In 1774 Thomas Jefferson and his friend, neighbor and fellow libertarian Philip Mazzei planted the first vines in Virginia. When the Revolutionary War broke out they were forced to abandon the young vineyard, and Mazzei became a spy and a gun-runner for the Americans.

Some two hundred years later the Woodward family replanted the original vineyards and later founded Jefferson Vineyards. This Virginia Governor's Cup winner produces, among other fine wines, a tart Pinot Gris, a crisp and aromatic Reserve Chardonnay, a spicy semi-dry Vin Blanc, a smooth Cabernet Franc with hints of fresh tobacco, a graphite-and-cedary Petit Verdot, and a silky anise and dark fruit Meritage.

Located a few miles away from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, Jefferson Vineyards features a tasting room housed in a former stable with a long tasting bar that is busy but well-managed on weekends. There is indoor and outdoor seating with scenic views of the mountains and vines. Jefferson Vineyards offers music and wine tasting events on weekends.

Pictured at the top: Located just down the road from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, Jefferson Vineyards plants six different varietals in four vineyards. The main tasting room is housed in a rustic stable and features a roomy tasting bar.

jefferson vineyards vines

Jefferson Vineyards vines waiting for Spring.