Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards, Cville Wine Tour


OWNERS: Dean & Lynn Easton Andrews

WINEMAKER: Michael Shaps

YEAR: 2010

Elegance and Simplicity

Imagine sitting under a veranda overlooking pristine foothills back-dropped by the Blue Ridge Mountains.  There’s a glass of Virginia wine and fire-baked artisanal pizza on the table before you, banks of native flora edging the landscaped grounds and local musicians lending their sounds to the tone of the afternoon. This is just one of the idyllic experiences waiting for you at Pippin Hill Farm and Winery. It may be the youngest winery in the Monticello region, but its owners, Dean and Lynn Easton Andrews, are applying lessons learned through their years at the top of the hospitality industry.  At Pippin Hill, they have merged their talents to create a boutique winery that provides its visitors with a true Virginia experience.

Every aspect of Pippin Hill is meant to enhance the experience of its visitors while taking advantage of the natural surroundings. Dean and Lynn ensure that the philosophy and practices of their farm-winery adhere to the principles of sustainability. The farm’s gardens provide the kitchen and winery with an array of seasonal herbs, vegetables, and flowers and all production waste is turned back into the farm’s ecosystem. The full-scale vineyard-to-table kitchen provides guests with exquisite local cuisine for a quick afternoon snack or a fine, multi-course dinner. Eighty percent of the food is sourced locally from Pippin Hill Farm or other area farms. 

Pippin Hill Wine Tour

Every aspect of Pippin Hill is meant to enhance the experience of its visitors while taking advantage of the natural surroundings. Dean and Lynn ensure that the philosophy and practices of their farm-winery adhere to the principles of sustainability. The farm’s gardens provide the kitchen and winery with an array of seasonal herbs, vegetables, and flowers and all production waste is turned back into the farm’s ecosystem. The full-scale vineyard-to-table kitchen provides guests with exquisite local cuisine for a quick afternoon snack or a fine, multi-course dinner. Eighty percent of the food is sourced locally from Pippin Hill Farm or other area farms.

Native grasses, plants, trees and the carefully thought-out buildings blend together in the natural landscape to create a picturesque location for events. The interior settings provide a range of possibilities for guests, from intimate gatherings in the Cellar to extravagant celebrations in the Granary. Despite having only recently opened its doors in the spring of 2011, Pippin Hill is already a premier destination and event space, not surprising when considering the collaborative talents of its owners. 

Dean spent over thirty years at the top of the hospitality industry. While vice-president of the prestigious Orient-Express Hotels, he oversaw operations of internationally renowned resorts and restaurants. He directed the acquisition and renovation of the famed 21 Club in New York along with the purchase of Keswick Hall and Club in 1999.  It was the Keswick venture that ultimately led him to settle in the Charlottesville area. Lynn began her professional career in the television industry as an associate producer and producer for NBC, ABC, and CNN News. She relocated to Charlottesville in 1989 and transitioned naturally to the production of events. As founder and president of Charlottesville-based Easton Events, she has built a premier event planning company that now spans the mid-Atlantic region. 

Chris Hill and Michael Shaps were two of the Virginia wine experts called upon by the Andrews to begin the vineyard. With guidance from these experts’ decades of experience in the industry, the Andrews chose to plant three signature varietals at Pippin Hill. These young vines of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Petit Verdot line the southern hillsides below the winery. The Andrews intentionally keep their vineyard small while partnering with local growers to supply them with grapes from the greater Piedmont region. This will give them greater versatility and security in a region known for its inconsistent seasons. Chris Hill, a consultant for dozens of vineyards in the Albemarle region, oversees the management of the six acres of vines at Pippin Hill. The Andrews rely on the skill and resources of Michael Shaps and his Virginia Wineworks facility to produce, bottle, and label their wines. Dean, Michael, and Chris consult routinely on the status of the grapes and development of the wines. The result of this collaboration is a first vintage of Pippin Hill wines that are approachable and enjoyable while reflecting the local flavor. 

It is the Andrews’ intention for Pippin Hill to maintain a perfect balance between sought-after event site and well-respected producer of Virginia wines. With the fresh exuberance that stems from the seasoned staff and their own zeal for this new venture, Dean and Lynn are confident that Pippin Hill will take its place among Virginia’s storied wineries. As an indication of their promising future, they were asked to join the Monticello Wine Trail in their first year, and their event spaces have been routinely booked since opening.

The Andrews have also initiated a new tourism trail for the Southern region. The Jefferson Heritage Trail will span between Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello home and his Poplar Forest home in Lynchburg. Along the trail, wineries, microbreweries, restaurants, and inns of the region will welcome visitors and delight them with the bounty and beauty of Virginia. Youth is not often seen as a virtue in the wine industry but, in the case of the Andrews and their Pippin Hill Farm and Winery, the excitement of a new venture has been paired with the wisdom of age and experience.