Everyone knows about Thomas Jefferson – the third President of the United States, the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, the first Secretary of State, the governor of Virginia, the Minister to France, the founder of the University of Virginia, his list of accolades goes on and on. However, did you know that he was also an oenophile? He had a vision for wine and planted thousands of vines on his Monticello land, hoping to produce high-quality wines that would rival the best of the Old World ones.
The Monticello Wine Trail has 33 winery members all located within 25 miles of Charlottesville, Virginia. Each winery of the Monticello Wine Trail pays homage to Thomas Jefferson’s winemaking vision.
I hope to someday visit every one of these 33 wineries. So far, I have visited two. In this post, I want to document my visit to Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards. I’ve frequented Pippin Hill twice so far, and I’m sure there will be more visits in the future!
Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards is one of the most beloved in Virginia for many reasons. Situated in the heart of Virginia wine country, Pippin Hills doesn’t just grow fine wines – they also cultivate a fresh, seasonal, farm-to-table culinary experience. Overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains, this winery is an idyllic place to spend the day.
Pippin Hill’s ideal terroir and sustainable viticulture allow them to produce some of Virginia’s best wines. At the 2018 Virginia Governor’s Cup, Pippin Hill’s Viognier 2016, Merlot Reserve 2015, Vintner’s Meritage Reserve 2013, and Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 were awarded gold medals. Their Chardonnay Reserve 2016 and Petit Verdot 2015 took silver medals.
One can experience these wines at the hand-carved wooden bar in their beautiful, quaint tasting room. They also grow their own herbs and vegetables on-site, which means one will get the freshest ingredients straight from the kitchen garden or from other local farmers if one chooses to sample some of their food. While I haven’t had food here yet, I love that everything is fresh, seasonal, and local. I highly recommend walking around the kitchen gardens if you have time.
A tasting flight consists of five 1-oz. pours for $10/person. A reserve flight is four wines for $13. The difference between the tasting and the reserve is that the tasting consists of four whites and one red, while the reserve consists of a sparkling, a white, and two reds.
My favorite, hands down, is their Viognier 2016. It’s light, crisp, with notes of lemongrass and pear on the nose and floral and fruity notes on the palate. Such a well-balanced wine that goes perfectly with everything. I also really enjoyed their Cab Sauvignon, which had hints of blackberries and blueberries and a smoky finish.
I love visiting Pippin Hill – the breathtaking scenic views; the excellent wine selection; the freshly grown, seasonal cuisine; the sustainable vineyard-and-farm-to-table ideals; the friendly and knowledgeable staff; the sprawling green grounds; and the relaxed, sophisticated atmosphere. Pippin Hill is perfection.
Have you visited Pippin Hill or tried their wines yet? What are some of your favorite wineries in Virginia?