Ankida Ridge Winery is not your average winery. Your first indication that this isn’t the typical winery is the journey to get there. To say it is off the beaten path is an understatement (directions are at the end of this post). The second indication is that their tasting room is only open the first Saturday of each month or 12 days per year vs. the 300 days a year most tasting rooms are open. This raises lots of questions but before you start asking questions let me try to answer them.
Ankida translates to where heaven and earth join and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the highest elevation vineyard in Virginia. A trip to Ankida Ridge is truly inspiring. The view from the tasting room is absolutely breath taking. At about 1800 feet in elevation on a clear day you have great views of the valleys and other nearby peaks. After some brief introductions one of the owners will take you up another 400 feet to their vineyard and tell you a little history about the property. Believe it or not, the property was actually settled in the 1880’s by farmers who terraced the land and grew crops there. After World War II, this type of farming was impractical so the land was abandoned and the forest reclaimed the land until Christine and her husband, Dennis, discovered the property and purchased it. They cleared a couple of acres of the rocky mountain side and planted grapes. You will learn about the soil conditions, the climate and why this location grows some awesome grapes and why they planted twice as many vines per acre as most vineyards when you are given the tour. (I’m leaving out a lot of the story on purpose so that you want to venture out and experience the winery first hand.) From there you head up to a clearing overlooking the small vineyard (they just cleared another four acres and hope to plant that in 2017). If you thought the view from the tasting room was impressive this view is even better. After finishing off a bottle of their Vert (Vinho Verde) we headed back to the tasting room where we enjoyed tasting the remainder of their wines. This was followed by a tour to the lower level where the wine is actually made.
Chances are you have never heard of Ankida Ridge Winery. There are no signs on the highway directing you to them. They are so small that they make less than 1000 cases a year. What separates them from many of their competitors is they made the conscience decision to separate themselves from their competition by doing thing better than everyone else and by making a better wine. Yes, the elevation of the vineyard enables them to grow grapes that others can’t and the soil conditions make for better grapes. The rocky granite soil, steep slope, aspect to the sun, elevation, vine density, canopy management, incorporating animals in the vineyard all add to growing grapes of the highest quality,along with a good dose of TLC
If you ever thought about heading to the Lynchburg area and you will be here on the first Saturday of the month then this might be a great day trip. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy your food with a great bottle of wine. At The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we do offer picnic lunches for just this type of occasion. On September 19, 2015 the “Hail to the Harvest” celebration will take place at Ankida Ridge. Live music, hayrides, winery tours and of course, wine tastings will begin at 12:00, noon. If traveling to Central Virginia is not in your plans don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy some fine wine, join their wine club.
Finally, how the winery got its name. Shortly after the owners purchased the property they were camping there in a little cabin on the property. As you can imagine the stars are brilliant when you are that far removed from the lights of the city. That evening there were thousands of fireflies flying around and the lights of the fireflies and the brilliant stars merged together and it appeared the heavens and earth joined.
If you are looking for more of an “experience” when you are visiting a winery we highly recommend a visit to Anika Ridge.
Directions: From Amherst Village:
- Head west on Rte 60, continuing west beyond the traffic circle.
- ·Go approximately 9 miles until you see Ogden’s Liberty gas station on the left.
- Just after Ogden’s, turn right onto Mt. Pleasant Rd. (If coming from Buena Vista, stay on Rte 60E for 17.4 miles, then turn left onto Mt. Pleasant Rd.)
- Go ¼ mile and turn left onto Franklin Creek Rd.
- Follow this road all the way to the end, approximately 3 miles, to just past the sign “END OF STATE MAINTENANCE.” The road narrows and winds through the woods. There are no signs to the property,
- Go through opened gate and bear right just above the pond, at the big boulder.
- Follow driveway up the mountainside (about 2/10 mile) to light grey winery on left.
- You can park along the driveway just beyond the building (Ankida Ridge Tasting Room is on the upper level.).
Lockn’ Music Festival is just a couple months away and now is the time to think about purchasing your tickets and if you opt not to camp out at the festival book your rooms at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast. The dates are September 10-13. Check their website above for ticket prices (students and military discounts are available). If you attended The Woodstock Festival in August 1969, this is similar in many ways but better organized with food vendors, camping options and much more, but if you didn’t attend and you want to experience thousands of fans enjoying great music from some top name entertainers then you won’t want to miss Lockn’ Music Festival 2015.
