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Vines, Wines, Founding Fathers and Country Estates: Exploring Virginia’s Piedmont Wineries

Program Number: 15899RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/18/2013 - 8/23/2013;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
Price starting at: $875.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Food & Wine
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Discover the art of winemaking and its colonial roots in Virginia’s beautiful Piedmont wine country. Expert lecturers discuss early attempts at American winemaking and how ancient processes were adapted to the modern industry. Enjoy field trips to a fascinating assortment of wineries where you will be treated to behind-the-scenes insights, and visit related historical sites at or near the wineries. Take home a deeper appreciation of the complex processes that result in your favorite wines, as well as a new understanding of the surprisingly long and fruitful history of winemaking in America.




Highlights

• Explore the homes and gardens of three U.S. presidents — Jefferson, Madison and Monroe — who dabbled in early viniculture.
• Join a local winery owner for a private vineyard exploration, followed by a wine sampling.
• Get tips for utilizing wine in delicious recipes and pairing wines with foods.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day, standing and climbing stairs.




Date Specific Information

8-18-2013

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Charlottesville

A modern-day college town with a historic legacy, Charlottesville claims President Thomas Jefferson among its famous native sons. Monticello, Jefferson’s unique home, is one of many historic buildings in and around this vibrant community.



Accommodations
Modern hotel near restored downtown pedestrian center, indoor pool and fitness center.
Meals and Lodgings
   English Inn
  Charlottesville 6 nights
 English Inn
Type: Hotel
  Description: Located in the beautiful and historic Piedmont region of Virginia at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville offers a variety of activities and attractions, all located conveniently near the English Inn. In addition to the sites included in the program, there are additional historical homes, museums, and venues within easy driving distance. Browse through the shops in historic downtown, tour the local vineyards, or take a short trip to the Skyline Drive, famous for its fall splendor and breathtaking vistas.
  Contact info: 2000 Morton Drive
Charlottesville, VA 22903 USA
phone: 800-786-5400
web: www.wytestone.com
  Room amenities: Rooms appointed with two queen beds or king, dresser and a wide desk. In-room coffee-maker, refrigerator, iron, ironing board, hair dryer, alarm clock, air conditioning. Cable TV with HBO, Telephone with voice mail and computer data port (Internet high speed access).
  Facility amenities: Relax amid the warmth and charm of traditional British decor. Enjoy a bountiful, buffet breakfast every morning and tea and cookies in the afternoon. Indoor pool, sauna and workout room, adjacent to Rivanna Greenbelt Trail. The hotel offers a complimentary airport shuttle from 7:00am-8:00pm, but reservations are needed. Conveniently located only one mile from UVA campus. Enjoy the area fitness center, ACAC, free with your room key. Elevators are available to upper floors. Daily newspaper provided. Guest Business Office open 24 hours with fax machine available. Safe deposit boxes available.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $75 plus tax, limited rooms The English Inn can usually provide lodging before or after your program at the discounted Road Scholar rate. This rate is not always available, especially on football weekends in the fall.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $75 plus tax, limited rooms The English Inn can usually provide lodging before or after your program at the discounted Road Scholar rate. This rate is not always available, especially on football weekends in the fall.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:00pm Program Registration; 4:00pm Room Check In; 5:15pm Program Begins. You will be staying at English Inn that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends mid-morning with time for check-out and individual arrangements for lunch before trip home. You will be staying at English Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
The hotel has free parking.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Charlottesville
  Nearest highway: I-64
  Nearest airport:  Charlottesville/Albemarle Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Charlottesville
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (CHO)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
English Inn Shuttle
phone: 800-786-5400
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

free
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

15 minutes depending on traffic 

 

Distance:

 

8 miles

   

Shuttle provided by the hotel free of charge between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. You need to call hotel to inform them of your arrival/departure times and make reservations.

 

Charlottesville Greyhound/Amtrak Station

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Yellow Cab
phone: 434-295-4131
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Travel Time:

 

15 minutes 

   

Station serves both Amtrak train service and Greyhound Bus service.

 
Driving Directions
  From Richmond/East of Richmond From Richmond/East of Richmond: Take I-64 WEST toward Charlottesville. Take the first Charlottesville exit #124. It will say Charlottesville/Shadwell/250 Bypass. Turn RIGHT onto Rte. 250 Bypass for 5 miles, to Emmet Street, Rt. SOUTH 29 exit. Turn LEFT onto Emmet Street ramp. At the bottom of the ramp, immediately go LEFT across two lanes of traffic and turn LEFT onto Morton Drive. The English Inn is behind Bodo’s Bagels.
  From Roanoke and West From 81, take I-64 East to Exit 118-B. This will be the 250 Bypass. Follow the Route 250 Bypass to the Emmet Street exit (about 4 miles). At the bottom of the exit, cross two lanes of traffic and get in the far left lane. Turn LEFT onto Morton Drive. The English Inn is behind Bodo’s Bagels.
  From Washington DC/Northern Virginia Take 66 WEST to Gainesville. Exit on 29 SOUTH towards Charlottesville, go about 70 miles before reaching the outskirts of Charlottesville. Upon reaching “local” traffic, go about five miles. You will go under the route 250 bypass and take your first LEFT. The English Inn is on Morton Drive behind Bodo’s Bagels.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Hotel Check-in and Registration
(Sunday, August 18)
   
