Friday, February 21, 2014

Fine Wine in Ruckersville and Gordonsville, VA.

Along the blue ridge mountains sits several little towns and wineries, it's almost impossible to name them all, but there are a couple that stick out in my mind that are home to some pretty great wineries and/or antique shops!!!  

Ruckersville, VA. is an Antique Lovers Paradise, not only are there several small antique stores, there are two Antique Malls that are filled with many, many goodies!!!  The Greene Shops Antique Mall has a few floors filled with everything from glassware and china to furniture and arts and crafts from local vendors.  The Ruckersville Antique Gallery is home to some of the most special antiques I've ever seen!!!!  I've swooned over beautiful American oil paintings, Haviland china, Tiffin crystal and gorgeous jewelry, Victrolas, upholstery and more!!!!  Joan Palmer Antiques holds an exquisite collection and is not to be missed:)  
When you've taken a peak at all the pretties, it's time to stop for lunch, make sure you make that stop Early Mountain Winery, you'll be glad you did:) On this trip, along with my family, we enjoyed local cheese plates paired with tasting flights of local whites and reds, we dined on paninis and oven roasted chicken pot pies and couldn't pass up the house made donuts to finish the meal!!!!  This winery is grand, much like the ones that pepper the Sonoma and Nappa Valley areas of CA.  Whether you eat and drink by the fire or out on the veranda, this place is stunning inside and out!     

The tiny town of Gordonsville, VA is home to Horton Vineyards, another highly sought after winery which will delight you with beautiful whites and delicious reds; and several quaint little shops filled with clothing, antiques and garden decor.  As you walk along Main Street you're bound to see a train or two go by, which I absolutely love!!!  There is also a splendid little restaurant there called Pomme.  This lovely little resto will fill your heart and tummy with French faire!!!  Try wrapping your lips around a sauteed apple and roasted walnut crusted goat cheese over mixed green salad and a petit filet with black truffle sauce:)  Bon Apetit!!!  Just minutes further down Main is the large Gordonsville Antique Mall, a true treasure hunt through rows and rows of old furniture, china, glassware, silverware, books, cameras, typewriters and many other curiosities!!!  My favorite find, a pair of powder blue, cream and pink floral Haviland China plates, they went straight home with me:)

Barboursville Vineyards and Historic Ruins is truly a great way to end your afternoon!!!  Here, not only will you enjoy a 16 sample wine tasting of all of their award winning wines for just $5, you will also be immersed in the history of the vineyard and property by the lovely folks pouring the wine!!!  While they share with you the details of the wines your tasting they'll also share stories with you about the history of the people who lived here long ago. 

The Tasting Room sits next to the fabulously delicious Palladio Restaurant, which is another trip all on its own:)  Northern Italian cuisine at its finest, Palladio boasts a menu full of the freshest, local ingredients.  Give their Ravioli of fresh ricotta and dried blueberries, duck confit, caramelized pearl onions and toasted almonds a try, or maybe their Pan roasted Quail or Roasted Rack of Lamb:)  Oh, the choices, and by spending the afternoon lunching and shopping, you'll be ready to sit down for dinner!!!   

When you finish your tasting and buy your wine to take home, take a walk around the property, most notably, walk down to the ruins!!! The home of James Barbour and his family was designed by none other than close, personal friend, Thomas Jefferson.  The home's construction got underway in 1814 and took roughly 8 years to complete.  The family enjoyed many happy years here until an accidental fire brought down the entire house on Christmas Day 1884.  The brick outline of the house still stands, take a walk around it and take yourself back to a time when Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Barbour would've walked along the lawns talking of politics and travel.  Three of the most distinguished families of the Virginia Piedmont spent time here, and at Montpelier and Monticello, all within a twenty mile radius of each other.  This place would've been just as sought after as the others, were it's ceilings still standing!        

So branch out, and find your own adventure, back in time, in Virginia:)  With wonderful wines, unique, local dishes and lovely curiosities, you'll come back again and again!!!

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