By Marti Mayne
While New England offers a virtual lifetime of B&B opportunities, every now and then it’s fun to venture afar. As wine lovers and history buffs, we discovered Charlottesville, VA. Steeped in Thomas Jefferson history, surrounded by fabulous wines and a number of fabulous B&Bs, this destination totally fits the bill for the perfect road trip. We decided to try some wine tasting, visit Monticello and found a group of wonderful inns starting with Arcady Vineyard B&B.
You’ll need your GPS to find the Arcady Vineyard B&B, located behind a small sign and down a long dirt drive. The remote location offers the bonus of privacy on this 13-acre location. Due to sign restrictions, at first glance it’s tough to be sure you’ve arrived at the B&B, but the vineyard behind the green and brick house insures that you’ve arrived at the right B&B. Chris and Erika, co-owners and experts in all things wine-related greeted us enthusiastically. We entered the inn’s octagonal lobby area which we later learned was in honor of Mr Jefferson who fashioned octagonal rooms in his many homes to eliminate deep corners and allow additional light.
“No teddy bears here,” said Chris. “We’re all about beer and wine here,” he finished. Indeed the B&B is decorated with soothing and contemporary earth tones. Putting the finishing touches on two new guest rooms and an expanded tasting room, Arcady will soon have five guest rooms and suites offering everything from steam showers to deep whirlpool tubs and fireplaces. A stylish and contemporary dining room where breakfast is served overlooks a lovely view of the one-acre vineyard behind the inn where Chambourcin vines planted in 2003 are used to make a port dessert wine to be bottled later in 2012 and served at turndown with the signature chocolates here.
All rooms come with a bottle of sparkling wine, port and local chocolate turndown, complimentary internet access, fresh flowers, private baths with heated tiled floors, heated towel racks, showers, robes and slippers, vinotherapy hair products, hairdryer, iron and ironing board. A home cooked breakfast using local ingredients starts each day and snacks and beverages are available 24/7 in the tasting room.
All weekend guests are treated to the Arcady Vineyard’s signature wine tour for a discounted rate. Recognized recently in Washingtonian Magazine among the best wine tours in the region, guests are escorted to wineries throughout the region enjoying tastings in each location. “Charlottesville is to DC as Napa is to San Francisco,” explained Erica. Guests come to Virginia wine country to stock up on wine: tasting tours allow them to discover new varietals and their taste in wine,” finished Erica. With 27 wineries, 9 breweries, 2 cideries and one distillery, this is the perfect place for wine and craft beer lovers. In fact, one of Arcady’s tours includes stops at two of the breweries too.
When You Go
From Boston, fly into Richmond or Charlottesville. Richmond is about an hour away and the Charlottesville airport is within 20 minutes of the inn. However, because I have family in Maryland, we caught a $69 flight on Air Tran into BWI and rented a car from Hotwire.com for $10.95 a day. It’s about a 3 hour drive from BWI to Charlottesville as long as you time it right around the Capitol Beltway, and a scenic and affordable way to get to Arcady if you have the time. The closer you get, the more beautiful the gentleman farms, surrounded by fences, horse or cattle. If you want to make a summer road trip from Boston, Charlottesvill is approximately 9 to 10 hours by car, depending upon when you hit traffic in NYC and the Capitol Beltway around DC.
Arcady Vineyard B&B and Wine Tours, 1376 Sutlers Road, Charlottesville, VA 22902