Taste of Monticello Wine Trail Festival Celebrates Local Food and Wine

May 19, 2018 | Ivy Publications

The 2018 Taste of Monticello Wine Trail Festival celebrated its seventh year last week with an expansion of programming. This year, guests could attend a multitude of wonderful wine-paired dinners, brunches and special events during the five days leading up to the festival’s well known “Grand Tasting” event on Saturday.

The festival kicked off with the Monticello Cup awards ceremony Monday evening, an elegant gathering at the historic Jefferson Theater highlighting many of the regions best wines from the Monticello American Viticultural Area (AVA). Guests enjoyed award-winning wines and learned more about local vineyards, including the 2015 Petit Verdot “Paul Shaffer’s 7th Edition” from Veritas Vineyard & Winery, which won the coveted Monticello Cup Award

Throughout the week of the festival, restaurants and wineries hosted food and wine events. Chefs welcomed winemakers into their restaurants to celebrate our region’s best in farm-to-table cuisine. Below, Timbercreek Market’s Executive Chef, Tucker Yoder, collaborated with winemakers Chris Ritzcovan of Jefferson Vineyards and Gabriele Rausse of Gabriele Rausse Winery for a delectable four course dinner event at Back 40. Yoder prepared an exquisite menu that included canapés, roasted leeks, buttered crab, shaved pork and dry aged ribeye from Timbercreek Farm.

Wednesday evening, Afton Mountain Vineyards partnered with Jake Busching Wines for a dinner on Charlottesville’s Historic Downtown Mall at Brasserie Saison. The dinner featured four exquisite courses from Chef Mike Perry which featured many locally sourced ingredients that brought bright flavors to the eight beautifully paired wines.

On Friday, guests enjoyed the 3rd Annual Monticello AVA Sparkling Wine Brunch at Afton Mountain Vineyards. Winemakers (in the order photographed below) Jonathan Wheeler of Trump Winery, Damien Blanchon of Afton Mountain Vineyards, Maya Hood White of Early Mountain Vineyards, Elliott Watkins of Veritas Vineyard & Winery and Matthieu Finot of King Family Vineyards all gathered to serve their best sparkling wines that were beautifully paired with delicious appetizers from Brasserie Saison.

The festival then culminated with the “Grand Tasting” event at the Sprint Pavilion on Saturday where hundreds of wine lovers were able to meet winemakers and try wines from 25 different local wineries. We also enjoyed meeting readers and fans at the Charlottesville Wine & Country festival boutique!

The week of fabulous events also included an elegant pre-festival winemakers dinner at Fleurie with King Family Vineyards and Veritas Vineyard & Winery. Taste of North Garden, A delicious winemakers dinner with First Colony Winery, Loving Cup Vineyard & Winery, and Wisdom Oak was held at Dr. Ho’s.Taste of White Hall, a charming winemakers dinner with Grace Estate Winery, Stinson Vineyards, and White Hall Vineyards, was held at the White Hall Community Building. Forked on Main and Lovingston Winery collaborated on a lovely Winemaker’s Dinner. The popular 2nd Annual Rosé Lunch and Historic Farm Tour were hosted by Blenheim Vineyards. Loving Cup Vineyard led a fascinating organic vineyard and winery tour while Glass House Winer hosted a fun concert by the Bobby Midnight Band.

A big thanks and shout out to sponsor Mercedes Benz of Charlottesville! Cheers, and see you next year!


Wine & Country celebrates elevated living in the heart of Virginia Wine Country. Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia, and Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia, are accompanied by the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA, a beautiful lifestyle boutique featuring over 40 Virginia artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire to locally made foods, award-winning Monticello AVA wines as well as craft beverages for your next event. Wine & Country Experiences are now also available and include exclusive tours and hands-on classes with leading professionals in the local farm-to-table and vineyard scenes.

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