Our farm is located in The Monticello AVA. An AVA (American Viticultural Area) is a distinct grape-growing region defined by the geographic features that influence the type and style of the wine it produces. Virginia has 7 distinct AVAs, comprising of over 200 wineries; thus making our state the 5th largest wine-producer in the US.
The Monticello AVA is located in the central Piedmont area. It is nestled along the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains and includes the small ridge known as the Southwest Mountain. This area of Virginia boasts picturesque pastoral rolling landscapes with the majestic Blue Ridge looming in the horizon.
With excellent topography, fertile granite-based clay soil, and a growing season of over 200 days, grapes grow very well here and have a rich and distinct flavor (I'm not a wine connoisseur so that's all I can tell you about the grape flavor!). Some describe the grape flavor as multilayer and old-world (and I don't know what that means either!) and sometimes "peppery."
There are 30 wineries in The Monticello AVA, forming The Monticello Trail. For a list of these wineries, go to
These wineries are boutique wineries (with only a handful of large producers) that offer a very intimate experience with individualized attention from the host/hostess who may be the owner himself/herself.
The Appellation Trail
Being in close proximity of one another in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, six wineries that are technically part of the Northern trail of the Monticello trail, formed a 35-mile-wine loop called the Appellation Trail. Our farm is right on this trail.
These six wineries are:
Mountfair Vineyards and Oyster Fest
This past Saturday, we chose to visit Mountfair Vineyards because there was an oyster fest. An oyster fest atop of a mountain? Yes! And it was a treat! Mountfair partnered with Pepper Creek Shellfish Farm from Mathews, Virginia (the Chesapeake Bay region), to bring a huge truckload of fresh oysters and clams .
It was amazing to watch these men shuck the oysters. They made the process look very simple. But, having done this before (very poorly), I know it's not easy at all!
An awesome feast (to say the least!)
For entertainment, Bigmamma Joy played beautiful melodies in the background.
We spent over three hours there just relaxing, enjoying the food, wine, and music. The weather cooperated beautifully.
Other people had the same idea ...
Wineries in Virginia are very casual. People bring their own tables, chairs, and food and set up like they are having a picnic.
Their children and pets also join them for a relaxing afternoon.
These two young ladies are having a private conversation of their own.
What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon!
Have a nice week,Christa
I am linking with Friday My Town Shoot Out (this week's theme is Let the Bells Ring/Celebration)