The Greater Gordonsville area not only offers significant historical points of interest, but (given its location in the very heart of the Monticello Wine Trail) also numerous high-quality vineyards, inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s vision of creating a wine region. With good wine, good food follows (and memorable conversations with friends), so there is no surprise that the Greater Gordonsville area has emerged as a truly outstanding food scene as well!
Offering slow-cooked barbeque that is among the best in the United States, along with handmade sides like mac and cheese and collard greens, Barbeque Exchange is an important stop for anyone visiting the area. The meats are dry cured with secret ingredient rubs, and then cooked in their specialized wood-burning cooker.
The rustic building, with its white-washed tin siding and forest green roof, offers a warm, inviting feel. The style of service is quick-counter, with a feel of Virginia genteelness. Customers may either take out or dine inside on cedar picnic tables with paper roll coverings that lend to a truly nostalgic family experience.
Small town charm, big time YUMMM! Proudly located in the heart of historic downtown Gordonsville, Krecek Kakes creates scrumptious German cakes, breads, cookies, and pastries daily in their store along with savory breakfast sandwiches. To accompany their delicious treats, Krecek Kakes also carries a wide range of beverages, including lattes, cappuccinos, teas, and soft drinks. Be sure to stop by, or place your order online!
The Palladio Restaurant offers high-end Northern Italian cuisine in a white-tablecloth setting, on the grounds of Governor Barbour’s historic estate and Barboursville Vineyard. Providing an elegant experience of fabulous wine, quality cuisine, beautiful settings, and great service, Palladio is simply exquisite, and ready for your reservation!
Keswick Hall’s award-winning restaurant, Fossett’s, features expansive floor-to-ceiling windows, with spectacular panoramic views of the estate’s pristine landscape and new Pete Dye-designed golf course. The hotel maintains its own Chef’s Garden, which directly supplies extensive produce year-round to Fossett’s restaurant. Using classic cooking techniques and Southern inspiration, the culinary staff takes special care to create innovative seasonal menus that are both approachable and contemporary. An extensive wine list allows for an exploration of Virginia wines, including those from around the world.
Wine Tasting & Vineyards
There are thirty-three wineries on the Monticello Wine Trail, which covers the entire Charlottesville area: Lovingston to the south, and Culpeper to the north. Here are just a few to consider when visiting the Greater Gordonsville area.
From all directions, Barboursville Vineyards represents a breathtaking climax to a beautiful and historic country drive. Offering tours, tastings, fine dining, the Barboursville Ruins, and even luxurious lodging, Barboursville Vineyards is a destination that should not be missed. Your total experience is perfect, starting with their exceptional, award-winning wines.
It is interesting to know that Barboursville Vineyards is owned by the Zonin family, which has been producing wine in the Veneto province of Italy (also the home province of Palladio) for eight generations. Thomas Jefferson, a great admirer of Palladian architecture, would indeed be pleased to see such excellent wine being produced at the estate of his old friend, James Barbour, whose mansion he designed in 1814.
Castle Hill Cider
In 1764, Castle Hill opened its doors, hosting over the years an array of creative minds, from dignitaries and politicians to explorers and novelists. A young Thomas Jefferson played there.
Today on the property, its creative legacy continues with artisan cider makers handcrafting the beverage of choice in colonial times. Listed as one of the country’s leading cider producers, Castle Hill Cider opens its doors to anyone wishing to experience natural beauty, deep history, and the cider that proudly bears its name.
In 1983, wine lover and entrepreneur Dennis Horton began his winemaking venture with a small home vineyard in Madison County, Virginia. Over the ensuing years, he and Joan Bieda, his longtime business partner, began importing carefully selected root stock from Bordeaux, the Rhone Valley, California, Portugal, and Spain. National success followed. Explore their underground stone cellars, visit the vaulted ceiling tasting room, and enjoy their highly rated wines, all while you admire the beautiful scenery.
Keswick Vineyards, established in 2000 by Al and Cindy Schornberg, is a family owned and operated winery, specializing in small lots of high-quality wines that showcase the terroir of the estate. With the first vintage, a 2002, winning the honor of “Best White Wine in America” at the Atlanta International Wine Summit, the Schornbergs knew they had made the right decision. They then set out to prove Virginia could also produce award-winning reds. South of Gordonsville, on Route 231, Keswick Vineyards is a great addition to any trip to the area.