November 01, 2014
A Taste of Barboursville Vineyards
Located in the heart of the Virginia Piedmont, Barboursville Vineyards entices visitors with stunning landscapes, evocative ruins of a Thomas Jefferson-designed manor, and, of course, its world-class wines.
A small fee provides you with a glass and the ability to taste all the vineyard's current wines, which numbered to over twenty vintages in September 2014. Crackers, small sips, and copious amounts of provided water will ensure a safe drive home after sampling the Merlots, Carbernet Sauvignon, Pinio Grigio, and more. As a self-admitted lover of sweet wines, I was especially taken with the Philéo, a crisp dessert wine that pairs nicely with fruit or cheese.
2014 Governor's Case, which highlights the top twelve Virginia wines for the year.
A visit to Barboursville is not complete without wandering around the ruins of the Barboursville Mansion, designed in the 1820s by Thomas Jefferson himself, and currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Rendered a ruin by a fire on Christmas Day 1884, the mansion ruins provide a tragically beautiful backdrop to the vines which blanket the hill in front of it. Two service buildings, believed to have been constructed circa 1790 and probably served as the original dwellings for the Barbour family, now provide lodging as inns; book a stay on an August weekend and you can catch a Shakespeare play presented on the grounds of the ruins.
While many great winery operations have made Virginia their home, Barboursville is certainly among the forefront, both in the quality of their vintage and in the spectacular scenery of their vineyards, and as they near forty years of operation, expect to see even more award-winning wines in their future.