In regards to ‘Miles driven vs. Points of interest worth stopping at’ no one can really say that Virginia can keep pace with the cultural epicenters of the world like Italy or Greece, for example.
There are however quite a few true gems to be found in Virginia, and pictured above you see one of them. Barboursville Vineyards in Barboursville, VA (?) (located roughly 10 miles northeast of Charlottesville) is one of those exceptions from the general drabness that tends to blanket Virginia. And what an exception it is at that.
For one, the winemaker Luca Paschina crafts a wine that will make your average, imported, $40 bottle of ‘Look-at-the-dashing-red-I-got-at-Whole-Foods’ taste like the anti-freeze-laden shit that it is (?), and secondly, the staff at Palladio, the vineyard’s own restaurant, will make your taste buds feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven. Italian heaven, that is.
And Palladio is one of those few restaurants that get it right consistently — it isn’t cheap, but what we call ‘price-worthy’ in German, and the quality of the food served as well as the service are nothing short of impeccable. Just like the wines — not cheap, but no poser rip-off, either and worth every penny.
In short, if you ever happen to get lost in central VA, make the best of it and tell your GPS-gadget to take you to Barboursville. Make sure you got room in the trunk for a carton of wine. Or three.