FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 26, 2024
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
WHAT’S NEW IN CHARLOTTESVILLE AND ALBEMARLE COUNTY IN 2024
Opening of several new wineries in Wine Enthusiast’s “Wine Region of the Year,” new and renovated lodging options, plus several new culinary offerings throughout the region.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – The Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau (CACVB) is excited to welcome several new additions to the area’s robust tourism offerings. Highlights of what’s new and noteworthy for 2024 in Charlottesville and Albemarle County include the following:
WHERE TO SIP:
Charlottesville and the Monticello American Viticultural Area (AVA) were recently named Wine Enthusiast’s Wine Region of the Year. This prestigious accolade solidifies the Monticello AVA’s prominence on the global stage. The Charlottesville area is home to more than 40 wineries located along the Monticello Wine Trail, with more wineries opening each year. Additionally, the Charlottesville area is home to a number of craft breweries, artisanal cideries, and distilleries. New offerings include:
- Southwest Mountains Vineyards (Opened fall 2023)
Southwest Mountains Vineyards officially opened its doors in September 2023, with its tasting room and production facilities located in the Keswick area of Albemarle County, just a short drive east of downtown Charlottesville. The tasting room is located in a converted historic barn dating back to 1903, which offers sweeping views of the Southwest Mountains range in the distance.
- Fallen Tree Vineyard (Opening spring 2024)
Fallen Tree Vineyard is set to open its doors in spring 2024 in the western portion of Albemarle County, just 15 minutes from downtown Charlottesville. Varietals being produced at the region’s newest vineyard are set to include Chardonnay, Petit Manseng, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.
- Barrels and Tanks Winemaker Incubator (Opening in 2024)
Eastwood Farm and Winery will be launching its new Barrels and Tanks winemaker incubator in 2024 (exact date to be determined). This collaborative and innovative facility will include five winemaker suites in its main production area. The suites will provide a space where independent winemakers can secure a license and make their own wines. Barrels and Tanks has been designed to reduce the costs associated with independent winemaking, thereby supporting further innovation and talent in the Monticello AVA. Jake Busching, Eastwood Farm and Winery’s head winemaker, will oversee the rollout of the new facility. Barrels and Tanks will also feature a public tasting room, with the capacity to hold around 100 guests.
- Tipsy Wagen Tours (Opened summer 2023)
Tipsy Wagen Tours began offering a unique way to explore the wineries surrounding the Charlottesville area in the summer of 2023. Guests can relax and experience the best views and wines along the Monticello Wine Trail cruising around in Tipsy Wagen’s vintage Volkswagen Bus named Mable. Tipsy Wagen Tours adds yet another tour option for visitors interested in exploring this historic and acclaimed wine region.
In addition to the wine offerings listed above, several new craft breweries opened in the second half of 2023 including:
- Devils Backbone: The Backyard (Opened summer 2023)
- Högwaller Brewing (Opened fall 2023)
- SuperFly Brewing Company (Opened late 2023)
WHERE TO STAY:
- The Little Mod Hotel (Opened fall 2023)
The Little Mod is a mid-century hotel located in the heart of Grounds at the University of Virginia. Featuring 15 guest rooms and five apartments, the retro decor takes visitors back to the 1960s. The Mod Pod, an on-site food truck, serves up tacos and other delicious bites each day for breakfast and lunch.
- Renovations at The Omni Charlottesville Hotel (Completed in fall 2023)
The Omni Charlottesville Hotel, located on the historic pedestrian Downtown Mall, unveiled the results of its extensive renovations in fall 2023. These renovations included modern furniture upgrades in the guestrooms, new state-of-the-art technology in meeting spaces, upgrades to the hotel’s lobby and common areas, and enhanced dining and entertainment options for guests and visitors.
WHAT TO DO:
Charlottesville and Albemarle County offer visitors a variety of things to do during their stay including historic attractions, arts and culture, outdoor recreation, and much more. The newest activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy in 2024 include:
- New Exhibits at James Monroe’s Highland
Visitors can now explore a new exhibit at James Monroe’s Highland. The Window to a New America exhibit shares the stories of the people who lived at Highland, as well as the stories of historic events that occurred during Monroe’s lifetime. New exhibits also show how the nineteenth century impacted the twentieth century from the period of Reconstruction and the Jim Crow era, to Civil Rights and school integration.