At the Lockin’ Music Festival you can rent a tent or a space for your RV (check their website for pricing) or if you prefer to sleep in a comfortable bed, have a hot shower and enjoy our legendary breakfast each morning, all in air conditioned comfort then you may want to consider booking your room at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Downtown Lynchburg. Stay at least 4 consecutive nights while enjoying the Lockn’ Music Festival and get one room night free! The Lockn’ Music Festival is held in Nelson County and is only about 30 minutes north of Lynchburg.
This year there will be many well known artists such as The Doobie Brothers, Carlos Santana and Jefferson Airplane (from my generation) but check out the list below to see if any of your favorite performers will be there.
The Lockn’ Music Festival 2015 Line up includes the following artists:
- Anders Osborne
- Billy & The Kids
- Carlos Santana
- Chuck Leavell
- Deer Tick
- Dominic Lalli of Big Gigantic
- Gov’t Mule
- Hot Tuna Acoustic
- Jorma & Jack Celebrate 50 Years of Jefferson Airplane
- Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe with Chuck Leavell
- Keller Williams’ Grateful Gospel
- Little Feat
- Mad Dogs & Englishmen A Tribute To Joe Cocker Featuring Tedeschi Trucks Band with Special Guests Leon Russell, Dave Mason, Rita Coolidge, Chris Robinson, Doyle Bramhall II and Friends
- Melvin Seals & JGB with special guest John Kadlecik
- North Mississippi Allstars
- Phil Lesh & Friends featuring Chris Robinson, Neal Casal, Adam Macdougall, Eric Krasno & Tony Leone
- Phil Lesh & Friends with Special Guest Carlos Santana
- Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters
- Slightly Stoopid
- St. Paul & The Broken Bones
- Steve Earle & The Dukes
- Tedeschi Trucks Band
- The Doobie Brothers
- The Doobie Incident
- The Jayhawks
- The Oh Hellos
- The String Cheese Incident
- Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
- Umphrey’s McGee
- Widespread Panic
To take advantage of this special call 434-846-1388 to book your reservation. You must mention that you will be attending the Lockn’ Music Festival to qualify for the special package rate. This special cannot be combined with any other discount, special, package, or promotion and gift cards cannot be accepted for payment. These reservations must be paid for when the reservation is made and are non-refundable.
Food trucks are a part of American life and can be found in every major city, over the past several years we have started to see more and more of them in Lynchburg. Typically they are scattered around the downtown area but on Food Truck Thursdays they all head to Miller Park (in front of the old Miller School at 301 Grove Street if you need an address for your GPS). Food Truck Thursday was the brain child of Lynchburg Parks and Recreation Department and has been a great success. The day we visited we took a blanket and after buying our lunch we had a picnic under one of several dozens huge oak trees. There is also a covered shelter with picnic tables if you prefer to eat at a table.
I was pleasantly surprised at the crowd of people gathered to support these mobile restaurateurs. Many were in suits while others in scrubs and then there were the casually dressed diners such as myself.
If you are looking for an affordable meal and a wide variety of food options then you won’t want to miss Food Truck Thursdays at Miller Park. They are there from 11:00 to 3:00. This is the perfect spot for your lunch break, for a picnic (where you don’t have to prepare the food) or a place to bring a date.
These are the same food trucks you find on the streets of Lynchburg, but on Thursdays you don’t need to check their Facebook pages to find them. Miller park is only about 10 minutes from the downtown area. You will want to check this out several times as the food trucks in Lynchburg take turns as to who is there on Food Truck Thursdays so go there often to be able to sample all the different vendors.
Wouldn’t you like to start your long, 4th of July weekend early? Then start it by having lunch on Thursday, the 2nd, at Miller Park. We hope to see you at Food Truck Thursdays! If you are heading to Lynchburg and need a place to stay, The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast is the place to stay. Check out our availability and book your reservations here.
