Blenheim Vineyards is rustic wedding chic to the max and I am absolutely blown away by its country charm. Borrowed & Blue had the pleasure of snagging a tour with the gracious Kathy del Rosso of Blenheim Vineyards to see what would be possible for a couple interested in planning a wedding soiree at this gorgeous wedding venue in Charlottesville, located just twenty minutes from downtown. We started in the Tasting Room, a beautiful, open space with clean lines and complete with reclaimed antique wood and cathedral ceilings. The panel windows flood the room with sunlight all day long, and glass windows in the floor allow you to witness the magic that happens in the barrel room below. Its relaxing qualities and views of the vineyard lend itself to a casual cocktail hour, and Kathy tells us it can fit approximately 70 mingling guests.
We then ventured outside to check out The Farm. More than just a vineyard, Blenheim is an elegant historic site dating back to the 1730s – and yes, the Jeffersons definitely stayed here at least once. The Main House was rebuilt in 1846 in Gothic Revival style after a fire destroyed the original. Newly renovated, the house offers an exquisite, homespun space for the bride and her attendants, and the luxurious bathroom features a fireplace, clawfoot tub, and vanity seating with oversized mirrors perfect for pampering before a wedding in Charlottesville. The gourmet kitchen is available for refreshments for the bridal party or the catering company – Blenheim Vineyards does not offer catering services, which is great for those couples who already have someone in mind. The sitting room in the front of the house is superb for the groom and groomsmen to relax, or for elderly guests needing a rest.
Across the lawn from the Main House is the Library, which can entertain about 32 for a seated dinner or more standing, excellent for a rehearsal dinner or to serve as the location of your bar or buffet. Its high ceilings allow it to seem more spacious than it really is. Flooded with natural light, it spills onto the lawn, which offers a wonderfully flat area that caterers love for tents and tables.
No doubt my favorite part of Blenheim Vineyards is the dreamy, historic little chapel – and I do mean little, as it can only accommodate about 20-25 guests, but is perfect for a intimate Charlottesville weddings. Blenheim has it all – it is ideal for the small, intimate wedding or the grand affair. Chapels are certainly a rarity in winery weddings, but once you get out to The Farm, you’ll feel a certain country-village sort of vibe where, no doubt, a chapel is a must & is perfect for a farm wedding. Inside is painted stark white with exposed wooden beams. A door in the back, where I imagine a blushing bride, groom, and celebrant would stand, overlooks a small orchard. The beauty of an intimate autumn Charlottesville wedding here gives me goosebumps. The chapel is available to rent for an extra fee.
A few important details: The best news is… Blenheim Vineyards is not yet booked up for the 2012 season! The venue can be rented for $3,500 on the weekend or $3,000 on weekdays. While they do have a few tables and chairs, for a large event you’ll have to contact a wedding rental company. All wine consumed must be bought from Blenheim – which shouldn’t be a problem because it is outstanding. (My personal favorite? Their 2009 Chardonnay with hints of nectarine, mango, and candied pine nut with a pineapple finish.) As a matter of fact, Wine Enthusiast magazine not only honored Virginia as one of the best wine travel destinations IN THE WORLD, but they specifically mentioned Charlottesville’s Blenheim Vineyards! Blenheim does not have a minimum wine purchase and is available to the renters at a 15% discount; sparkling wine may be brought from outside. Liquor can be consumed as long as it is licensed through your chosen caterer. As you may or may not know, Blenheim Vineyards was bought by Charlottesville’s favorite musician, Dave Matthews, and his family in 2000 and opened to the public in 2010. It is open daily for tastings from 11am til 5:30pm.
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