 Afternoon: Arrival and Registration Welcome & Staff Introductions Class: "Introduction to Virginia Wines" A knowledgeable instructor who has written extensively for viticulture publications provides a general overview of this flourishing business that has developed in recent decades in many regions of the state.
 Dinner: Dinner is served in the spacious Windsor Room, presented by Simply Delicious Catering, featuring the freshest ingredients available. The remaining dinners for the week will be served in this same venue.
 Evening: Class: Orientation and Group Introductions
   
Accommodations: English Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Vineyard Excursion/Monticello
(Monday, August 19)

Note: The walking at the vineyard is over hilly, uneven ground, but there will be frequent stops and the walk will be no more than an hour long. At Monticello, there is a tram available to get to and from the mansion. Those using wheel chairs will need to use an alternate entrance and may not be able to access the entire site. During the house tour there is extended standing with nowhere to sit. The grounds are hilly and have pebble paths.



   
 Breakfast: Start you day with a generous buffet breakfast provided by the English Inn in the Windsor Room.
 Morning: Field Trip: "DuCard Vineyards" After a scenic drive through the Virginia Piedmont, explore the grounds of this small, private vineyard guided and entertained by the owner who may even allow you to help him prune the vines! The Eliff family has been growing grapes for the past decade at their property, nestled at the eastern edge of the Shenandoah National Park in the shadow of Old Rag Mountain and White Oak Canyon. They initially sold their grapes to a winery up the road, and wines including their grapes won a number of awards, including the Virginia Governor’s Cup as the best wine in the state. Eventually they began bottling a small amount of wine under their own label for friends, neighbors, and a small but growing email list of “fans and followers”. Currently production is expanding and a new tasting room has been added to the site.
 Lunch: Lunch: Enjoy a box lunch at DuCard Vineyard hosted by the owner as you sample some of the wines made from his grapes.
 Afternoon: Field Trip: "Monticello, Home of Thomas Jefferson" The afternoon includes a guided walk through the magnificent mansion where you will glimpse the genius of Jefferson through the architecture he employed and the many innovative contrivances that he devised. See the furnishings, art, books, gadgets and other objects that reveal Jefferson's unique mind. Marvel at the seven day clock, the alcove bed, and the artifacts brought back by Lewis and Clark. Also enjoy free time to explore the extensive ornamental and kitchen gardens and the Jefferson family cemetery where you can read what Jefferson considered his greatest achievements, carved into his memorial stone. Observe current efforts to reproduce his experiments in viticulture in the modern vineyard.
 Dinner: Dinner is again served by Simply Delicious in the Windsor Room
 Evening: Class: "Albemarle's Founding Fathers of Wines and Vines: Jefferson, Mazzei, Monroe, and Russow" Learn about the efforts of neighbors Jefferson and Monroe to undertake viticulture and wine production with the assistance of knowledgeable Europeans. Discover the impact of the American Revolution on this budding agricultural pursuit.
   
Accommodations: English Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: King Family Winery/Jefferson Winery/Ashlawn-Highland
(Tuesday, August 20)

Note: Outdoor walking during the field trip will be over hilly, uneven ground on grass and pebble paths, but there will be opportunities to stop and sometimes even sit to rest. The house tour lasts approximately 30-45 minutes and moves continuously with no time to rest although there are frequent pauses. Those who do not want to negotiate a couple of short flights of stairs can exit the house and rejoin the group by entering through a door on the lower level.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will again be buffet style in the Windsor Room.
 Morning: Field Trip: "King Family Vineyards" This delightful winery near Crozet, Virginia is truly a family affair with mom, dad, and three sons engaged in the growing of grapes and production of wines, along with an expert staff. The winery features spectacular indoor and outdoor settings and is only a short drive from Charlottesville. The spacious tasting room includes a seating area and bar near a stone fireplace, along with a wall of windows overlooking the polo field and mountains. A wide variety of wines are offered. "Introduction to Oenology" During the course of the week, you will follow the grapes from vine to winery to table. This class will demonstrate that wine making is indeed an art as it lays out for you all the many steps that go into making a fine glass of wine. Class: "Wine Analysis and Wine Comparison" An expert from a local winery helps you decipher the compositional secrets behind the often elaborate and fanciful descriptions of wine tastes. Class: "Virginia Wineries Today" Your speaker will finish the morning with a look at the current status of the business which has grown into a significant agricultural pursuit in the Old Dominion from its colonial roots.
 Lunch: Enjoy a box lunch with sandwich, water, fresh fruit salad, choice of potato or pasta salad and a brownie at the Monticello Café. You can choose indoor seating or outdoor seating on the Café Terrace and Woodland Terrace, a wooden deck offering views of the surrounding forest.
 Afternoon: Field Trip: "Jefferson Winery" Located between Monticello and Ash Lawn Highland, Jefferson Vineyards was one of the first to introduce quality, modern viticulture to Virginia and a long last help realize Thomas Jefferson’s dream for the native production of wine in the state. Through thirty years of experience, this modest farm winery offers select wines of superior quality, producing between 6000 and 8000 cases annually. The wines offered are entirely of Virginia grown grapes. It grows the majority of its fruit on sites selected by Thomas Jefferson in 1774. These vineyards were superbly sited, offering excellent air and water drainage as well as protection from the prevailing weather patterns. Field Trip: Visit to Ash Lawn-Highland, home of President James Monroe. Enjoy a guided exploration of the house and grounds as you gain a better understanding of the president's lifestyle and agricultural interests. Free time will be included for exploration of the extensive grounds and several dependencies.
 Dinner: Dinner is again served by Simply Delicious in the Windsor Room
 Evening: Free evening
   
