The vineyards at Barboursville surround an 18th century estate that once belonged to James Barbour, the governor of Virginia (for which the area is named.) They are inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s nearby Monticello estate, who in fact designed the stately mansion.
The grounds were once farmland deemed unworthy of making wine, until an Italian man purchased the property and brought with him his family’s winemaking legacy. Wines are still created in a European style. Today the star of the vineyards is undoubtedly its Cabernet Franc, served both in its tasting room and with culinary pairings in its Library 1821 building.
Other varietals depend upon the year, though the vineyard has made Nebbiolo, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, and others throughout the years. Tours grant insight into the history of the estate and the winemaking process, as well as the story of the vineyards’ signature wine.
Barboursville is a 30 minute drive from Charlottesville, 1.25 hours from Richmond, or 2 hours from Washington D.C. Tours take place on weekends only from 12 to 4pm. Tastings take place in the Tuscan Tasting Room every day. The entire estate is open to the public, and bringing a picnic is highly recommended.