Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Barboursville Adventures

Backroads in Virginia can lead to the sweetest places if you've got the time. This weekend, I ventured out to Barboursville, a blink-and-you'll-miss-it downtown known for its chic winery. I started the visit with a stop at the Fred Nichols Studio, where the artist and his wife are always on hand to give guests a peek into the artistic process. Fred's work is gorgeous and vibrant, and it was fascinating to see his in-process paintings and the subsequent silkscreen process. I couldn't help but buy a piece to bring home!

Across the road and just up the hill is the Nichols Gallery Annex, which is stuffed with interesting and intriguing work by artists from Virginia and beyond. I passed a very happy hour there getting inspired.

Barboursville Winery is a legendary winery in Virginia, developed by the Italian Zonin winemaking family in the 70s. It's a full-service estate winery, making all of its wine from grapes grown on the premises. The wine is delicious, but the winery is also notable for its ruins.

The ruins are beautiful in their imperfection, providing a peek at the past while lending a European air to the Virginia countryside. The home was built for former Gov. James Barbour, who served as leader of the state during the war of 1812. It was based on a design by Thomas Jefferson.

It was hard to resist climbing over the rope and exploring! The winery also has an inn and rentable cottages...I think it would make for an incredible weekend romantic getaway or girls' trip!

Just down the road is Stonefire Kitchen, a fantastic restaurant and event facility. If I were getting married at Barboursville, I'd have my rehearsal dinner here in a second! 

The sandwich menu alone was astounding. I love finding little treasures on the road less traveled, and this place is a great little gourmet surprise for those of us who don't spend much time on 33.

I enjoyed an orange mango soda and my favorite Dill Pickle Route 11 chips (woot, woot Shenandoah Valley love!).

Sean had the meatloaf sandwich, which he loved!

I had a delicious Cuban sandwich, with pork loin slices instead of pulled pork. So good!

We took 33 to Richmond, passing through some more sweet downtowns, like Gordonsville and Louisa. 

And to cap off our touristy day, we asked a sweet couple to snap a shot of us with one of the roadside "Love" signs placed throughout the state. It was a great little weekend trip!

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