I visited Barboursville Vineyards this past Spring and the drive along the entrance left me with the same feeling from years past. Sunlight flickered in between the trees and the air seemed richer. Time slows down in the most incredible way here. Located in the Piedmont region of Virginia, the vineyard is set in the foothills of the southwest mountains creating a surreal backdrop. What makes this winery so unique? It has a European elegance combined with superior wine, rich history, cuisine, and accommodations. Barboursville Vineyards is a place to experience.
My first stop was where it all began- the ruins of Governor Barbour’s home which was built between 1814 and 1822. The home was destroyed by fire on Christmas day in 1884. The remains of the classic Georgian villa are set on beautiful land which provides visitors the opportunity to explore. Much of the facade is left making the home’s presence feel enormous, however, at one time there were only eight rooms with an interesting octagonal sitting area. The designer of of the home was none other than President Thomas Jefferson who was a close friend of Barbour. Jefferson loved the marriage of architecture with surrounding nature. The peaceful surroundings are separated by hemlocks from the 1804 Inn of Barboursville.
The 1804 Inn of Barboursville is quietly tucked away on the property making it the ultimate destination for those seeking a little privacy and peace. The sunsets are epic here. It is nestled amongst old trees. Some of them are pecan. Guests are provided with stunning views of the grounds. You might see a few horses in the pasture which elevates the experience of being in historic Virginia wine country. Enjoy your glass of wine and cheese plate from one of their cozy deck chairs during the golden hour. You will not be disappointed.
In addition, your culinary tastes will be heightened by their restaurant, Palladio which is located on the property. It does not disappoint as it has received national acclaim and awards. Check out their website for events such as; wine pairing dinners, annual truffle feast and lunches, as well as Thanksgiving dinners.
Alright, lets talk about the wine. The entire estate was purchased by Gianni Zonin in 1977. The Zonin family has produced top quality wines in Italy since 1821. Zonin had a vision for the land and worked tirelessly on transforming it into what is now the Barboursville Winery.
Zonin and his team are dedicated to making Barboursville Vineyards a standard of excellence in the industry. Did you know that wines from this vineyard were chosen to serve Queen Elizabeth when she visited Virginia in 2007? Barboursville has won a total of five Virginia Governor’s Cups. They are the most recent winner of the 2021 Virginia Governor’s Cup for their 2015 Paxxito-a dessert wine which uses Vidal and Moscato Ottonel grape varieties.
My most recent visit was on a spring day with clear views of the blue mountains. We opted to sit outside and enjoy a tasting along with a charcuterie board filled with some of the most sumptuous meats and cheeses. There are two tasting rooms on the vineyard. The first is the Tuscan Tasting Room where many of the current vintages are served. Library 1821 is where you can sample some of the more limited and older vintages which are often paired with some of the chefs culinary creations.
While time appears to slow down here, I wish that I had more of it on my last visit. That afternoon, I left with four bottles of Octagon, one of the most celebrated wines at Barboursville. A Bordeaux blend, it remains one of my favorites. I might have to make a road trip in order to stock up. The leaves are falling which is a great time to experience Virginia and the Barboursville Vineyards.