Just north of Lynchburg, VA, in Amherst County, is Rebec Vineyards. A 70 acre estate covering rolling hills, with beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, growing European varieties of grapes the plantings were started in 1980.
By 1987 the wine produced began selling under the Rebec label. What is a rebec? A medieval stringed instrument, a forerunner of the modern violin. The rebec represents the owners commitment to old-world craftsmanship in winemaking.
The winery and tasting room is built from rich weathered chestnut siding and exposed beams from a 200-year old barn, which was once part of the historic farm.
Visitors can enjoy 16-18 wines, depending on the season. Rebec says it has a “wine for everyone”. Wines range from the usual Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Gewurztraminer, Riesling to Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. In addition you might try their Sweet Briar Rose, a semi-sweet blush, Autumn Glow, which combines Riesling and reds or their niche herb-infused wine called Sweet Sofia. All will tempt your palate to take some home with you.
Rebec wines can be purchased at the winery, while attending festivals and at local restaurants and retail stores. Rebec has a wine club which allows you to automatically receive wine four times each year. The club offers selections under the following categories: Rebec select, Rebec White, Rebec Red and Rebec Sweet. The tasting room is open everyday between 10:00-5:00. Call 434.907.1859 to confirm hours or to get particulars about their wine club.
Rebec Vineyards is perhaps best known as the host of the Virginia Wine & Garlic Festival. Held the second full weekend each October, this year October 10 & 11, the festival is always much fun. 9 wineries, 5 garlic growers, 35 artists and crafters, 21 specialty food vendors, live music and lots of crazy people will be found at the festival this year.
Stay with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, at least 2 nights, during the festival, and your one-day tasting tickets will be complimentary. Prices start at $239 per night. Call 434.846.1388 to book your stay and festival. Booking must be made at least 48 hours in advance. Tickets are non-refundable.
Rebec Vineyards is located just off RT 29 about 30 minutes from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast. Guests traveling towards Richmond, Charlottesville, DC and points beyond will pass them on their way to Lynchburg! Stop in and pick up a bottle of wine to enjoy on our front porch or patio.
Remember to drink and drive responsibly. Hope to see you soon!
As the dog days of summer are alive and well in Central Virginia we are celebrating the end of season’s heirloom tomatoes this month in our monthly recipe post. As most of you know we post a recipe monthly. Usually the recipe is something we have served at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast. This month, although our guests would probably love this, we didn’t feel it fit into a breakfast menu, but we’re sharing with you anyway because it is delicious!
- For the best color and flavor be sure and purchase the freshest and most colorful heirloom tomatoes. We used dark orange tomatoes, but you can use whatever you find at your local farmer’s market. The most colorful golden yellow squash is also recommended.
- To make this recipe takes only about 15 minutes. Remember though that you need at least 2 hours to chill the soup in the refrigerator.
Enjoy this refreshing bowl of cold soup and beat the heat!
- 2 pounds yellow heirloom tomatoes, cored and quartered
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 medium yellow squash (6 ounces), halved lengthwise and thickly sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into large chunks
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup carrot juice, fresh or canned
- 3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- kosher salt
- 1 avocado
- 1 small red heirloom tomato
In a food processor or blender, working in batches, combine yellow tomatoes, onion, squash, bell pepper, garlic, carrot juice, vinegar and oil. Pulse until finely pureed. Season with salt. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours.
At serving time, halve, pit and dice avocado. Core and dice red tomato. Serve soup in chilled bowls topped with avocado and tomato.
The Lynchburg Historic Foundation Annual Tour of Homes will take place Sunday, September 27, 2015 between 1:00-4:30 PM. The tour this year will be in the Federal Hill Historic District.
Federal Hill was Lynchburg, Virginia’s first residential suburb. Annexed in 1852 many of the district’s earliest houses were built in the 1820’s. Federal Hill developed slowly. This slow development allowed it to consist of a variety of architectural styles. You will find Federal, French Second Empire, Georgian Revival and Queen Anne styles. Areas at opposite ends of Federal Street make-up distinctive sub-districts, owing to topography.
