Napa Valley Wine Tasting / Wineries

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Posted January 2006

Virginia’s Central Region Wineries

The Monticello Wine Trail Festival

History, Culture and Fun

Between the heights of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the flatlands and beaches of the east coast, sits the beautiful Virginia city of Charlottesville. Within minutes of this historic town are myriad of activities: hiking and backpacking on the Appalachian Trail, stunning mountain-top views accessible by car via Skyline Drive and The Blue Ridge Parkway; skiing and other outdoor activities at some of the country's finest resorts not far from Charlottesville. And of course, visitors and locals alike can ride in hot air balloons, play golf at world-class resorts, and tour the many local vineyards.

Many wineries are only open seasonally or have seasonal hours, so it is important to not only have your map (www.virginiawines.org/wineries/images/maps/m-central.pdf) but also know when the best time to visit your favorite venue is. If you haven’t picked out a favorite, you might try these well-know local wineries:

Oakencroft:

Know for its idyllic farm setting and medal-winning wines, this is the closest winery to Charlottesville and University of Virginia. Oakencroft, the oldest winery in Albemarle County it has been in business since 1983.

Owner Felecia Warburg Rogan helped found The Jeffersonian Wine Grape Growers Society to encourage quality winegrowing in Central Virginia and has remained Chairman of the organization for more than 20 years. This group is responsible for establishing the Monticello Viticultural Area, The Annual Monticello October Wine Festival and, more recently, the Monticello Wine Trail website and brochures to promote the twenty-one wineries in Central Virginia.

Quality wines are produced by Riaan Rossouw, the winemaker, to suit every palate and the vines are carefully tended by Philip Ponton. There are wine related gifts for sale in the antique filled Tasting Room and wine tastings of the medal winning wines. Oakencroft offers their winery courtyard for private or corporate parties and events. They are also very popular for bridal parties and receptions.

Oakencroft is open for tours and tastings January, February, and March, Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm and April through December, seven days a week from 11 am to 5 pm.

White Hall:

Just west of Charlottesville, in a town called White Hall is a winery of the same name. This beautiful winery looks like something out of Napa Valley with the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop. White Hall Vineyard is included on the Monticello Wine Trail and situated at 800 feet elevation. The winery is owned by Dr. Antony Champ and his wife. It was after several trips to California, starting in the mid-sixties that the couple decided to make their dream come true.

White Hall's vineyard was established in 1991 with six acres of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. During the last few years, White Hall has added Muscat, Gewürztraminer, Touriga, and Pinot Gris to its vineyards and now has 25 acres of grapes planted.

Their first vintage was produced in 1994. White Hall's winery facility and tasting room opened in June of 1996 for complimentary tours and tastings. Public hours of operation are Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.  White Hall Vineyards has lovely banquet facilities with views of the mountains and vineyards. It is a wonderful space for weddings, receptions, rehearsal dinners, and private parties.

The vineyard is closed from December 15 to March 1, and during major holidays. White Hall Vineyards can be reached at 434-823-8615.

Here are some additional wineries to visit:

Jefferson Vineyards:

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