wine producing state. It is now the 5th largest state in terms of wine production in the US. Most of the over 230 Virginia wineries are privately held boutique wineries and they are attracting technology icons like AOL founder Steve Case, flashy Billionaires like Trump, and Rock Stars like Dave Matthews. In fact Blenheim is the immediate neighbor to Trump Winery (formerly Kluge vineyard and estate). In true "Yankee down south fashion", Trump in a not so neigborly fashion insisted that Blenheim take down their tasting room sign. So just follow the directions to Trump's tasting room, and just past it on the left side of that road is Blenheim winery.
Matthews was a long time resident of the historical city of Charlottesville, where Thomas Jefferson founded and designed the University of Virginia. It is not surprising that he chose this location to build his winery.
31 Blenheim Farm, Charlottesville, VA 22902
From 2000 to 2010, his band, the Dave Matthews Band, sold more tickets and earned more money than any other act in North America.
Designed by Dave Matthews and master craftsman William Johnson and finished in 2000, the Blenheim Vineyards winery building was designed to have minimal impact on the environment. The building is split into the tasting room above, from which you can peer through paneled glass floors into the wine production facility below, which is kept cool by being nestled into the side of a hill.
This photo (above) is shot from the upstairs tasting room looking through the glass floors into the production area.
Constructed from reclaimed wood fitted together with mortise and tenon joints, the timber frame tasting room is lined with south-facing windows and skylights, which facilitate daylight to fill of the space. In fact, no electricity is required to light the space in the summer. In the winter, the lights are only turned on once it gets dark outside, and the tasting room benefits from passive solar heating throughout the day as well.
The property and the facilities are lovely, but not as spectacular as some of the boutique Virginia wineries. Like most of these small wineries they do rely on weddings and other events. The wine is drinkable but nothing noteworthy. They do not have many wines. Wine prices run from $15 to $25 a bottle. The $5 tasting includes a small number of wines.
The staff was pleasant but only marginally informed. I think most people visit more out of curiosity about the famous owner. Despite that really seeming its biggest draw, there is no Dave Matthews memorabilia or photos. I think they would increase their profits greatly if they played to their strengths.
The bottom line is that the place is pleasant, the architecture interesting, the wines drinkable but not exceptional, the staff pleasant but not particularly knowledgeable. Its close proximity to Trumps makes it a natural to visit the two in the same outing. Music fans will be disappointed that there is nothing that visibly ties the place to the lead vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist that you love. But it is worth the visit.
Unique Luxuries that Virginia offers, a continuing quest to share the local state gems with my global luxury connoisseur following. Look for more upcoming features and Google already published ones under "Lorre White, Virginia Wineries, Luxuries, Travel"
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Lorre White, has been a international luxury marketing expert for 2 decades and is the founder of White Light Consulting an international luxury marketing consulting firm working with luxury brands to reach the world's wealthiest 1%. She is the founder of a luxury blog with an exclusive UHNW following www.LuxGuru.Typepad.com and the only internationally recognized luxury media personality “The Luxury Guru”. Lorre frequently contributes to luxury magazines globally, including having had her own monthly column in Portugal’s #1 rate luxury magazine. For more information just Google her. Twitter:@Lorre or sign up top left under the photo www.LuxGuru.Typepad.com
Links To Some Virginia Winery Articles by Lorre White, "The Luxury Guru"
Afton Mountain Winery: Lorre White "The Luxury Guru" visits Afton Mountain Vineyard in Virginia.
Barboursville Winery: Lorre White, "The Luxury Guru" says Virginia's Barboursville Winery is a 'Must See'
Barren Ridge Winery: Lorre White "The Luxury Guru" visits Barren Ridge Winery in the Shenandoah Valley.
Cardinal Point Winery: Cardinal Point wines were terrific says Lorre White, "The Luxury Guru"
Early Mountain Winery: Steve Case, the Ambassador for Virginia Wines by Lorre White, "The Luxury Guru"
Flying Fox Winery: The Flying Fox Wines get a good review from "The Luxury Guru", Lorre White
Glass House Winery: Lorre White "The Luxury Guru" says Glass House Winery On The Monticello Wine Trail is wonderfully quirky place and a must visit for wine enthusiasts.
Jefferson Winery: Lorre White, "The Luxury Guru" rates the Jefferson winery as a SKIP.
King's Family Winery: Lorre White visits King Family Vineyards in Virginia.
Michael Shaps and Wineworks
Pippin Hill Winery: Pippin Hill Winery in Virginia gets good marks from Lorre White,"The Luxury Guru".
Pollack Winery: "The Luxury Guru", Lorre White, Give A Neutral Review To Pollack Winery In Virginia.
Trump Winery: Virginia's Trump Winery reviewed by Lorre White, "The Luxury Guru"
Veritas Winery: Veritas Virginia Winery visited by Lorre White, "The Luxury Guru".