Charlottesville recommendations, I’ve got a full Charlottesville Guide, and shared some other Charlottesville recs in these posts: Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards, Jefferson Vineyards + A Few Charlottesville Restaurant Recs, King Family Vineyards + A Few More Cville Restaurant Recs, and A Girls’ Weekend in Charlottesville.
Happy Monday, y’all!
When I visited my sister Jennifer in Charlottesville weekend before last, we knew we wanted to spend our Saturday afternoon wine tasting. It’s a great way to catch up and enjoy the Blue Ridge Mountains. There’s no problem a little fresh air can’t help!
Between the two of us, we’ve covered quite a bit of ground on the Monticello Wine Trail. At UVA, I spent the majority of my free time during the week exploring the different vineyards in the area—and am so glad I didn’t take that time for granted. Jennifer has since picked up that torch at grad school and covered quite a bit of ground herself.
So, since we’ve both been to many of the wineries right near Charlottesville, we knew we wanted to visit somewhere new-to-us. We also knew we wanted to go to Bellair Market to pick up a picnic lunch—you can see all my favorite places for lunch near Charlottesville here!—and not all vineyards allow outside food. As such, once we realized neither of us had been to Afton Mountain Vineyards, we knew we found our place—it was only about a half hour drive out of town and they allowed the aforementioned picnic lunch.
Afton Mountain Vineyards is close to some of my tried and true Cville wineries and breweries—Veritas, Bold Rock Hard Cider, Devils Backbone, and Blue Mountain Brewery. It’s a beautiful half hour drive from town, though my sister and I were commenting the last ten minutes of the drive how we wouldn’t want to make the trip if it was icy or snowing because of the gravel, twisty road that leads up to the actual vineyard for the last three miles of the trip.
BUT, if there’s no icy or snowy weather and it’s just plain cold like it was last weekend, Afton Mountain is the perfect vineyard in subfreezing temperatures for one reason: the heated pavilion.
There’s a heated, floor-to-ceiling glass windows pavilion.
So even though you’re nice and cozy indoors, you still get to experience the beauty of the rolling mountains that surround the vineyard. Which, in my opinion, is the literal definition of a win-win.
We skipped their tasting since it was majority reds when we went and we’re partial to white varietals, but we opted for a bottle of their 2017 Rosé. It was the perfect mix between dry and sweet and at $20 a bottle, a great deal!
If you don’t bring outdoor food, the main tasting room has a fridge with an assortment of cheeses and meats as well as a shelf with ample cracker options. They also sell wine by the glass for about $7/each depending on which vintage you choose—a great option if you just want to stop by as part of a larger tour.
While we drove ourselves and drank responsibility, if you want to let a little loose—definitely check out Cville Hop On Tours. They have different rates and time frames based on your needs and would be a great option for special occasions like a birthday party or bachelorette!