A housekeeping note before I dive into today’s post—I added a new Virginia Wine tab nested under the Washington, DC tab on the main navigation bar. I’m trying to be better about taking my DSLR out with me when I go to wineries in Charlottesville or Northern Virginia, so I’m hoping to expand this section of my blog for you so it’s a good resource if you’re trying to plan a day at the vineyards. If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time, you know at one point I had 30+ winery reviews posted, but decided to archive those for now since some of the information was outdated and let’s just say my photography skills have improved dramatically since then!
As I mentioned on Friday, I spent the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia with my two best friends from college. We had the best time reminiscing about our college days, talking about the future, and, of course, eating some of our favorite Cville foods.
On Saturday, the weather was gorgeous—sunny and in the 60s—so we decided to head to Jefferson Vineyards for the afternoon since it had been a while since we were able to last stop into this winery. It’s also not too far from Charlottesville’s downtown, which means less travel time and more time for wine. Tastings at Jefferson Vineyards used to be free with a UVA Alumni Association membership, and while they have discontinued that program, they still do offer a 15% discount to members, which is a huge perk if you can take advantage!
Before we arrived at the vineyard, we stopped by Take It Away to pick up sandwiches for our winery afternoon. They sell bags of bread ends for $1.25, which, when coupled with a half pint of their famous house dressing, make for the perfect afternoon snack.
We had drank Jefferson Vineyards’ Chardonnay the evening before, so it mix it up, we opted to sip on their Rosé—it was delicious! Very crisp and fruity, but not to sweet. I also am a huge fan of their Vin Blanc—so much so that I bought three bottles of it at the Mount Vernon Wine Festival last fall!
There’s plenty of outdoor seating, much of which overlooks the rolling hills of the beautiful Blue Ridge. We enjoyed our picnic for a while, but after being accosted by several large wasps, we decided to spend the rest of our afternoon in their tasting room, which recently re-opened after some renovations. It was the perfect way to spend a spring Saturday.
After our afternoon at Jefferson Vineyards, we went to dinner at Red Pump Kitchen on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a delicious Italian dinner in a great atmosphere, I can’t recommend it enough! I started with a kale caesar, and enjoyed a roasted pork, asparagus, red pepper, and mushroom tortellini as my main entree. I was really excited to try this restaurant since it’s done by the same entertainment group as nearby Pippin Hill Winery and it did not disappoint.
We also went for a nightcap at one of my favorite low key places in town, Southern Crescent Galley and Bar. It’s a New Orleans inspired eatery and is located in the Belmont neighborhood, a short Uber ride away from the Downtown Mall. They’ve got a great bar and beautiful back patio—I wish it had been warm enough for us to enjoy it!
For Sunday brunch, we tried a new place right near UVA’s Corner—Farm Bell Kitchen. For those of you familiar, it’s right next to the Courtyard Marriott.) A southern kitchen, the restaurant is located in an old home—it reminded me a lot of Husk in Charleston. We were seated in the front room, which overlooked their lively patio, and had a great meal. The service was on the slower side, but our waiter was awesome and brought us a few desserts to make up for the wait. I’d definitely go back and give it another try once they have some of the kinks worked out since the good was so delicious.
I shared my favorite Charlottesville restaurants in this post if you’re in the process of planning a trip to Jefferson’s Virginia and need some more recommendations.
I had a wonderful weekend in Charlottesville—it will always be one of my favorite places, and was so nice to spend a weekend there with some of my favorite people. My next trip back to town will be my five-year college reunion—ah, where does the time go! I hope you all had a great weekend, too. x