- The Contemplative Site at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
The Contemplative Site is a space designed to reflect upon the lives and legacies of those who were enslaved at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. The site’s 60-foot long steel wall lists known names, along with blank spaces to ensure that new names can be added as more details are learned. The Contemplative Site is located in an area Jefferson designed as a wooded, ornamental landscape called the “Grove,” at the western end of the Monticello mountaintop.
- Sauna experience at Rivanna River Company
A new sauna experience is now available at the Rivanna River Company. The sauna features a 7’x10′ hot room paneled in Eastern White Cedar wood from North Carolina, heated by a Kuuma sauna wood stove built in northern Minnesota. Couple the sauna experience with a cold water plunge in the nearby Rivanna River for an invigorating and rejuvenating winter experience.
- New Escape Room at Unlocked History Escape Rooms
A new escape room will open at Unlocked History Escape Rooms in spring 2024. This room, dedicated to exploring the mysteries behind Leonardo Da Vinci’s paintings and inventions, will complement the three escape rooms that are currently open to the public. The new escape room will strive to be as historically accurate as possible and will feature important characters such as Machiavelli and Cesare Borgia as key elements of the story.
- James River Batteau Company “Farm to Batteau” Tour
The James River Batteau Company is now offering a new “Farm to Batteau” tour experience. This tour features local chef Sarah Rennie of Two Fire Table and includes an open fire and farm-to-table dinner on the James River in a flat-bottom boat known as a batteau. The experience showcases the agricultural and historical richness of the Scottsville area, against the backdrop of the golden hour on the historic James River.
WHERE TO EAT:
Charlottesville and Albemarle County have received numerous accolades over the years as a top foodie destination. This is, in part, due to the area’s large number of locally owned, farm-to-table restaurants, which source local ingredients from surrounding farms and producers. New culinary offerings include:
- The Dairy Market is Central Virginia’s first food hall, featuring more than a dozen food and retail merchants in a historic location between the Downtown Mall and the University of Virginia. Recent additions to the Dairy Market include:
- Al Basha: Al Basha features homemade, family-style Mediterranean food prepared using the freshest ingredients.
- Krissy Cakes: Krissy Cakes is a Charlottesville bakery specializing in sweet treats and custom cakes for special events.
- 434th Street: 434th Street is a Caribbean food stall featuring classic dishes with a Virginia twist, such as braised ox-tail, authentic Caribbean jerked chicken, and coconut curry goat.
Additionally, a variety of new restaurants have opened throughout Charlottesville and Albemarle County including:
- Cumbre Bakery: Cumbre Bakery is now open in its new location in downtown Charlottesville. Specialties include alfajores, croissants and other sweets born from Italian and Argentinian inspiration.
- Praha Bohemian Bakery and Café: A bakery located in the heart of Crozet, serving up Prague-inspired classics like Koláče, Klobásník, and Rohlíky.
- Bonny and Read Seafood: A new Mid-Atlantic seafood restaurant located on Charlottesville’s historic pedestrian Downtown Mall.
This list is but a sampling of what’s new in Charlottesville and Albemarle County in the year ahead. A comprehensive overview of all the area’s attractions, wineries, restaurants, lodging options, arts, outdoor recreation, and more can be found at www.visitcharlottesville.org.
About the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau (CACVB) welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors to the region each year from all over the world who are seeking a variety of unique experiences in history, food, wine, spirits and adventure. The CACVB serves as the global resource for marketing the tourism assets of the City of Charlottesville and County of Albemarle, and assists tour operators, meeting planners, and other groups in planning visits to the destination. The CACVB’s mission is to enhance the economic prosperity of the people of the City and County by promoting, selling and marketing the area as a destination, in pursuit of the meetings and tourism markets.
Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau
P.O. Box 178
Charlottesville, VA 22902