10/18-25 Trip to Charlottesville VA

Recently back from a trip down south to visit w/bro Richard and his bride Vicky in Charlottesville VA. It’s a bit of a drive, around 9 hours, but it’s all interstate highway driving, so it’s rather painless, other than the heavy truck traffic on I-81. The worst is when you get stuck behind a snail race of passing trucks up a hill when there are only 2 lanes. Anyhow, the scenery from the highway is somewhat interesting to keep you entertained. One travel tip for anyone who is driving 81 north through Scranton & Wilkes-Barre PA, you may want to consider a go-around if you can, there is a construction back-up between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton that looked rather nasty. Heading back home, we took 80 off 81, to 380 N to 84 to the NYS Thruway. This route took around a 1/2 hour off our drive-time. Our trips to Virginia usually involve visits to wineries, good eats and a Hoos (the Virginia Cavaliers, WaHoos-don’t ask) football game and tailgate.

Here's the first winery on our multi day tour - Keswick


The view inside the tasting room. Virginia wines are similar to New York wines, good but not great; usually better whites than reds. The Viognier is the popular VA white.


Next up was a fav, Horton Cellars. Both wineries are near Gordonsville.


The happy tasters with their Horton souveniers.


Last winery on the day 1 tour is White Hall, near Skyline Drive. I bought a bottle of white, but not worth the drive in my opinion.

That night, we ate out at a Tapas style restaurant, Mas Tapas. It was an interesting place in an out of the way, funky part of town. The building is converted old industrial, with a modern decor. Sorry, no pics, but our food was good, as was our service-we went early. The next morning, we wanted to sample some local diner grub for breakfast. Brother’s bride Vic asked some co-workers at UVA what they would recommend, and they sent us off to The Tavern.

Roof sign says it all!

Portion sizes are huge. Of all the grub on the table, bro's sweet potato pancakes were the best of the lot, and no we didn't eat it all.


On day 2 of the winery tour, we visited Ash Lawn at Highland, the home of the 5th President, James Monroe.


Front of the home, that was an add-on to the original home built by Monroe. The big ash tree to the top-left was around 200 years old.


On the tour, the original part of the home built by Monroe is the white part on the left.


Wifey and Vic checking out the gardens.

For info, click on the link for Ash Lawn-Highland. Next we continued down 795 to the Trump Winery. We checked-in, then checked out-good grief, what an ego! Fortunately, on the same road was the Blenheim Vineyards, which we were told is owned by Dave Mathew’s of the Dave Mathew’s Band. They had some very nice wines and generous pours for tasting.

The Blenheim Vineyards.


Yes, we enjoyed our tasting.


On the way back into Charlottesville, we stopped at the Jefferson Vineyard, across from Monticello. The original vinyard was developed by Thomas Jefferson.

That night, we went out to eat at Orzo Kitchen and wine Bar. The food was good, but I enjoyed a place more that we went on a previous visit, Bang.

Orzo at the Main Street Market.


On next day we started low key with just some Kashie cereal, waiting for Vic to get her work chores done for her boss before we could continue with our food, wine and now Micro Brew Pub tour. We headed toward Crozet on 64, Afton and Wintergreen along 151. Our first stop was The Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton for lunch.



They had a fine selection of brews to sample. Miss Vicky was our dd for the day 3 tour.


Interior look of the brewery.

Next up, we visited a rather small winery, Flying Fox Vineyard. So, so wine, but got a couple of bottles anyway-don’t ask me why, just did?

At the Flying Fox Vinyard.

Heading down 151 for Wintergreen, and a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, we came across a real nice Micro-Brew Pub, Devils Backbone Brewing Company in Roseland.

The Devils Backbone Brewery


We sat out on the patio to sample their wares. Brother and I had a real nice Porter, and the girls had coffee and cookies.


A very fine brew.

Next on the day 3 tour, was a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, back toward 64, Charlottesville and leftovers for dinner from the 1st night’s barbecue take-out.

The girls and the view south-west from the Blue Ridge Parkway.


Overlook view to the west, northwest.

View to the east.

On day 4, no more touring cause it’s Hoos football day and tailgating. We start the day with breakfast at the Bluegrass Grill and Bakery in Downtown Charlottesville, and a visit to the farmers market and a walk down the downtown pedestrian mall.

The Bluegrass Grill


A very tasty breakfast, a bit more upscale than the fare we sampled at the Tavern a couple of days ago. I got corned beef hash again, but w/a poached egg this time, and a side of biscuits and gravy. My one concession to healthy eating (the poached egg that is;-).

Yam art at the farmers market.

View down the pedestrian mall from a previous visit.

┬áNow, it’s time for some Hoos football and tailgating.

Some folks getttin' in the mood for some football.


Here's our party.


Time to get into the mood.


It's time for some football.


The view into the stadium from the students end.


It's game time!

Well, I hope you enjoyed the Jackson’s 2011 eating and drinking tour of the greater Charlottesville VA area. We did!!

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