For Labor Day weekend, Paul and I drove south from D.C. to Smith Mountain Lake near Roanoke, Virginia. We took Route 29, a mostly two-lane highway with twists and turns like a roller coaster.
About two and a half hours south of D.C., we approached Charlottesville, Va. Suddenly Paul awoke from the nap he was taking, and in a panic, said he had forgotten to bring my parents a gift. I said we’d look for a place to stop. A little past Charlottesville, we noticed signs for numerous vineyards along the highway.
I had an idea – why not buy a bottle of wine for my parents from one of these vineyards? We chose randomly – Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyard. Only a few minutes from Route 29 on Plank Road, it couldn’t have been more conveniently located.
At the end of a winding gravel road and at the top of a rolling hill was the vineyard. The view was breathtaking, literally breathtaking. In front of us we could see farmland stretching for miles, bordered by the Blue Ridge Mountains. The clouds hung low in the sky, partially blocking the sunlight.
A large house accompanied the vineyard at the top of the hill. Big, wooden chairs and tables lined the spacious front porch, placed in perfect view of the mountains. Taking advantage of this picturesque setting, we sat down for a glass of wine and a bite to eat.
From what I gathered, Pippin Hill is used for a number of purposes – from wine tastings (like today) to weddings. In addition to the porch, there are several large rooms inside.
We ordered a glass of the Cabernet Franc and a glass of the Winemaker’s Select Red Blend. Both were flavorful, full-bodied wines. We decided on the Cabernet Franc for my parents.
On the menu, there were mostly appetizer-esque offerings, such as Bruschetta and a platter with sliders and gourmet French fries. We decided on a cheese plate and a charcuterie plate. The toasted French baguette piled high with Brie and prosciutto paired well with our red wine. Not too shabby for lunch off the highway.
I could have spent the entire afternoon here. Everything from the view to the food and wine was incredible. For a day or weekend escape from the city, Pippin Hill is a great destination. There’s even a little bed and breakfast nearby, if you have a little too much wine!