Destinations: Charlottesville Wine Tour

Whether you’re a connoisseur or new to the world of wine, at some point you’ll have to pay homage to the “Birthplace of American Wine,” as the Jeffersonian Grape Growers Society calls the Monticello Wine Trail.

Within the wine trail lies about 20 wineries within 15 miles of Charlottesville, and Reston Limousine’s Charlottesville Wine Tour rotates minibus* tours to two different wineries every month. On Saturday, April 18, our featured Charlottesville Wine Tour destinations are Veritas Vineyard & Winery and Kluge Estate Vineyard.

After leaving the departure station in McLean at 9 a.m., you’ll arrive at about 11 a.m. for a private tour and tasting at Veritas Vineyard & Winery.

Located in Afton at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Veritas is owned by Andrew and Patricia Hodson. Their daughter Emily, who completed her master’s degree in enology at Virginia Tech, also helps to oversee the winery’s classic and traditional methods of making wine.

Upon arrival, guests will be taken on a 15-minute tour of the winemaking production process, and then will be led to an elegant tasting room that’s “truly the height of fashion and elegance” according to local wine blog Virginia Vine Spot.

Once comfortably esconced, guests will have a choice of 13 wines on the tasting menu, a winemaker’s showcase of six wines for $10, or a red or white flight, each for $5. Be sure to ask about their wines that will be showcased at the London International Wine Fair in May; all are available for tasting,

Next stop is Kluge Estate Vineyard, whose 2005 Blanc de Blanc recently was featured in’s The United Plates of America as the Best Thing to Drink in Virginia.

Visitors will arrive at Kluge (pronounced kloo-gee) and enter the Farm Shop, a classic country store that offers a selection of artisan cheeses that best highlight the wines. At the Farm Shop, tastings consist of a full flight uniquely presented in glass cones placed on a rack.

The Albemarle Tasting for $10 includes the Viognier, ’08 Rose, ’03 Simply Red, ’04 Simply Red, Cru and Cru Cocktail. The Kluge Tasting for $12 includes all four of the winery’s sparkling wines and well as the New World Reds — Bordeaux-style blends.

Last stop on the tour is Downtown Charlottesville, where you can enjoy a late lunch and shopping before the bus leaves at 5 p.m. You’ll be dropped off at the pedestrian Downtown Mall. At the mall, you’ll have a world of choices for lunch fare: Mediterranean, Thai, Chinese, Italian, Himalayan and more. If you’re looking to satisfy a sweet tooth, C&O Restaurant & Gallery was the readers’ choice in the annual 2008 Best of C-Ville poll.

Travelers tip: Bring a thermos, small cooler or a few snacks for the Reston Limousine ride!

Cost: $40 per person (does not include tasting fees)

9 a.m. Depart 1650 Tysons Boulevard , McLean
~ 11 a.m. Arrive at Veritas
~ 1 p.m. Arrive at Kluge
~ 3 p.m. Arrive downtown Charlottesville for late lunch and shopping
5 p.m. Depart downtown Charlottesville
~ 7 p.m. Arrive 1650 Tysons Boulevard , McLean

To reserve your seat on this tour or for more information, please contact Kacy Norris at 703-478-0500 ext. 508.

*Vehicle type subject to change without notice

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