Charlottesville Weekend, Part II
You guys…I’ve burned out of MoFo. Officially. All the best laid plans and intentions seriously couldn’t prepare me for how hard doing MoFo in September was going to be. Normally it’s a challenge–but it’s always been fun! Fun! That’s the point, right? Community and fun and pushing ourselves to post tons about awesome vegan eats and etc. This year though? Not so much. I don’t mean to get all melodramatic on you, so I won’t get into details, but this has been one hard month. And I just broke this week. I can’t do it all, god knows. And this month I’ve been trying to do it all. And I can’t anymore.
So. Where does that leave us?
I actually hope to make the few last posts, so there’s that. As for the blog, I’m mulling that one over. No! I’m not quitting or even getting close to it. I’m just reevaluating what’s working and what’s not working in my life on the whole. So maybe fewer posts. Maybe more. I have no idea yet. So hang out, I’ll get to whatever the new normal will be eventually.
As for Charlottesville last weekend, oh hey, there’s still Saturday to talk about!
Though I had hoped to make it to the farmers market again on Saturday (that lovely, huge magical market of giant chard), we overslept. And holy cow did it feel good. Much needed for sure. We ate breakfast at Bodo’s Bagels where my bagel contained a No Bull Veggie Patty (delish) as well as some other non-vegan elements, so I won’t go into that any further. However, for the record, Bodo’s is great but the crowds are INSANE. I know it was noon, but seriously, ya’ll, there does not need to be a line out the door and no parking. Just saying. At least the line moved quickly!
After snarfing down the food, we hit the road to visit some wineries in the region. Since there are over 30 wineries in the Charlottesville area, we definitely had to break down the list into a manageable segment and the Monticello Wine Trail website really helped with that. We chose to visit wineries along the Western segment, starting first with Pollak Vineyards.
Pollak was really pretty, even in the rain, with a spacious, light-filled tasting house. We were surprised at how crowded it was–we had to wait 20 minutes or so for a spot at the tasting bar–but were appreciative of how they noticed we were waiting and came out with a glass of the first wine on the list to try while we waited. Sadly, I didn’t fall in love with any of Pollak’s wines, which was weird because I know I’ve had them at least a few times before, and maybe it was just that I was tired and it was early in the day and I didn’t feel ready to drink…I don’t know. But nothing tasted good to either me or G. So while it was a nice place with I’m sure nice wines, it didn’t hit the spot for me.
Next, we drove a few miles over to Veritas Vineyard & Winery, which I’ve definitely tried a few times before at festivals and liked. The rain had picked up by this point, so we rushed into the tasting room a little damp and ready to warm up with some red wines. And then we hit a wall of people. Holy crowded place. Thankfully, the winery is very organized, with a greeter at the front door who ushered us into a line to wait for the tasting. The line moved quickly and it was fun/overwhelming to be surrounded by so. many. people. The cork art of “LOVE” hanging from the ceiling was cute for sure.
The tasting at Veritas was much more fun than at Pollak and we were able to easily talk to and joke around with a group of women from Richmond that were at the table with us. The wines were much more pleasing to my palate as well and we did leave with a couple of bottles. I’d been a little cranky up to this point, but was feeling a lot better after this tasting. I’m sure the wine had *nothing* to do with that…
The last winery that we visited was Cardinal Point Winery, a more laid back and definitely friendly winery. I’d been wanting to visit since I’d met some of the manager-owners at Lambstock last year and was happy to finally get a chance to try the range of wines. I loved the woman who did our tasting–she knew a lot about each of the wines and was super fun to talk with–and we shared the tasting with a fun group of 20-somethings who we’d been traveling with the whole day to the same wineries. I loved the atmosphere of the tasting room–much more comfortable than the other places, less pretentious–and I enjoyed all the wines quite a bit. We left with a few bottles, including their super delicious sparkling chardonnay and Union, a vintage of 85% Petit Verdot, 10% Tannat, and 5% Cabernet Franc. I can’t wait to curl up next to a fire with the bottle of Union.
Afterwards, we were needing a snack before meeting our friends for more drinks and dinner, so we headed over to Blue Mountain Brewery which is also conveniently located in the same area as the wineries. I’ve enjoyed most of the brews offered by Blue Mountain before, but I’m always keen to see what’s on draft and see if there are any new batches I like. So naturally we shared the full flight of brews and fought over the few that the both of us were keen on. Many of the beers on draft were hoppy, so I wasn’t loving them as much, but I did really enjoy the Oktoberfest and I’m hoping I can get a six-pack of it here. ALSO those are the tiniest, cutest lil’ tasting glasses ever, right? They were maybe 2″ high max. Adorable. I wished it hadn’t been cold and rainy, otherwise we could have sat outside in their gorgeous beer garden, but the bar was pretty great and the snack (non-vegan) hit the spot.
Finally, it was time to head back to Charlottesville for dinner and drinks with G’s friends from way back in the day. Mysterious weird illness aside, we all had an awesome night enjoying beers at Three Notch’d Brewery, a brand spankin new brewery that hasn’t even held its grand opening yet, and dinner at Pasture’s new Charlottesville location. I’d been drinking enough by the time we hit Three Notch’d that, honestly, my taste buds were a little dull, BUT on the plus side, everything at the brewery, even the IPA (which I don’t like IPAs much at all) was very tasty and drinkable. G’s friend mentioned that their hope at the brewery was to brew beverages that aren’t crazy flavored or hopped–just brews that people want to sit back and enjoy with friends. And I think they’re wildly successful at that. If you’re in Cville, be sure to stop by, it’s a great addition to the city.
All-in-all, a very drinking day, but a delicious day!
We rarely get the chance to spend a weekend in Charlottesville, so it was fun to explore all the places that had been on our lists for years. And we’re hoping to head up again soon and try even more wineries–maybe next time with a little more sun mixed in!
Blue Mountain Brewery
9519 Critzer Shop Rd
Afton, VA 22920
Cardinal Point Winery
9423 Batesville Road
Afton Virginia 22920
330 Newtown Road
Greenwood, VA 22943
Three Notch’d Brewing
946 Grady Avenue
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
151 Veritas Lane Afton, Virginia 22920
GPS Address: 145 Saddleback Farm