Explorer Ponce de León abandoned his quest to discover the mythical land of wine after a tumble into the Fountain of Youth left him eternally underage. Take up his journey with today’s Groupon to Autumn Hill Vineyards in Stanardsville. Choose between the following options:
- For $7, you get admission for two to the fall festival on October 15, 16, 22, or 23 (a $15 value).
- For $14, you get admission for four to the fall festival on October 15, 16, 22, or 23 (a $25 value).
The grape growers at Autumn Hill Vineyards have created tongue-tinting libations in the midst of the Blue Ridge Mountain foothills since 1979. Visitors to the festival can loll within 13 acres of grape vines stretching across a rolling landscape ideal for afternoon picnics or lazy attempts to read the entire phonebook. Guests can learn about the ambrosial arts in cellar tours that depart at 1:15 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:45 p.m. throughout the festival. While admiring the autumnal hues of the vineyard, guests may enjoy complimentary homemade mushroom-and-barley soup. All attendees also go home with a souvenir glass.
Autumn Hill Vineyards
Autumn Hill Vineyards owners Ed and Avra Schwab have made a lot of wine in the past 30 years, from their gold medal blend of petit verdot and merlot to their vintner’s reserve chardonnay that takes on the flavors of the French oak barrel it ferments in. The one thing you won’t find in their cellars, however, is a sweet wine. That’s because the pair strives to craft Virginia wines with a European influence, resulting in dry, full-bodied vintages brimming with character. This specialization has led them to cultivate seven types of wine grapes, including some of the oldest cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay vines in Virginia.
Though the duo spends most of the year tending to their vines in private, they invite guests in four times a year to see in the inner workings of their operation. Visitors to the vineyard are privy to tours through the barrel-aging cellar, helpful advice on how to pair wines with food, and vertical tastings of the same vintage to highlight the flavor differences among the grape crop every year. For guests who can’t make it out, the vineyard offers a wine club that delivers select vintages to clients' doorsteps or sommeliers' giant beanstalks in the spring, fall, and holiday season.