Barboursville, Virginia

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Barboursville, VA  is a gem of a place, tucked away among vineyards and pastoral views with a heritage rich in American history.  Twenty minutes north of Charlottesville, though easily accessible, you feel as if you're a world away from the hustle and bustle of today's fast pace life.  Grab a picnic lunch and dinner to go from Stonefire Kitchen, then head to Barboursville Vineyards for a wine tasting, we loved the 2013 Cabernet Franc Reserve.  For a relaxing getaway, book a stay at the 1804 Inn.  For couples we recommend the adorable 18th Century Vineyard Cottage and for larger groups (or those traveling with twins) one of the suites in  the Blue Run Cottage.  Walk the grounds, then sit, sip and relax the night away.  Cheers! -Michelle

A little backstory on our stay in Barboursville.  Two years ago, Brian and I started planning a road trip for the Spring of 2014.  Besides visiting family we hadn't taken a vacation for 4 years, so we wanted to make it a memorable trip.  Our hope was to stay in quaint B&B's, historic hotels and interesting VRBO's.  We did a lot of research and one of the places on our wishlist was this 18th Century Vineyard Cottage (photo above).  After saving up for a trip, it was the one place we were willing to completely splurge on (nightly rates aren't cheap).  Well, low and behold, right before booking the vacation, we found out we were pregnant, with the twins!  Morning sickness soon set in, and like life so often does, our plans were put on hold (but all for good reason).  Fast forward to this year.  Brian still had some paternity leave from work and after debating what to do and where to go, we once again started discussing that dream road trip of ours.  Some people told us we were crazy to take the twins on a 3,000 mile road trip.  Others told us successful stories of traveling with their kids.  So, after adjusting some of the details of our trip, we decided to take our 6 month old twins along for the ride.  One major change to the itinerary, a room in the Vineyard Cottage could not accommodate our now party of four, but after a call to the inn, we decided to stay one night in the Pinot Grigio suite located in the Blue Run Cottage (photo below, right).  

Still rich in history, the Blue Run Cottage is a 19th Century frame residence that was originally the home and dispensary for a physician and his family.  The house is tucked away near the back of the property, but still close in proximity to the vineyards, the winery and the ruins (photo below).  Our accommodations included a two story suite with an expansive mini kitchen and deck adorned with adirondack chairs.  Perfect for watching the sunrise and sunset. 

On property are the ruins from this gorgeous historic mansion which was built by Thomas Jefferson in 1814 for his friend and Virginia governor, James Barbour.  The estate and grounds stayed in the Barbour family for many years, becoming renowned in pastoral farming and sustainable agriculture practices.  It was later in 1976 when Gianni Zonin acquired the plantation and created the expansive vineyards that now cover the property. (there's your history lesson for the day)

We spent the afternoon exploring the grounds and enjoying a complimentary wine tasting at the winery.  They also offer a tour which I recommend.  It gives a rich history of the property along with an education in wine and methods used in the vineyards.  Not a drinker?  The property alone is worth the trip and we were surprised to learn a lot of the people who worked there didn't drink themselves.

To offset some of our costs for this stay (this was by far the most expensive nightly rate of our trip), we took advantage of the complimentary bottle of wine that was given with our room and opted to have a picnic style dinner on the porch of our suite.  We went for a small cheese and charcuterie platter (be sure to call this order in ahead of time) from Stonefire Kitchen.  Even if you're simply passing through the area, I highly recommend stopping there for a quick lunch or for a meal on the go (they offer amazing sandwiches!)  

Dinner was followed by an evening walk, P & K loved watching the cows.

The next morning we woke up bright and early (family with infants!), watched the sunrise, then watched the early morning work happening on the vineyards.

By mid-morning it was time to leave and head to our next destination.  Until next time...