Inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s bold dream to create vineyards near his home in Virginia, the Monticello Wine Trail consists of over 30 wineries that produce some of the highest-quality grapes and wines in the world. Only an hour away from Richmond, Virginia, spend the day on the Monticello Wine Trail in Charlottesville, home to the celebrated wineries and vineyards of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
On the Monticello Wine Trail, explore Virginia’s bucolic countryside. Sample the regional wine, meet the winemakers, and take in Virginia’s rich cultural history. With many vineyards and wineries to choose from, this shortlist includes two historic vineyards and one winery.
Monticello Wine Trail Destinations
Early Mountain Vineyards
The first of the two vineyards on the Monticello Wine Trail is Early Mountain Vineyards, an esteemed 55-acre vineyard in Madison, Virginia. This small town has only 221 residents and sits comfortably in the lush green pastures of the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Its picturesque scenery is nothing short of stunning, and it might even make you forget about visiting the other surrounding vineyards and wineries.
Early Mountain Vineyards offers award-winning wines that are known for historical consistency. They also serve a full menu of wine-friendly foods including artisanal cheese, fresh pasta, salads, and sandwiches. All of the food comes from local farms and dairies.
“In 1774, Thomas Jefferson and Italian Filippo Mazzei established vineyards on land adjoining Monticello, the site of present-day Jefferson Vineyards, Virginia’s premiere small production winery.” – Jefferson Vineyards.
Almost 250 years later, the tradition of Jefferson Vineyards lives on.
This charming vineyard offers more than just a presidential reputation and a fabled legacy. It also boasts savory wines and has one of the best pastoral views in Charlottesville, Virginia. This family owned winery feels like a scene out of a Faulkner novel. From any spot on the property, marvel at the beautiful foliage that’s unique to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
While relishing in the splendor of the vineyard, don’t forget to enjoy the vineyard’s award-winning Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier, Merlot or Cabernet Franc. The bestselling Estate Reserve and Virginia’s first Petit Verdot are also excellent choices.
Glass House Winery
Located in Free Union, Virginia, Glass House Winery is a 12-acre boutique artisanal winery that offers a one-of-a-kind tropical experience. Glass House Winery is the brainchild of owners Jeff and Michelle Sanders. It combines Michelle’s love for concocting unique and delicious chocolates with Jeff’s botanical prowess.
The Glass House Winery’s attached temperature-controlled glass conservatory provides a relaxing space to enjoy the tropical foliage, handmade chocolates, and wines. There’s also a deck overlooking the lake and picnic tables!
While exploring the tropical ambiance and decor, pair some of Michelle’s mouth-watering chocolates like the Red Wine Cream Chocolate or the Salted Caramel Chocolate with Jeff’s award-winning 2015 Viognier or 2014 Cabernet Franc.
Where to Stay in Richmond, Virginia
When planning a trip to Richmond, use Hotel Planner to help you find cheap and discounted hotels nearby. Create the perfect itinerary for your upcoming trip to the capital city with insightful tips.
Hotel Planner illustrates average nightly rates by star rating. Hotels are even categorized into “luxury” and “affordable” groups. Each hotel comes with notes about the property’s amenities, including proximity to the airport, complimentary coffee, and overpriced alcohol.
As you plan an extraordinary trip to Richmond and neighboring Monticello Wine Trail, read the guest reviews to make sure that you’re picking the right accommodation for your vacation style.
Danielle is a travel finance strategist, writer, speaker and podcaster. She paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27 and has traveled to 25 countries. She refuses to let her financial responsibilities hold her back from living life on her own terms.