AWG Correspondent

Brian Yost

Stinson Vineyards Photos

Stinson Vineyards Review

Regions: Monticello AVA, Virginia

Reviewed: January 21, 2014 by Brian Yost
Published: February 6, 2014

Piedmont House is a historic eighteen-century farmhouse located a few miles west of Charlottesville at the base of the Blue Ridge. Scott and Martha Stinson purchased the house and eighteen acres of adjacent property as a place to retire. Well, transition might be a better word. A second career in winemaking was the plan, and the Piedmont House Estate contained forty-year-old vines from the early days of Virginia viticulture. Unfortunately, the vines were in an advanced state of neglect and were subsequently pulled up. Nevertheless, their presence was a positive omen.

So in 2010, the Stinson’s began planting new vines and converted one of the farm’s outbuildings into a tasting room. They bottled the first vintage of estate-grown fruit in 2013. In the meantime, Scott and his daughter Rachel began making wine from locally sourced grapes and immediately drew attention. Stinson Vineyards has been mentioned in Forbes, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, Wine Enthusiast and the list goes on. Their efforts are paying off, and Stinson Vineyards has earned a reputation for quality wine.

As of this writing, Stinson has six acres under vine with plans to incrementally increase that total. In 2013, the winery produced 1600 cases and plans to gradually increase production to about 2500 cases; they intend to remain a small boutique winery like most of the other wineries in this part of western Albemarle County. The emphasis will remain on production of small-batch, artisan wines with some regional marketing and distribution.

On my last visit to Stinson, there were seven wines on the tasting menu and the estate wines had not yet been released. They were pouring a 100% Mourvédre Rosé, a lightly oaked Chardonnay, a Petit Manseng, a Vidal Blanc and a couple of Bordeaux blends. All of the offerings were exceptionally well-crafted and typical of the region.

While the wine is a reason to visit, the scenery is another. Stinson Vineyards sits right up against the Blue Ridge, and the drive out from Charlottesville will take you through the scenic foothills and horse farms.

Like most boutique Virginia wineries, the service is first-class and the beauty of these small, family-run wineries is that it’s very likely you’ll be served by the winemaker or one of the owners. During my last visit, Rachel Stinson poured my wine. I was able to engage in a great conversation and learn a good deal about each of the offerings, Stinson Vineyards, and many of the other nearby wineries. Stinson is proud of the fact that they are child and pet-friendly and this is particularly evident with their summer concert series “Tailgate Thursdays.” There’s no cover charge, and food is available. You can also bring your own picnic, and grills are available for guests.

While you’re there, be aware that the Stinsons are attempting to put the “farm” back in “farm winery.” Toward that end, they have added a pack of marauding chickens to their farmstead; they are very and have developed a taste for bread. They won’t hurt you, but whatever your do, hang on to your baguette.

It’s also important to mention that Stinson Vineyards is one of six wineries on the Appellation Wine Trail. The other five wineries are in close proximity, so a visit to Stinson can easily become part of an expanded wine outing. The drive between tasting venues is a breathtaking journey along rural, mountain roads.

Whatever you do, don’t be deterred by the bread-eating fowl, Stinson is absolutely worth visiting. The views, service and wine make it a complete package!

Address & Contact Information: 4744 Sugar Hollow Road Crozet, Virginia 22932. Telephone: 434-823-7300, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Thurs-Sun 11:00-5:00 and by appt..

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