Good morning, gorgeous.
So Charlottesville! I am obsessed with Charlottesville, VA. I had six days off over my birthday week and therefore decided a mini-vacation would be necessary. I’ve only been to Charlottesville once before, to run a half-marathon. So although it was fantastic, I vowed to come back another time when we could fully enjoy the wineries.
My best DC friend Jackie and I met up at her place and then headed down on Friday morning to enjoy a full weekend of wine-drunk fun. Our first stop was Jefferson’s Monticello, to soak up a little American History. And although it’s not the best time of year for scenery, Charlottesville is one of those places that’s just too gorgeous, even in the dead of winter.
After taking in the sights, we enjoyed some cupcakes in our hotel room and almost set the whole place on fire with trick candles Jackie brought by mistake. Oops. So after running them under water, stuffing them in the lobby trash and fanning our smoke alarm for 20 minutes we figured we better vacate the premises and head to a wine tasting.
I could not love Market Street Wine shop any more. It’s an absolutely charming downtown nook, stuffed into a cozy brick-wall basement. There’s a massive local, national and International wine selection and lots of yummy food, including a little section of British goodies which warms my English-born heart. And on Friday nights, a free wine tasting! It was a crowded affair. We enjoyed ourselves there a little while before taking a nice stroll around downtown and eventually stopping for a casual dinner at Rapture.
I blame our hotel room’s blackout curtains but after a solid 12 hours of sleep (yikes) we were ready for a perfect brunch at Pigeon Hole (please indulge in Monte’s Little Sis) followed by a full day of Virginia wineries.
We spent time at Trump (by Donald Trump), Blenheim (by Dave Matthews), Wineworks and Jefferson. Trump was fancy of course but also surprisingly accessible and very friendly. Blenheim was arty, crowded and fun. Virginia Wineworks was one of my most favorite tastings ever.
Held in their production facility, we actually thought we’d come to the wrong place. But after driving around twice, we checked the door and realized we were indeed in the right spot. The ‘tasting room’ was two pieces of plywood balanced on barrels and it was freezing cold! But then of course the wine was amazing and we had the best time with the pourers. We even got to take a little tour of the process which always makes wine taste that much better, no?
Followed by a two hour nap, because that was necessary and one of my most favorite dinners in recent history at Zocalo. Chili dusted scallops in carrot-vanilla sauce? Yes please.
So that’s it. The next morning I drove back to CL and back to normal life. It was one of the happiest birthdays I can remember and for that I feel very grateful. What a lucky life it is.