Massanutten Stories and Tips

Barboursville Vineyard

Barboursville Photo, Massanutten, Virginia

Barboursville certainly has the location thing right. Located about a half hour north of Charlottesville, off Rte 33 (which runs between the Blue Ridge and Richmond) the site includes the ruins of a house designed by Thomas Jefferson, includes a large winemaking facility, a very fine (and very expensive) restaurant, Palladio, and a big visitor/shopper facility.

Barboursville is a heavily decorated vineyard. Their wines have won a lot of awards. When we tasted there were three Chardonnays to taste, almost as many Cabernets, including a Cabernet Franc. Barboursville has a real emphasis on italian style wines, including a Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese and Barbera among the more usual Virginia Wines. I was most impressed by their sparkling wine, which is lovely, and dessert wine (but I have a fondness for dessert wines).

Pourers, at least when I visited, were not very experienced. They mispronounced the name of some wines (Gewürtztraminer and Reisling, as well as pronouncing Barbera like the woman's name) and were not able to answer questions. However, we took a tour of the facility and the tour guide was great, very knowledgable, not just speaking from a script, and with a wry sense of humour.

There were only two downsides of Barboursville for me. First is that it, like Oasis, is a big production, not a little family winery like most of the Virginia wineries. While there is nothing wrong with this, I prefer the latter. The second is that the wines were not much to my taste, all being very dry, except for the specific dessert wines.

Barboursville charges a $3 per person tasting fee, with a souvenir glass.

You can learn more about Barboursville at their website and more about Virginia wines in general at this website.

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