Guide to Dog-Friendly Wineries Near Charlottesville
Beautiful Dog-Friendly Wineries in Central Virginia Wine Country
Greetings fellow wine and dog lovers! My co-founder, Jeremy, and I recently took a road trip to Charlottesville, VA with our dachshunds Bentley and Greta. Naturally, we used Corkhounds.com to discover some dog-friendly wineries in the area. We normally base our choices on dog-friendliness, proximity to other wineries, and Google ratings, all of which our site pulls together. Once we made preparations, we hit the road!
Between driving, tending to the pups, and sipping some wines, it is easy to try to do too much in too short a time. Therefore, we decided to stay near Charlottesville for the weekend at a dog-friendly Inn in Crozet, VA. We focused our attention on just two vineyards this trip so that we could have plenty of time for the "vineyard experience": exploring the grounds, discovering wines that match our tastes, and soaking up the atmosphere. Here are some details on those wineries and other useful recommendations that we hope you find useful.
About Charlottesville, VA
Founding Father Thomas Jefferson had a passion for European wine. Mr. Jefferson spent decades trying, and ultimately failing to cultivate French and Italian varietals at his grand estate, Monticello. Thankfully, future generations continued his efforts with much more success. Today the fields and hills around Jefferson’s Charlottesville are filled with vines and a thriving wine industry.
Vineyards We've Visited
We visited Blenheim Vineyards and Grace Estate Winery on our trip. Here are the details!
Blenheim Vineyards 31 Blenheim Farm Charlottesville, VA 22902
Musician and singer Dave Matthews bought historic Blenheim Farm in Albemarle County for his mom in the late 1990s. He quickly got busy planting grapevines and thus, Blenheim Vineyards was born. His involvement doesn’t stop there. He designed the simple half underground a-frame tasting room on the property to have minimal impact on the environment. Windows at one end of the room offer stunning mountain views of an impressive amount of acreage lined with grapevines. And Matthews also designs the labels of the bottles each year but don’t count on running into him during a tasting. According to staff, his home base is California and a hectic travel schedule keeps him on the road much of the year. Dogs are welcome outside, on the deck/patio. Note, dogs will be welcome in the tasting room starting July 1, 2018.
Our favorites: Painted White, Cabernet Franc
Award-winning wines: Petit Verdot
Grace Estate Winery
Grace Estate Winery 5273 Mount Juliet Farm Crozet, VA 22932 ph 434-823-1486
Nestled amongst tall oak trees, is Grace Estate Winery. The light and airy tasting room features barrel light fixtures, sturdy wooden furniture, and large leather sofas strategically placed next to a brick fireplace. After your tasting, grab a coveted seat by the fire and watch the embers crackle and dance. Grace Estate is dog-friendly outdoors and on the patio.
Our favorites: Le Gras Rosé, La Gras Cuve
Award-winning wines: Estate Chardonnay, Estate Merlot
If you are able to make a weekend trip out of your visit to Charlottesville, here are some sites to start your search for dog-friendly places to stay.
Dog-friendly Places to Stay:
Search Bring Fido: Charlottesville, VA
Search Homeaway: Charlottesville, VA
Local sites of interest:
If you have additional time to explore Charlottesville, we suggest these local sites:
Thomas Jefferson’s neoclassical plantation home is a landmark of the area. He started building Monticello when he was just 26. He made many changes to the building over the years based on his trips to Europe. The most stunning visual feature is the octagonal dome room. Pets are allowed on the grounds of Monticello if leashed, but not inside the main house or outbuildings.
University of Virginia (UVA)
UVA was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819. If you first stopped by his home, Monticello, and were impressed, then UVA’s architecture will surpass even that. Keep your dog to the public outdoor spaces and be sure to keep the grounds clean by picking up after them.
The Downtown Mall
Grab your pooch and head to downtown Charlottesville for a walk along the outdoor mall, a brick-paved pedestrian-friendly shopping district. Many of the stores and restaurants welcome pets, look for signs and water bowls.
Additional wineries to visit:
If you can't make it to Grace Estate or Blenheim Vineyards, then you can certainly try one of these other wineries near Charlottesville.
Jefferson Vineyards 1353 Thomas Jefferson Parkway Charlottesville, VA 22902 Ph: 434-977-3042
While not located at or associated with Monticello, Jefferson Vineyards does borrow its name and likeness from the 3rd American president. They do claim their grounds were once used by Jefferson to cultivate grapes. Thanks to modern advances and technology, their grapes have been thriving for over 30 years. Long live Jefferson! Dogs are welcome on the grounds.
Trump Winery 3550 Blenheim Road Charlottesville, VA 22902 Ph 434-984-4855
For those who are politically inclined or simply just curious, Trump Winery is located down the road from Blenheim Vineyards. They specialize in sparkling wines and serve food. Note, dogs are not allowed inside the tasting room or on the patio but they are welcome on the grounds.
Editors Note: This article by Peggy first appeared on the Corkhounds Blog.
Last Updated December 2020
Photos by Jeremy Glesner, All Rights Reserved. Cover Photo is of the Monticello Estate House, home of the former President Thomas Jefferson. Photo by Clarkcj2 / CC BY-SA 2.0