Autumn is in full swing here in Central Virginia, and as a local for a few years now I am excited to share with you the best wineries in Charlottesville to visit this season. I know so many of us are anxious to get outside to enjoy the crisp fall air, and what better way to enjoy the fall weather than with some local Virginia wine? Below I’m sharing my tips for planning your trip to Virginia Wine Country, places to stay, and the inside scoop on wineries you don’t want to miss out on!
Veritas Winery is one of my favorite wineries in the area for multiple reasons. They really focus on their wine and produce some of the best in the state. Emily Hodson, their winemaker, creates elegant, complex wines that show a beautiful expression of Virginia Terroir in each glass. They have a table side tasting or you can book an elevated, reserve tasting experience. They also have a great menu with food and full service. Look for a reservation near their fire pits and other winter offerings in the coming months!
Open every day 11am – 5pm; veritaswines.com
151 Veritas Ln, Afton, VA 22920
Merrie Mill is a brand new vineyard that opened this past summer. They just celebrated their first harvest, and actually share the same winemaker as Veritas! The decor and quirky vibe of this place is really unique to any other tasting room in Virginia. It’s definitely ~instagrammable~. They have a great indoor area as well as a covered outdoor patio overlooking their vines. Check out their social media for updates on special offerings and live music!
Open every day except Tuesday, 11am – 5pm; www.merriemillfarm.com
594 Merrie Mill Farm, Keswick, VA 22947
Gabriele Rausse is known as the God Father of Virginia Wine. He came over from Italy and started working at Barboursville, then ventured out to create his own label and tasting room. The tasting room is hidden and cozy, which makes it the perfect place to venture to during the fall. The sourdough bread and olive oil is an awesome addition to their wine tasting. While a lot of Virginia focuses on French grape varieties, here you will find more of an Italian influence with some unique expressions of Virginia wine.
Thursday & Friday 11:00am – 5:00pm; Sunday 10:00am – 4:00pm; www.gabrieleraussewinery.com
3247 Carter’s Mountain Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22902
Pippin Hill is a place where you can get it all; farm to table cuisine, boutique wines and beautiful mountain views. The farmhouse feel of this gorgeous tasting room is the perfect place to spend a fall afternoon wine tasting. They are currently offering wine tastings at their table reservations or on their lawn. Make sure to book way in advance or try and go on a week day! For a more wine intensive experience be sure to check out the Guided Tasting. This offering includes an educational tour of the vines and gardens, a food and wine tasting experience, with a picnic to follow (you could even get yours truly as a tour guide! :)). Pippin is easily one of the best and most beautiful wineries in Charlottesville to visit.
Open Wednesday – Sunday 11am – 5pm*; www.pippinhillfarm.com
*check weekly for early closures to to private events
5022 Plank Rd, North Garden, VA 22959
Barboursville is the OG of the modern-day Virginia wineries. When Gianni Zonin came over from Italy in the 1970s, he started this vineyard with the help of Gabriele Rausse. This winery has tons of history, and tons of good wine. Their most famous wine is the Octagon which is a Bordeaux style blend that really shows what Virginia terroir is capable of. They have many options for tasting experiences, as well as an elegant Italian restaurant, Palladio, next door. If you want to taste a variety of Virginia wines while learning about the history, this is a must visit!
Open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm; Sunday 11am – 5pm; www.bbvwine.com
17655 Winery Rd, Barboursville, VA 22923
Hark Vineyards is a newer winery that opened in 2019 to the public. It is located 10 miles north of Charlottesville in Earlysville, VA. They are currently offering outdoor seating with wines by the glass, bottle, and a few tasting options. Check out their calendar for food trucks and live music! They also encourage you to bring a picnic or enjoy foods they offer such as cheese, charcuterie, jams, crackers, and chocolate which are available for purchase in the tasting room. The wines here are exceptional!
Open Friday & Sunday 12 – 6pm; 12pm-8pm Saturdays; www.harkvineyards.com
1465 Davis Shop Rd, Earlysville, VA 22936
Early Mountain has been a long time favorite of mine because they consistently produce great wines. Located in Madison, VA, it’s a little farther drive outside of Charlottesville but well worth it. Each season they prepare a delicious menu that pairs perfectly with a variety of their wines. If you’re looking for a more wine-focused experience, check out their elevation tasting option where you can try their premium wines and learn about their viticulture story.
Thursday – Monday 11am – 5pm; www.earlymountain.com
6109 Wolftown-Hood Rd, Madison, VA 22727
King Family Vineyards is a family friendly, dog friendly winery with open space and gorgeous views. This place doesn’t typically require a reservation and is great for grabbing a Classic or Reserve tasting or a bottle of one of their many delicious options. You can also enjoy food from a local food truck on Wednesdays, Saturdays, or Sundays. If this is your first time visiting, check out their Tour & Tasting for the full experience (reservation required). King Family is a staple for the best wineries in Charlottesville to visit!
Open everyday 10:30am – 5:30pm; kingfamilyvineyards.com
6550 Roseland Farm, Crozet, VA 22932
Start at Gabriele Rausse, then head to Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards (Fridays & Sundays are much better days to visit)
Start at Merrie Mill, then go to King Family Vineyards and Veritas Winery
Start at Barboursville, drive out to Early Mountain, swing by Hark vineyards on your way back into Charlottesville