• A Guide to Drinking Your Way Through Charlottesville, VA

A Guide to Drinking Your Way Through Charlottesville, VA

A Guide to Drinking Your Way Through Charlottesville, VA

Wed, 02/20/2019 - 21:57
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Charlottesville, Virginia is famous for being the home of past presidents and an unwavering support of the arts, but there is much more to the charming town than that. In fact, Charlottesville is actually teeming with sprawling vineyards and unique breweries. If you are looking to hit the booze trails in Charlottesville and the surrounding areas, we’ve got the best Charlottesville attractions for you!

Best Charlottesville Wineries Along the Trail

Some of the best Charlottesville tourist attractions are wineries and Prince Michel Vineyard & Winery is one of the best. This vineyard is a pioneer in the Virginia wine industry and is actually one of the oldest wineries in the area. Open Sunday to Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm and Friday to Saturday form 10 am to 7 pm, this vineyard has luxurious wines offered for tasting in their charming main room.

Moss Vineyards is another great Charlottesville winery. Although they have limited weekend hours—Friday to Sunday from noon to 5 pm—this vineyard practices biodynamic wine grape growing. Settled close to the Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views from Moss Vineyard.

One of the coolest Charlottesville vineyards happens to be located 1,700 feet up. Stone Mountain Vineyards is located on Wyatt Mountain Road and is one of the highest vineyards in the entire state of Virginia. This vinery has award-winning wines every year and aside from the delicious wines, you are also treated to stunning views. As a bonus, this winery is child and dog friendly so you can bring the whole family! Although it is only open from 11 am to 5 pm Friday through Sunday, the trip up the mountain is certainly worth it!

If you want a bit of history with your wine, check out Afton Mountain Vineyards. This winery is one of the oldest in Virginia and has been creating award-winning wines for decades. The tasting room is open year-round and the winery is open 7 days a week from 11 am to 5:30 pm. Grab a glass, or bottle, or their premium dry wines and relax on the patio for panoramic views of their sprawling vineyard.

Jefferson Vineyards is closest to the heart of Charlottesville. The family owned winery was opened thirty-five years ago and is well-known in the area for consistently producing award-winning wines. It’s open 7 days a week from 11 am to 5 pm and is a must-see Charlottesville destination.

Pippin Hill Farms & Vineyards is a member of the Virginia Winery Association and is one of the prime wedding venues in the area. Their elegant tasting room features boutique wines that are paired with scrumptious farm to table local cuisine.

Located just 20 miles outside of Charlottesville, Blenhiem Vineyards was founded in 2000 by owner Dave Matthews. They feature three vineyard sites with seven varieties of grapes that are then used to produce high quality wines. Environmentalists will love that their main building is designed to have little impact on the environment. It was constructed with reclaimed lumber and primarily utilizes sunlight to light the space. They’re open from 11 am to 5:30 pm daily and offer tastings for $8.

Despite your political views, the Trump Winery is truly something special. It is the largest vineyard in Virginia and sites nestled in the mountains. While it’s great for weddings and events, the tasting room is also something to explore. Open from 10 am to 4 pm Wednesday through Monday, you can sample wines in the luxurious tasting room for $12. They also offer a Reserve Tasting for $30 that allows you to taste limited production wines in a private, intimate setting.

Barboursville Vineyards is another option if you are looking for a great winery. This winery and restaurant combo is located on a stunning 18th century estate. Sitting just 30 minutes outside of Charlottesville, their Tuscan Tasting Room is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. On Sundays, there are open from 11 am to 5 pm. For a winery tour, you’ll need to stop in Saturday or Sunday between noon and 4 pm.

Established in 2000, Keswick Vineyards is a family owned and operated winery that offers small lots of quality wines. Their tasting room is open daily form 10 am to 5 pm, excluding holidays, and is located just east of Charlottesville. You can enjoy a relaxing afternoon on their covered porch and even enjoy a picnic on their grounds while sampling delicious wines. The winery is child and pet friendly so you can bring the whole gang!

Another option for a winery is the King Family Vineyards. This family owned and operated winery is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is just 15 minutes from Charlottesville. They produce ultra-premium wines. You can choose either a classic tasting for $10 a person, or a private tasting for $15 a person, but $100 minimum. The private tastings include a wine that is not on their tasting list and is a private, standing wine tasting event that is great for larger groups.

First Colony Vineyards is a vineyard the features old world charm. This quaint winery is ever-expanding, adding more acreage to produce high-quality Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery has a thatched roof made from imported Turkish reed and features a covered patio to sip wine and gaze out over the stunning gardens.

