Virginia Wine: Barboursville Vineyards Our winery guide, Blue Ridge Wine Excursions, tells the stories of the people who make the Virginia wine country and the Virginia wine industry and what it is today. Charlottesville wineries and wineries in Virginia are owned and operated by entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds, philosophies, and experiences. Blue Ridge Wine Excursions Wine Trail Guide showcases the mosaic that is our vibrant local wine community. We invite the reader to enjoy these stories and to join us on the Monticello Wine Trail!
"We are farmers because of our awe and gratitude for the character of this earth, and we are vintners because it is natural to desire to celebrate it, and to share it." -- Gianni Zonin, 2006, Owner of Barboursville Vineyards.
Old World Traditions in the Land of Jefferson.
By: Justin Stone
The story of Barboursville Vineyards is inseparable from the story of the land. The estate was first cultivated by a prominent Virginia family in the late 1700s. It grew in wealth under the stewardship of James Barbour, the son of Thomas Barbour and Mary Pendleton Thomas, who would become the 19th Governor of Virginia and later Secretary of War under John Quincy Adams. Friendship and political allegiances with his colonial neighbors James Madison and Thomas Jefferson undoubtedly meant that James Barbour was a player in the formation of the new republic. Thomas Jefferson designed the stately brick and columned main house, which was home to the Barbour family until fire destroyed the building on Christmas, 1884. Though its sloping hills and rich soils are perfect for cultivating grapes, the land had to wait another century before its character and beauty was fully revealed in a glass of wine.
The American bicentennial marked the real beginning of central Virginia’s modern wine revolution. In the spring of 1976, Gianni Zonin, heir to his family’s extensive 150-year-old wine enterprise in Northern Italy’s Veneto region, acquired the Barboursville estate. Gianni and his wife Silvana decided on these 900 acres in the heart of the Virginia Piedmont because the natural beauty and kindness of the locals reminded them of their native Veneto. The Zonins brought on Gabrielle Rausse as Barboursville’s first viticulturist, a man who remains a leading figure in Virginia wines. Together they set about reintroducing the European grapes, vitis vinifera, to Virginia and bringing to fruition a dream rooted in the earliest history of the Commonwealth. In 1979, the first bottle of wine cultivated from the ground at Barboursville was released ... (continued)
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Paperback - ISBN 978-1-304-05730-3