Monticello Wine Tour

I know my last blog was about a brewery, but I'll be honest with you - I don't know what I like more; wine or beer. I enjoy them both equally and in moderation (so as not to show favoritism, or get *too* much of a booze belly). So, as you might guess, I was very excited to go on a wine tour with Cali by Monticello Wine Tour & Coach. In the interest of complete honesty, I must say that Monticello Wine Tours is affiliated with Stay Charlottesville, a hospitality and travel company Cali works for, so we got hooked up with the tour. That being said, this is not a paid review, and all opinions are my own. 

Thursday morning, promptly at 11:30, our driver Pete arrived at Cali's house in a sleek black Cadillac. As soon as we got in, he introduced himself and offered us the USB cable, so we could play whatever music we wanted (Lemonade, obviously) as we headed to the first destination... 

King Family Vineyards

The tasting lineup at Kind Family Vinyards

The tasting lineup at Kind Family Vinyards

Our sommelier, Tiernan, was incredibly knowledgable about each wine, how it's made, how long it ages, etc. She answered all the questions we had, and taught us a few things, too!. We tried 2 whites, a rose, and 3 reds at King Family, and decided to buy a bottle of Crose to enjoy on the patio while we talked for a bit. Of the 6 wines we tried, the Crose and Petit Verdot 2015 were my favorite (I tend to favor dry reds). 

While we were enjoying the weather, wine, and atmosphere, Pete (our driver) checked in with is to make sure we were doing well, and when we were ready to go, he pulled up and picked us up immediately. It was so great to know that the driving was all taken care of, so we could enjoy ourselves. Next up, we visited...

Blue Mountain Brewery

Thank god. 

Thank god. 

I was feeling the wine and sun already, so I was glad to stop for a meal. I've been primarily eating vegan lately, but their pulled pork looked too good to pass up. I paired it with their orange-infused IPA, appropriately called A Hopwork Orange. Did I choose my beer because of its name? Maybe. Either way, it was delicious, and I'd do it again. In addition to having delicious food and beer, Blue Mountain Brewery also has unique special events. Every Thursday is 'Steal The Glass' day, which allows patrons to "steal" a logo glass with purchase a beer. They also host "Hop Stringin' Day," where volunteers who help string hops for 2 hours get lunch on the house.

Last but not least was

Veritas Vineyards & Winery

 Again, we tasted two whites, a rosé, and three reds. I adored our Sommelier, Sarah, who knew plenty about each wine and was patient with my tipsy picture taking. My favorite part about Veritas was the atmosphere. We were welcome to walk through the vineyard our wine came from, which just added a layer of excitement and interactivity. The grounds were nothing short of breathtaking, and I loved all the attention to detail in the main wine tasting room, including a massive display of wine corks suspended from the ceiling spelling out 'LOVE.'

When we were done roaming the grounds and taking photos, Pete was waiting out front to take us home. By this time, I was incredibly grateful to have a professional driver standing by to get us home safe and sound. I wouldn't have ever attempted to drive from place to place (especially not in a school bus), but even hailing a über seemed cumbersome compared to hopping in the waiting Cadillac who's driver we'd already gotten acquainted with, and who knew how to get us home without asking.

The Verdict

If you find yourself in Charlottesville, VA, I would highly recommend taking a tour through Monticello Wine Tours & Coach Co. If wine isn't your thing, they do brewery and distillery tours too. Pete was great, arrangements are easy to make, and you're sure to have a great time and make memories. You can book private tours for up to 14 people, which is great for birthdays, graduations, wedding parties, or if you're just in town visiting your sister. Best of all, it's a safe way to try new things at new places, and who doesn't want that?