Accommodations: English Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Wine and Food!
(Wednesday, August 21)

Note: A quieter day at the hotel and free time to explore or rest



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will again be buffet style in the Windsor Room.
 Morning: FREE MORNING Take some time to explore a few of the sights in the Charlottesville area or just relax at the hotel. Information will be provided about nearby points of interest.
 Lunch: A lighter mid-day fare from Simply Delicious will be served in the Windsor Room.
 Afternoon: Class: "Pairing Virginia Wine with Food" A regionally well-know wine connoisseur will introduce you to the ins and outs of successfully pairing a selection of Piedmont wines with different foods. You will not only benefit from his insights, but also have the opportunity to sample some of his suggestions. "Cooking with Wine" A talented local wine expert will discuss ways to incorporate wines in a variety of dishes from appetizers to desserts and share some favorite and popular recipes.
 Dinner: Dinner is again served by Simply Delicious in the Windsor Room
 Evening: Free Evening: Information will be provided about activities you may choose to attend on your own.
   
Accommodations: English Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Montpelier/ Barboursville Ruins and Winery/Colonial Music
(Thursday, August 22)

Note: Outdoor walking will be over hilly, uneven ground on grass and pebble paths. While at Montpelier, participants can choose to limit the amount of this walking by exploring the indoor exhibits at the Education and Visitor Centers instead. The house tour is approximately a half hour and those choosing to do so may also explore the second floor independently (no elevator).



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will again be buffet style in the Windsor Room.
 Morning: Class: "Entertaining at Montpelier: James and Dolley Madison at Home" Explore the family side of the Father of the Constitution and his genteel lifestyle at his beautiful country home. Field Trip: Orientation and guided excursion to Montpelier, home of President James Madison. This magnificent home has been undergoing extensive renovation, recently completed, with some of the painstaking restoration process interpreted during the visit. Time will be given for independent exploration of the Education Center exhibits, along with the new Visitor Center and beautiful grounds.
 Lunch: Eat a delicious box lunch, including sandwich, water, fruit, chips, and cookie, in the Visitor Center’s Courtyard Café adjacent to the DuPont Gallery.
 Afternoon: Field Trip: "Barboursville Ruins and Winery" Explore the impressive ruins of the Jefferson-designed home of a Virginia governor during a self-guided tour before moving on to the winery. Defying the advice of numerous “experts”, Gianni Zonin, a 6th generation heir to an Italian wine family, acquired this plantation in 1976 with the expectation of creating a vineyard. Jefferson had attempted this persistently at Monticello for many decades with no success. The estate presents a diversity of wines, taking seriously the development of European varietals. In 2006, the winery opened a new wine museum, looking back on centuries of Italian viticulture. The tasting room is in the style of a Northern Italian farmhouse, including a double-sided fireplace for toasty winter fires and covered loggias for the warm seasons.
 Dinner: Dinner is again served by Simply Delicious in the Windsor Room
 Evening: "Eighteenth Century Music" Listen as a talented musician plays selections that might have been enjoyed by Jefferson and his contemporaries as they sipped their evening wines. A variety of fascinating instruments will be demonstrated.
   
Accommodations: English Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: A Visitor from the Past
(Friday, August 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will again be buffet style in the Windsor Room.
 Morning: Performance: "A Voice from the Past" Now that you have visited the homes of three presidents and several wineries, there could be no better way to spend the morning than in conversation with a distinguished colonial gentleman. He will entertain you with domestic stories and personal observations on many topics relevant to the late 18th century. Program ends mid-morning with time for check-out and individual arrangements for lunch before trip home.
   
Accommodations: English Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Charlottesville Historic Charlottesville
During your free time, you may wish to explore the University of Virginia, drive the picturesque Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway, or stroll around Charlottesville's downtown pedestrian center. Within reasonable driving distance you will also find the Walton's Mountain Museum, the P. Buckley Moss Museum, the Gordonsville Exchange Hotel, and the Roaring Twenties Antique Car Museum. Your free time will be fairly limited, so consider extending your stay to enjoy all the Charlottesville area has to offer. Explore the websites of local attractions for schedules of special events. Visit our web site for more information. For additional information, visit www.wm.edu/elderhostel
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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