Virginia is for Lovers … and is the Birthplace of American Wine, a 4-part series: the birthplace of American wine, day one – wineries, day two – wineries, and day three – cideries. Check back in 2 weeks for the next part! — EH Stafford, Managing Editor



(Part 2 of 4)

I was so excited to start the first day of wine tasting. I’d been looking forward to exploring Virginia wine for quite some time.


The first stop

Enjoying pastries from Albermarle Baking Co. Our first tasting at King Family Vineyard.


Albermarle Baking Co on W Main St in Charlottesville. We don’t typically eat breakfast but with the day I had planned we needed to carb load. SO WORTH IT … their pastries are to die for!


King Family Vineyards

We started our wine tasting at King Family Vineyards at around 10:30am. It’s such a gorgeous estate surrounded by farmland, horse pastures, and vineyards with the Blue Ridge Mountains as the backdrop. There is lots of space for children to run around, and I will definitely return for a polo match at Roseland Farm.




A classic flight

We had a classic “flight” of five wines enjoying the view from under the covered patio. I had my heart set on purchasing the 2017 Viognier, Small Batch Series (orange wine) before I arrived; however, I also enjoyed the Seven, a bourbon barrel aged 2017 Petit Verdot fortified wine. You always need something fun and different in your wine collection and I went home with a few from King Family.


Michael Shaps Wineworks

Tasting kit at Michael Shaps Wineworks.

Next, we stopped at Michael Shaps Wineworks for a tasting kit that included 9 of their wines (6 from Virginia and 3 from Burgundy). Michael Shaps is a proven leader and influencer of the Virginia wine industry, as he has made wine for several premier wineries in addition to making wine under his own label. He also owns and manages a winery in Burgundy. Our favorite wines were the 2017 Petit Manseng, 2014 L. Scott (blend), 2016 Tannat and 2018 Rosé (Burgundy).


Thatch Winery

We had some time to spare before heading to the next winery, so we stopped at Thatch Winery which is next door to Michael Shaps. We selected two of the four flights that were offered and perched ourselves on the back shaded deck to enjoy our tasting. Out of the four white wines from “The Crisp Ones” flight we loved the 2019 Rosé and also the 2018 Riesling (off-dry). The 2017 Lemberger was the unanimous vote from the four “Rouge Ones”.



Sparkling Rosé on the Veranda.




Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyard

A gorgeous setting with views from the Veranda of the vineyards backed by the Blue Ridge Mountains. Pippin only offered bottle service during our visit so we selected a bottle of Sparkling Rosé and paired it with a few bites on the Veranda. Michael Shaps actually oversees the wine production here.

Fried chicken sliders on the Veranda.



Dinner at The Farmhouse at Veritas

Our last stop of the day was for dinner at The Farmhouse at Veritas. We enjoyed a delicious four-course wine paired dinner on a private second floor screened patio. It was quiet, intimate, and perfect considering we had our 2-month-old in tow. We did not have time before dinner, but the winery offers a “Taste in Place” innovative wine tasting in reserved picnic areas and you can enjoy tasting videos hosted by Emily Hodson, the Winemaker.


Overall, what an awesome introduction to Virginia wine! We were thoroughly impressed with the wine quality, people, breathtaking views and the precautions taken due to COVID-19.



Farmhouse dinner at Veritas.


To learn more about the Wineries and Cideries we visited, stay tuned for the next two parts in this series.

Part 1: Virginia is for Lovers… And the Birthplace of American Wine

Part 2: Virginia is for Lovers – Day One, Wineries

August 19 – Part 3: Virginia is for Lovers – Day Two, Wineries

September 2 – Part 4: Virginia is for Lovers – Day Three, Cideries



Photos courtesy Stephanie Roberts


Stephanie Roberts, WSET® Certified, is passionate about educating people about wine and all its complexities. She believes that through education comes enlightenment and approachability—elevating the wine and food experience. Stephanie is the founder of Corks & Boards, offering unique and tailored wine experiences.

Furthermore, you can schedule your own virtual wine tasting with Stephanie that includes formal education about the wine subject (such as style, region or varietal) and instruction on how to follow a formal tasting methodology. It’s a fun event for a casual Zoom with friends, Father’s Day gift, birthday, etc. Message Stephanie through Facebook or IG (@corksandboards).




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