Open daily, Veritas Vineyards & Winery is one of the premier vineyards near Charlottesville. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, they have a variety of indoor and outdoor events, and are a highly sought-after wedding venue. They make wine making a family affair and you can sample wines on their stunning grounds Monday through Friday between 9:30 am and 5:30 pm, or between 11 am and 5 pm on the weekends.

Kick Back and Relax at These Top Charlottesville Breweries

If you are looking for things to do in Charlottesville, VA you should check out some of their unique breweries and the cool brews they offer. For the longest running Charlottesville brewery, you’ll need to check out South Street Brewery. They offer a variety of beer with local cuisine pairings. As an added bonus, you can take advantage of $2 Tuesday, where the brews are only two bucks!

For a rustic getaway, try Blue Mountain Brewery. Open seven days a week between 10 am and 11 pm, this Charlottesville brewery opened in 2007. Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, you can get ales and lagers that are brewed and bottled all on site.

Devils Backbone Brewing Company is another Charlottesville favorite. This brewery takes a lodge style and is located near the slopes so it’s the perfect place to stop after a long day snowboarding or skiing. They have authentic craft beers and pub food with their brews varying in intensity and flavor. 

Star Hill Brewery is another great brewery to visit while in Charlottesville. They have won 22 Great American Beer Festival, World Beer Cup, and Great British Beer Festival medals and currently distribute their beers through the mid-Atlantic and Southeast. The tap room is open Tuesday through Friday between 12 pm and 9 pm, Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm, and Sunday 12 pm to 6 pm. Unless it’s a Monday when they are closed, you should stop in and enjoy some world class refreshing beers at this top Charlottesville tourist attraction.

Looking for something to do in Charlottesville? How about checking out the Three Notch'd Brewing Company? At this brewery, they serve flagship beers in a unique rustic setting. They have over 40 taps that include cider and their craft sodas that are brewed in house. They also have signature cocktails that change seasonally and a kid zone so you can bring the whole family along.

Champion Brewing Company was established in 2012 and even though they’re new to the scene, this a a must-see destination in Charlottesville. Their brewery is known as the missile factory and features 30-barrel capacity. They can turn out 15,000 barrels a year, and to sample these delicious beers you can check out their tap room. There’s a nice outdoor patio with lawn games, so you can make a day of it!

For more breweries, you can also check out the biergarten at Wild Wolf Brewing or the rustic Pro Re Nata Brewery.

Things to Do in Charlottesville for the Spirit & Cider Lovers

When generating vacation ideas for your trip to Charlottesville, why not add some distilleries into the mix? Seriously! After spending some time exploring the historical Charlottesville attractions, you can cap your day off with a few craft cocktails.

The Virginia Distillery Company should be your first stop on your Charlottesville distillery tour. Known for their stiff Highland Malt, this single malt distillery is situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Open from Monday to Saturday 11 am to 6 pm and Sunday from noon to 6 pm, if you want to see what a company reinventing American Single Malt Whisky looks like, this is your place.

Silverback Distillery is another great place to stop if you are looking for something to do in Charlottesville. Located right on 151, this distillery produces gin, vodka, bourbon, whiskey, rye, and honey rye whiskey right in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Their ingredients are all local, so you can get a true taste of Virginia spirits.

For the cider lovers out there, Castle Hill Cider is a must stop destination. This stunning farmhouse produces artisanal ciders in small batches. It’s currently listed as one of the world’s best ciders and you can taste the handcrafted cider before it’s even bottled at their amazing tasting and event center.

Last but not least, Bold Rock Hard Cider is another great cider stop. From craft ciders to fruit infused ciders, Bold Rock produces some of the best ciders in town. They are consistently winning awards and you won’t be disappointed!

Top Shuttle Company in Charlottesville

We all know the importance of drinking responsibly, which is why you should consider a shuttle service for your wine or brewery tour. Charlottesville Shuttles, LLC is new to the scene, but offer prompt and reliable transportation services throughout Charlottesville and the surrounding areas. Whether you need bus charters for your wedding or event or are interested in a group wine tour, Charlottesville Shuttles can help. Every member of their team is committed to delivering safe, reliable, and affordable transportation services.


Whether you love a strong IPA or a dark, rich glass of red wine, Charlottesville has something for you. From beers and wines to ciders and spirits, we’re not kidding when we say that some of the top things to do in Charlottesville center on alcohol. So, gather your group, call up your shuttle, and enjoy an enthralling day out on the town