By Marti Mayne
A trip to Charlottesville, VA has the three necessary ingredients for a great road trip– wine tasting, historic tours and historic B&Bs. V is for Virginia, vineyards and Veritas, one of the Monticello AVA region’s largest and favorite wineries. Veritas winery has added a new lodging offering to its extensive winemaking operation, tasting room and event venue. The Veritas Farmhouse B&B opened in early April, 2012 with six guest rooms. Surrounded by porches bearing comfy rockers and wicker furniture overlooking views of the vineyards from all four sides of the farmhouse, Veritas Farmhouse B&B is as fresh as it gets from modern amenities including flat screen TVs and a very retro juke box with an i-Pod docking station plus billiards in one of the two living rooms.
Once home to the Hodson family, four children grew up and moved out of the welcoming farmhouse leaving plenty of room for guests in their place. However, make no mistake the family is still very much here; Patricia and Andrew Hodson, joined by daughter Emily, a skilled winemaker, and Chloe involved in event planning are all at the heart and success of the vineyards, winemaking, tasting operation and event venue plus the B&B too.
Many of the original features of the farmhouse have been preserved like beautiful moldings, wood burning fireplaces and shadow box paneled ceilings. Gorgeous antiques blend seamlessly with flat screen TVs, upscale spa toiletries and puffy down comforters to offer guest comfort oriented amenities. Guest rooms are spacious and light filled with clean, crisp white linens and plenty of colorful touches. One room, with a private entrance even welcomes guests and their four legged friends. People of all ages are welcome here, so children may accompany parents.
There’s plenty of common area here with the gathering room sporting a large billiards table and a fun, retro juke box complete with iPod/Smart phone docking station for your own selection of tunes. A second and more formal living room, a comfortable kitchen where guests often opt to sit at the counter to watch the Veritas chef prepare breakfast and a formal dining room make for plenty of room to wander on the first floor of the inn. I counted at least 4 porches with rockers plus a second floor library beckoning those in search of R&R.
In warmer weather, a series of black rod iron tables overlooking Chardonnay vineyards offer seating for breakfast. Breakfast is served either on the porch, in the back yard, in the kitchen or in the formal dining room depending on the whim of the guests and the weather.
It’s an easy walk to the Veritas Tasting Room, a spacious operation filled with comfy leather couches and overlooking the large steel tanks where wine is fermenting. The stunning LOVE sculpture hanging from the ceiling and made completely from wine bottle corks immediately captured my attention. An enthusiastic gentleman behind the bar presented tastings of a wide variety of Veritas labeled wines, including the sparkling Veritas Viognier given to each guest of the Farmhouse at Veritas B&B.
Weddings and events are another highlight at Veritas Winery. A peek at the outside gazebo and indoor function room offer a glimpse of the potential for weddings and events. On Fridays during the summer, the Starry Night concert series attracts visitors and residents alike for picnics, live music and sunsets in a beautiful backdrop of the Blue Ridge foothills. It’s clear that this is the ideal wedding venue when paired with lodging at the Farmhouse at Veritas B&B.
I couldn’t help but notice that the two signs in the B&B’s kitchen captured the essence of the laid back luxury available here. The vineyard’s motto and In Vino Veritas (in wine there is truth) is captured in a sign alongside another reading “BEER: So much more than a breakfast drink” and provides a hint of the fun that’s to come with a stay here.
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 Veritas past gorgeous horse and gentleman’s farms. Thinking of making a summer road trip? It’s approximately a 9-10 hour drive from Boston, as long as you time it right around NYC and the Capitol Beltway.
Farmhouse B&B at Veritas, 72 Saddleback Farm, Afton, VA 22920, 540-456-8100, http://www.veritasfarmhouse.com/accommodations/