Burned in my memory is a summer day featuring cottony puffs of clouds dotting azure skies, temperatures in the high 70’s and no signs of the typical drenched air that is customary in July in Southern Virginia. I am psyched to enjoy a picture perfect day as I prepare to tour Charlottesville’s wine country.
Pippin Hill is my first and only stop on today’s itinerary. From the minute I turned onto Plank Road and began the drive up to Pippin Hill’s tasting room, I knew this was going to be a special and very memorable experience. It was close to noon time when I arrived in the parking lot and as I approached the hostess stand at the outside tasting area, I had to catch my breath as the view surrounding the winery defines the term “breath-taking.” At least a minute passed for me to savor the sights and sounds before I moved to the inside tasting room. So far this place is living up to all the accolades I heard from previous visitors.
I find a place at the tasting bar and meet Laura who will guide me through a sampling of several wines made by Michael Schapps, a noted Virginia winemaker experienced in French wine production and vineyard practices. Schapps’ reputation for quality ranks on an international scale of some of the world’s best wine makers. His knowledge of and experience with winemaking shines through in Pippin Hill’s wine. Most of their grapes are grown on six acres of property which offer six white wines that range from sauvignon blanc, viognier, chardonnay and a summer rosé. They also offer four red wines including: merlot, meritage, a red blend of merlot and chambourcin, and an estate blend Red Pump named for the pumps on the property and are made with fun, summer sipping in mind.
Pippin Hill offers a full menu of dishes featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients that pair beautifully with their wines. I wanted to try everything on the menu as it all looked so enticing. I settled into a nook in a private part of the outdoor veranda with the Blue Ridge Mountains as my back drop. A plate of heirloom tomatoes with fresh-made mozzarella, a beet salad, and a glass of rosé at the ready, I can now spend my afternoon lingering over these delights.
This winery is to be savored, not rushed. Your blood pressure will thank you!