On a trip to Charlottesville, you have to chance to drink wine grown in the spot where U.S. founding father Thomas Jefferson helped plant the seeds of America’s first vineyards. Jefferson and Italian viticulturist Philip Mazzei experimented with grapes here, but today the art of Virginia wine has been perfected, and the modern owners grow a number of grape varieties ideally suited to the climate. Not only is Jefferson Vineyards in a historic location, it’s also the closest and most convenient winery to Charlottesville, an ideal spot for an afternoon glass of the vineyard’s chardonnay, merlot or petit verdot while socializing in the rustic tasting room or relaxing on the garden patio.
Jefferson Vineyards is just 10 minutes drive outside of Charlottesville, on the eastern side of the Monticello estate. Tastings are available every day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The classic tasting costs $10 per person and includes a souvenir glass.