Federal Hill is one of the smallest and most compact historic districts in Lynchburg. 67 structures plus 25 outbuildings comprise the district. Frame vernacular dwellings make up the majority of the structures. 25% of the dwellings are brick. 85% of the homes have some type of front porch. Federal Hill was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
There will be four homes open to tour on the 27th:
1121 Harrison Street, built in 1876. This brick, French Second Empire sits high on a hill with excellent views of downtown Lynchburg. Designed by Robert Burkholder it has its original Mansard roof, built of Virginia slate.
1014 Harrison Street, built in 1878. A unique turret is one of the special features of this brick home. Also designed by Robert Burkholder it was built for a prominet tobacconist.
1115 Federal Street, built in 1890. This home was also built by a tobacconist in a transition between a Queen Anne and First Colonial revival style.
1012 Federal Street, built in 1910. This frame home overlooks downtown Lynchburg from it’s large deck. This Colonial Revival has kept many of its original fixtures and all of its character.
Tickets for the tour are $20.00 per person. Tickets can be purchased at the Lynchburg Visitor Center, lynchburgtickets.com or by calling the Historic Foundation Office at 434.528.5353. The annual tour is always a huge success for the Historic Foundation and serves as it’s major fund raiser.
Stay with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed & Breakfast and we’ll let you enjoy our historic home. Call 434.846.1388 to discuss package details. We look forward to welcoming you to Lynchburg.
Just north of Lynchburg, VA, in Piney River, you will find Saunders Brothers. Saunders Brothers is an orchard, a farm market, a flower and vegetable farm, a bakery, a retail store for plants and shrubs, cattle farm plus so much more.
We visited 10 days ago when they were having their baking contest. The pies, cakes, breads and other goodies sure did look good. Mike wanted to know how he could be a judge!
Starting in 1915 five of the Saunders brothers formed a partnership to develop Saunders Brothers. Originally they grew apples, lots of apples, most of which were shipped overseas in three-bushel barrels. During World War II peaches became very popular so Saunders Brothers stared selling peaches, at $3.66 a bushel. In 1947 they began selling boxwoods, from plants propagated by Paul, one of the brothers. Between 1967 to 1999 they maintained a registered herd of Angus heifers and bulls. Today they sell steaks, roasts, hamburger and other cuts. All are free of hormones and antibiotics.
The farm market sells almost everything you can imagine. In season you will find several varieties of apples, many varieties of peaches, asian pears, fabulously fresh vegetables, hand-made pies and breads (oftentimes using the freshest of fruits available), jams, jellies and flavored butters, ciders, salsas, local honey, relishes, pickles, barbeque sauces and locally made ice cream. Just outside the farm market are annuals, perennials, flowering shrubs and the infamous boxwoods.
Saunders Brothers is open Monday through Saturday, between 9:00-5:00, starting about May 10th and remain open until December 21st. Their phone number is 434.277.5455 if you have questions. Directions to Saunders Brothers, plus a current listing of what they are selling, can be found on their website www.saundersbrothers.com. Their address is 2717 Tye Brook Highway in Piney River.
When staying at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we oftentimes use their fresh fruits and vegetables when preparing our 4-course breakfasts. In season we use their apples and peaches when making various pancake, waffle or French toast recipes. And their vegetables make the best side dishes to our savory main courses. If you stop by the farm market on your way to stay with us we may even cook you something fresh from the farm!
Lynch’s Landing is presenting the seventh annual Get! Downtown Street Festival on Friday, September 11th. Between the hours of 6-9 PM. Main Street will be closed from 13th Street to 7th Street as downtown Lynchburg, VA welcomes over 10,000 festival goers.
Six blocks of downtown businesses, along with vendors, artists, crafters and artisans, live music and performances on three stages, dancers and street performers and local cuisine presented by some of our favorite downtown restaurants mean the largest street festival in is here again.
This year will include activities such as skate demos, chalk art, an arcade trailer, magic performances, face-painters, jugglers and balloon artists. The BBT parking lot will host a Food Truck Roundup so that you can try their great food, if you can’t get to them on Food Truck Thursdays in Miller Park. Restaurants participating include CAO Artisan Chocolates, Dish, Jimmy on the James, Kegney Brothers, Market at Main, RA Bistro and White Hart Café.
A shuttle bus will run from the James River Conference Center parking lot to the festival, as parking is always at a premium. Guests staying with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed & Breakfast are within a 10 minute walk to all of the activities.
This free event is open to the general public and in fact grows each year as more and more residents of Lynchburg take advantage of this fun evening. We’ll look for you there!
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.).
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