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Exploring Virginia's Wine Country

VIRGINIA IS STILL FOR LOVERS

Article by Sue G. Collins

Photography by Sue G. Collins

Looking out over 180 acres of vineyards framed by the rolling foothills of the Southwest Mountains in the Virginia Piedmont, Luca Paschina stands where Thomas Jefferson likely surveyed the property while designing the historic landmark mansion for his friend Gov. James Barbour in 1814.

Paschina is the accomplished winemaker and general manager at Barboursville Vineyards, but first and foremost, he is a farmer. He caresses a new vine planted a week earlier, the red clay soil now healthy and fertile after years of grooming under Luca’s watchful eye. He and his team will add eight more matured acres to the vineyard this year, along with crops and livestock to complement the 900-acre estate.

Barboursville Vineyard’s founding owner, oenologist Gianni Zonin, also produces wines in every primary growing region of Italy, in Piemonte, Friuli, Veneto, Lombardy, Puglia, Sicily, and at three estates in Tuscany. Last year, more than 40,000 visitors explored Barboursville, a stop on the The Virginia Foothills program, showcasing the beautiful region of Virginia that is dotted with vineyards, historic sites, boutique hotels and fine restaurants.

Luca Paschina is the accomplished winemaker and general manager at Barboursville Vineyards, but first and foremost, he is a farmer.

When You Go

Fly direct to Charlottesville. Book Central Virginia Wine Tours to chauffeur you among wineries, BBQ joints and small town shopping.

Stay at the Inn at Willow Grove, with 10 boutique rooms, 10 suites and four cottages, each decorated and furnished with locally inspired designs and antiques by the Scibal family. Friendly old-growth tweets and landscaped gardens hug the colonial architecture, a stunning 1770s plantation house lovingly restored by family members. 

The grand property is nestled on 40 acres of rolling hills overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains and includes Vintage Restaurant & Pub and the Mill House Spa with a heated saltwater pool. The concierge butler service means your turn-down service (complete with house-made sweets) and fresh house-made beignets delivered to your door in the morning will arrive at your specified time.

Mill House Spa is a sweet 3,000 square-foot cottage with three treatment rooms, a relaxation room, fitness facility and pool. Use the Inn as home base for exploring the Virginia Foothills and the nearby Montpelier Plantation, the home of President James Madison, the Father of the Constitution and architect of the Bill of Rights and Dolley Madison. Charming! 

Downtown Orange

Forked On Main, 124 W Main St, for lunch or dinner

Objects on Main, 107 E Main St, for antiques and modern accessories and apparel 

Dinner at Vintage Restaurant & Pub at the Inn at Willow Grove is a feast for the eyes and palate.

Fresh beignets and French roast coffee delivered to your room each morning. You name the time.

Mill House Spa is a sweet 3,000 square-foot cottage with three treatment rooms, a relaxation room, fitness facility and pool. 

Central Virginia Wine Tours provides winery and brewery tours and will take you to spots favored by locals and visitors alike.

We love that the Inn makes sustainability a priority. This tiny bar of soap is really all you need. No paper, no waste. And, it's made locally and smells divine!

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