Built in Roanoke in 1950, the J Class train was the most powerful steam locomotive ever built and arguably the best looking train ever built. Norfolk and Western only built 14 J Class passenger locomotives and train No. 611 was retired in 1959 and was housed in Roanoke’s Transportation Museum until 1981 when it was towed to Birmingham Alabama to be revitalized, the same year Norfolk Western merged with Southern Railway to become Norfolk Southern. Train No. 611 was used to pull excursions until 1994 when it was again retired and returned to the museum where train enthusiasts from around the word visited train No. 611. After years of fundraising the museum again decided to undertake a massive restoration costing about $3.5 million. Last year the train was towed to North Carolina for the restoration and now that the restoration is complete, Train No. 611 will be hauling passengers on a very limited basis.
On Sunday June 14, 2015 you can ride the newly restored J Class steam locomotive, Train No. 611 from Lynchburg to Petersburg. The train will depart at about 7:30am and will arrive in Petersburg at 12:30. About 2:30 the train will be returning to Lynchburg where it will arrive about 6:30pm.. Tickets are going fast.
Call The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast at 434-846-1388 for a once in a lifetime opportunity to ride this famous steam powered locomotive. With your two night stay you will receive two deluxe coach tickets (subject to availability). Note: Because tickets are non-refundable and going fast, you will be charged in full when the reservation is made and the reservation is NON-REFUNDABLE. Cost for this package is $775.00 and includes two room nights in the mansion, two deluxe coach tickets (upgrades may be available for an additional costs) and a to-go breakfast on June 14 to take on the train. Taxes and gratuities are in addition to this cost. Sorry gift certificates cannot be used to book this package and this cannot be combined with any other special or discount..
Don’t let this opportunity pass you by, call today to book your trip. A portion of each room night will be donated to the “Fire Up 611” campaign to help pay for the restorations of Train No. 611.
On May 17th riders from around the country will descend on Lynchburg for the 6th Annual Storming of Thunder Ridge.a fully supported bike ride through the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Storming of Thunder Ridge is a fund-raiser to benefit the YMCA of Central Virginia. There are bike rides for everyone, starting at 27, 45, 75 and 100 mile options. Thunder Ridge is a gradual but very challenging 13 mile climb to the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, topping out at 3,932 ft.
For more information and to register for this event please check their website: http://stormingofthunderridge.org/.
Sorry, this year, The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast does not have any rooms available as we sold out due to college graduations but riders can camp out at the Jamerson YMCA in Lynchburg which is the starting and ending point of this ride. Check the website above for more information.
The scenery is beautiful this time of year and you will be riding before the dog days of summer.
The Sesquicentennial (150) celebration begins tomorrow! Both the National Park Service and the town of Appomattox are ready for the onslaught of guests from around the world, intent on experiencing this once in a lifetime event. Have you planned out your next 5 days?
As a follow-up to last week’s blog post below you will find some additional highlights of the events, lectures, programs, real-time re-enactments and educational activities taking place between Wednesday, April 8 until Sunday, April 12, 2015. Remember, a complimentary shuttle bus service will be running between Lynchburg and Appomattox Court House National Historic Park. Once at the park a separate shuttle will take you to the individual venues. For those guests staying at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast a shuttle bus pick-up location is within an easy walk.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday: an author’s tent with writers of historical books who will answer your questions, have books to purchase and will help you get a feel for the significance of April 9, 1865.
- Each day there will be Parole Pass Printing demonstrations
- Each day you’ll find Wet-plate Photography exhibits in the park
- Friday, April 10, 2 different guest speakers at Appomattox County High School
- Friday, April 10, through Sunday, April 12, real-time Stacking of Arms Ceremonies
- Extended hours at The Museum of the Confederacy each day
- Special lectures and exhibits at The Museum of the Confederacy each day
- Cavalry and Horse Artillery Encampment at the Appomattox Center for Business and Commerce each day
- United States Colored Troops Encampment at Carver Price Legacy Museum each day
The dates, times and locations of these events, programs and special activities plus many more can be found on the found on the following websites:
Need lodging? Give us a call at 434.846.1388 or check on-line to see if we have had any cancellations.
Check Room Availability
Subscribe by email
From The Blog RSS