Any thoughts on dining and wineries in Charlotesville?
Visiting friends at Univ, of Virginia. I know there a lots of wineries in the area, are there any worth a tour? Any that have a restaurant for lunch or dinner? Are there other can't miss places to dine? We'll eat anything that doesn't bite us first, so all suggestions are welcome.
We really like Zinc, a French bistro. I've had really middling meals at the Local (which I really wanted to like but the service was embarrassingly bad and the food just so-so) and the Horse and Hound (not bad but Zinc is better).
There's a pretty respectible BBQ joint, Belmont BBQ, which makes for a good lunch. I also like Revolution Soup on the pedestrian mall.
I haven't done a wine tour in that area but I found a few vineyards I liked at the Crozet Art Show last weekend:
Well Hung (no really, that's the name)
re: marianna trench
if you want to eat at the restaurant there get reservations. otherwise stonehill (i think) kitchen right around the corner has great sandwiches and salads.
in charlottesville i agree with maya (great brunch too) and have heard good things about zocalo and great things about tavola. i also love la michoacha (sp?) an amazing little taqueria. not fine dining but yummy.
Maya is outstanding local southern food for dinner only and Sunday brunch in a nice casual atmosphere. The Local is fine dining for dinner with good food and cold drinks. Zocalo is fine dining for dinner with outdoor dining also. Downtown Grill is fun for cold drinks, fresh seafood and good steaks for dinner.
Maya Restaurant @ 633 West Main St., Charlottesville, VA 434 - 979 - 6292.
The Local @ 824 Hinton Ave., Charlottesville,, VA 434 - 984 - 9749.
Zocalo Restaurant @ 201 East Main St/, Charlottesville, VA 434 - 977 - 4944.
Downtown Grille @ 201 West Main St., Charlottesville, VA 434 - 817 - 7080.
I like the wine trail just west of town in Nelson County. If you take 250 out, you can hit Pollak, King Family and Veritas. All are in beautiful settings surrounded by mountains. King Family has free polo matches during the warm months. You can use this site to plan which places to visit. They are pretty close together and you can easily hit 3 or 4 in an afternoon: http://www.virginiawine.org/regions/c...
A great place to grab lunch in the same area is Blue Mountain Brewery. www.bluemountainbrewery.com. They serve local, often organic fare. It's a small menu, but the homemade pizzas are big enough for 3 people, the bratwurst and bbq are local, and their beers are fantastic!
Let me second all of these suggestions. They are good choices. I'd add the Devil's Backbone brewery and the Afton Winery as well. For breakfast, a drive over to Waynesboro for the Basic City Luncheonette would be good as well.
Basic City Luncheonette
408 N Commerce Ave, Waynesboro, VA 22980
I also agree with all the other posts on here. To add a suggestion or two:
First, Delfosse is really nice, but kind of out of the way from some of the other wineries. They do serve pretty decent cheese plates, though, and have good wines/a nice tasting room.
Another wine "trail" I kind of like is First Colony, Kluge, Michael Shaps and Blenheim. FIrst Colony isn't the best ever wine, bu they have some good ones along with a nicce atmosphere and staff. Right nearby, Michael Shaps has fantastic wines without any atmosphere. You pretty much taste in a cellar, but it's neat because you can really tell the focus is on the wine here. Kluge is a nice place for a snack. You can do a regular tasting or a "nontraditional" tasting where the wines are poured into flutes and you can sit outside and sip them while reading tasting notes. They also have a gourmet market where you can get snacks. Blenheim is owned by Dave Mathews Band, but I think their wines are surprisingly good. They also have a nice tasting room with a scenic patio.
I also second Veritas, Afton and Barboursville. Be warned, palladio, Barboursville's restaurant is pricey. I think Barboursville is the nicest winery out that way, but Horton (originator of the Norton grape) and Burnley are nearby. Also not too far is Keswick, another winery I really like.
My advice would be, if you're gonna go, pick a trail with a few wineries in a row and then you can compare different places.
The very first wine tour I ever did once I moved out here started at First Colony. We walked in and they were playing German accordian music. It all went downhill from there. Maybe they've improved but I remember their stuff being vile. Kluge has some real losers too; particularly their Albemarle line.
I will say, I think First Colony really has good and bad years. The first time I went, I LOVED their wines. The second and third, I wasn't impressed at all. On a visit this past year (and it was my first of the day) I thought they had some good ones again. I think they go up and down, but I've always had good experiences tasting there and have liked the staff.
Kluge, I agree has hits and misses, but the atmosphere is nice, and it's fun if you've got any sparkling fans in your party, as they do more than 1.