Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The New Napa?

Albemarle County, Virginia has become quite the grape growing area - which would so please Mr. Jefferson as he is considered by many to be “the greatest patron of wine and wine growing that this country has yet had”.  You won’t find the breadth of good wines we do in California but there are notable standouts and the area’s wineries have been winning more and more awards in national competitions.   Think a history and wine trip to the area - sounds pretty perfect.

Over half of Virginia's vineyard acres are within the MVA - Monticello Viticultural Area - and most of the wineries in the MVA are within an easy drive from Charlottesville and only a two hour drive from Washington D.C.  The Monticello Wine Trail website has great information on visiting wineries in the area and beautiful pictures to pique one's interest.

Thomas Jefferson did many things so very well.  He was a true renaissance man.  His beloved home, Monticello, and his university, the University of Virginia, are both listed on Unesco's World Heritage List.  I am confident one day Virginia will make him even more proud and become a prime destination for wine lovers throughout the world.

Zinc Open Kitchen
But one must eat when touring and drinking wine.  There are some great restaurants in Charlottesville as one would expect from this horse country, university town, wine mecca, and world famous history center....  On this most recent visit we try Zinc.  We love it.  The setting is a former gas station with the former service bays providing funky decor and windows.  The wines and cocktails and glassware are enticing.  I love the charcuterie plate, the seasonal cold soup, the mussels, the duck.  Local ingredients and fresh local produce are in abundance.   It is quite obvious that the chef and staff are professionals and care deeply about their restaurant and I can tell this will be a repeat restaurant for us when we are in town.

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