9 Day Viriginia Wine Tour
We are very please to be partering with Criterion Wine Tours, and offer this exciting wine tour to Virginia
Virginia: Wine, Jefferson & Colonial History Tour
Tour Dates: Saturday 22nd - Sunday 30th September 2018
Criterion Wine brings you a fascinating Wine Tour to Virginia USA. The wine scene in Virginia has changed dramatically in the last 20 years and there are now 250 registered wineries in the State – they are concentrated in the north, in Middleburg County, and in the center, in Monticello County, near the vibrant town of Charlottesville. Viognier and Cabernet Franc are the two grapes varieties which best suit the terroir but there are also many good wines from Chardonnay, Gros Manseng, Merlot, Petit Verdot and even a few Italian varietals.
This tour is not just about wine as we will also visit a historic Plantation house; Colonial Williamsburg where daily historical re-enactments in full costume take place; and Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States. He was also a keen wine connoisseur and gourmet. And last but not least Washington DC with its many museums and sites is nearby if you would like to extend your trip.
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You will need to book your own flights to/from Washington (see further details below ‘Flights’), and the tour program will start on Saturday evening.
Here is the daily itinerary. Please note that the visits to wineries have not all been confirmed and are subject to change:
Day 1 Saturday 22nd September: At 7:30 pm, we congregate in the lobby of our hotel for a briefing about the tour and to meet your fellow travellers. We will review the tour program and then have dinner together.
Day 2 Sunday 23rd September: We head west to the Middleburg wine region and will visit 2 wineries today with lunch at one - on our shortlist are Boxwood, Breaux and Stone Tower. Late afternoon we return to our hotel.
Day 3 Monday 24th September: After checking out of our first hotel, we drive 80 miles south to Early Mountain Winery, which was voted the Number 1 tasting room in the nation by USA Today. Here we will have a tasting and lunch.
Afterwards we continue South and visit Jefferson Winery for a tour and tasting. Late afternoon we continue to Charlottesville and check in to our accommodation for the next 3 nights, 200 South Street Inn
Day 4 Tuesday 25th September: Today we visit 2 wineries including lunch at one – on our shortlist is King Family and, the English owned Veritas. Mid-afternoon we return to Charlottesville when there will be some free time for shopping
Day 5 Wednesday 26th September: This morning after a leisurely start we drive to Barboursville Winery, possibly the finest in the whole state. Barboursville is owned by the Zonin Family of Valpolicella, and the General Manager Luca Paschina maintains the Italian influence on the range of wines. We will have a tasting, lunch in their restaurant and a tour of the grounds including the Landmark Ruins, one of Jefferson’s architectural masterpieces. Late afternoon we return to Charlottesville
Day 6 Thursday 27th September: After checking out of our hotel, this morning we visit Old Colony Winery for a tasting. Then we head to Monticello, Jefferson’s home for a guided tour. Lunch today is at Michie Tavern, a traditional inn. Late afternoon we continue to Richmond, the capital of the Virginia, and check in to Berkeley Hotel where we will be for one night.
This evening we will have a group dinner in a local restaurant with a presentation by the Virginia Wine Board
Day 7 Friday 28th September: This morning there will be some free time to see one of Richmond’s museums or for shopping. Checking out of our hotel around midday we drive east to Upper Shirley Vineyard, where we will have lunch and tasting.
After lunch we will visit a nearby Plantation House, either Berkeley or Shirley. We continue to Williamsburg, our base for the next 2 nights. We check into Wedmore Place, built by its Belgian owners as a European-style Chateau. On the same site is Williamsburg Winery, the biggest in the state.
Day 8 Saturday 29th September: This morning we will have a tasting at the Williamsburg winery. Then we transfer to the nearby town of Williamsburg and the rest of the day will be free to enjoy the Colonial sites and re-enactments of Williamsburg.
This evening we will have our final group meal at Café Provencale, Wedmore Place’s fine dining restaurant.
Day 9 Sunday 30th September: This morning there will be time to relax and then around midday we drive north back to Dulles Airport, arriving there at around 4 pm in time for flights back to London.
TOUR COST and INCLUSIONS
£2,495/$3495 Sharing a Double or Twin Room
+ £500/$700 Supplement for Single Occupancy of a Double room
- 8 nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation (see below for further details)
- Air-conditioned coach transport throughout the tour
- Tastings at 10 different wineries
- 8 Lunches or Dinners at wineries or local restaurants with wine
- Entrance tickets to Monticello, and Berkeley or Shirley Plantation House, and a Day Ticket for Colonial Williamsburg
- Services of tour/wine guide Christos Ioannou
FLIGHTS are NOT included so you will need to book your own
There are several non-stop direct flights every day between London Heathrow and Washington Dulles (IAD) - with British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and United Airlines.
22nd September: The tour will officially start at 7:30 pm at Westin Hotel in Reston VA. The hotel is around 6 miles from Washington Dulles airport (IAD) and taxis are readily available. If arriving on the day you should aim to book flights which arrive in Dulles by 5 pm latest.
30th September: Our tour bus will drop us at Dulles airport by 4pm.
1) Reston (2 nights): Westin Hotel features spacious guestrooms with luxurious Heavenly Beds and flat-screen TVs, a work desk and 24 hour room service. The hotel’s restaurant, Vinifera Wine Bar & Bistro, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is an indoor pool and well-equipped fitness center, and in-room spa service is also available. Reston town centre with its shops and restaurants is 3 miles away. http://www.westinreston.com/
2) Charlottesville (3 nights): 200 South Street Inn is located in the center of the town 2 blocks from the Historic Pedestrian Mall. This inn offers old world elegance and all rooms feature private baths, antiques, heating and air conditioning with in-room thermostats, and cable television with flat screen TVs. There is a homemade continental breakfast each morning and a daily wine and cheese reception. Free WiFi is provided. Guests can relax in the property’s library, in the shared lounge, or outside in the garden. http://www.southstreetinn.com/
3) Richmond (1 night): Berkeley Hotel is located at the western edge of historic Shockoe Slip with its cobblestone streets and many dining and shopping opportunities. The hotel offers uncompromising service and comfortable, elegantly appointed rooms with stylish decor and traditional furnishings. Amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi Internet Access, and in-room coffee makers. http://berkeleyhotel.com/
4) Williamsburg (2 nights): Wedmore Place is located 4 miles from the center of Historic Williamsburg, is a European-style country hotel featuring 28 uniquely designed rooms and suites. Each room is named and patterned after a different province of Europe and is decorated with antiques and paintings to reflect the culture and history of the region. All rooms feature wood-burning fireplaces and king size beds. There is an outdoor swimming pool, spa and on-site restaurant Café Provencale, and free wi-fi throughout the hotel. www.williamsburgwinery.com/wedmoreplace