Barboursville Vineyards 1804 Inn: Governor’s Style Luxury

Kurt Jacobson

Virginia is for lovers, whether they be lovers of history, food, wine, or the outdoors. Barboursville Vineyards is the place to be if you love food, wine, and classic luxury lodging. The 1804 Inn on the grounds of Barboursville Vineyards is one extraordinary place to stay. Governor James Barbour made his home in this stunning place at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the early 1800s. He was famous for defending Virginia from the British in the War of 1812.

Thomas Jefferson was a friend of James Barbour and designed the home that is now the Barboursville Ruins. The mansion suffered a fire on Christmas Day, 1825, but luckily no one was home that day. The brick and stone ruins of the governor's home make quite a conversation piece next door from the 1804 Inn.

The governor's family preserved the land and buildings into the 20th Century when the Zonin family, one of Italy's largest wine companies purchased the estate. Nowadays, not only does the estate produce excellent wine, but it also caters to the luxury traveler with first-class accommodations. The 1804 Inn was the home that James Barbour lived in before building the mansion that burned. This classic Georgian villa is one of Virginia's most distinctive historic inns.

Modern-day travelers may choose from three luxurious suites: the Vineyard Cottage, Sangiovese Cottage, or the Blue Run Cottage. All of the lodging choices make guests feel like they have stepped back in time, with original wood flooring, period antiques, and a gorgeous view of the winery and Blue Ridge Mountains.

Of the three rooms at the Inn, only the Philéo is on the ground floor. Some guests will prefer the absence of stairs, and enjoy the gas fireplace in the sitting room, smart TV, private terrace with dining table and chairs, 4-poster king-sized bed, a complementary bottle of Barboursville Vineyards wine, and other amenities.

The Malvaxia Suite has a 45-foot private balcony that looks out on the vineyards, ponds, pastures, and Blue Ridge Mountains. The bathroom is tiled with Botticino Bianco marble tile, jetted tub; antique carpets adorn original wood floors, and a northern deck that has access to the private lawn and boxwood gardens.

The Octagon Suite also has a 45-foot private balcony with expansive southern views and close-up views of the historic ruins. Like the Malvaxia Suite, the Octagon Suite provides easy access to the boxwood gardens and lawn area. An antique 4-poster queen-size bed comes with 100% cotton linens, a large bathroom with a claw foot tub and shower combination, a well-appointed sitting room with antique furniture, gas fireplace, desk, and smart TV.

All of the suites and cottages include a full breakfast, a cheeseboard, a complimentary bottle of wine of your choice, assorted beverages, down alternative comforters upon request, individual climate controls, and acres of varied landscapes to take a walk and enjoy the good life in the country.

Cottages offer more privacy without sacrificing luxury. The Sangiovese Cottage was originally the gardener's residence and is the only stand-alone cottage. A full kitchen makes this cottage a good choice for an extended stay. The Vineyard Cottage has two separate suites, each with a queen bed, cotton linens and down comforters in the winter. A dining table, microwave, toaster oven, mini fridge, and coffee maker allow for snacks and simple meals to be taken in the suites.

The Winery

Barboursville Vineyards has made a name for itself and is widely thought of as one of Virginia's top wineries. Two choices await guests to sample their wines. The Discovery Tasting Room is where you can taste up to 12 types of winemaker Luca Paschina's current lineup for $15 per person.

For an upscale tasting experience, guests may reserve a table at the Library 1821 Experience. Library tasting fee cost $20-350. Be sure to reserve the Octagon wine flight in the Library if you love fine red wine. Head winemaker Luca Paschina told why they chose to name the wine Octagon. Luca said, “Octagon (wine) was named to celebrate the estate’s diverse connections with the Legacy of Thomas Jefferson, symbolized in the central octagon drawing room in his design for Governor Barbour’s mansion.”

The Library patio looks out on the vineyards, and multiple songbirds serenade guests thanks to the Allegrante Meadow, a three-acre natural wildlife habitat Luca planted. Allegrante was a famous mare owned by Governor Barbour and also the name of Barboursville rosé.

With 176 acres in vines, Barboursville Vineyards understands that a monoculture doesn't support nature. On the estate are 375 acres of virgin forest, 145 acres of pasture, 14 acres of lakes and streams, 10 acres of wetlands, and 170 acres of meadows. These natural spaces help offset modern agriculture’s impact on the environment. It's not unusual to see numerous types of wildlife such as: deer, rabbits, turkeys, squirrels, pollinators, and many types of native birds.

Dining and Events

Attached to the winery is Palladio, a fine dining establishment serving some of Virginia's best locally sourced fare. Guests are encouraged to reserve a table for lunch or dinner to avoid disappointment. Lunch is served from Wednesday to Sunday, and dinner is served on Fridays and Saturdays. 

Private parties and special events bring many a guest to Barboursville. Most every month of the year features at least one special dinner event. Some of the favorite themed dinners are tomatoes in July, vertical wine tasting in November, and Italian Harvest.

Weddings and private parties can be held indoors or outdoors. Barboursville Vineyards can seat up to 500 outdoors or up to 120 in an elegant indoor venue. With spectacular mountain views, vineyards, Barboursville ruins, and the Allegrante Meadow, any special event you choose will leave a lasting impression on your guests.

Getting Here

Barboursville Vineyards is close to several key cities in the Mid-Atlantic region. The drive is along scenic and historic areas rich with Colonial and Civil War history.

Barboursville Vineyards is approximately a 2-hour drive from Washington, DC.

From Dulles Airport, approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes.

From Baltimore, approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes.

From Richmond, VA, approximately 1 hour and 12 minutes.

Kurt Jacobson

The Barboursville Ruins are what's left of the Governor's mansion that Thomas Jefferson designed.

Kurt Jacobson

The Octagon Suite is well-apointed in period furnishings and spacious.

Kurt Jacobson

The Octagon Suite's balcony is a perfect place to relax with a glass of wine and the complimentary chees board.

Kurt Jacobson

The Discovery Tasting Room is where most visitors come to taste 12 of Barboursville's wine.

Kurt Jacobson

Softshell crabs are just one of Palladio's special seasonal entrees.

Kurt Jacobson

The vineyard and Blue Ridge Mountains as seen from the Library 1821 outdoor tasting area.

Kurt Jacobson

Allegrante meadow supports pollinators on the grounds of Barboursville Vineyards.

Kurt Jacobson

The Malvaxia drying building has a few tables for wine and snacks overlooking the Allegrante Meadow.

Kurt Jacobson

Sunset lights up the tasting room building at Barboursville Vineyards.

Kurt Jacobson

The sitting room in the Octagon Suite.

Kurt Jacobson

Kurt Jacobson is a semi-retired professional chef living in Baltimore who travels the world searching for great food, wine and adventure. A full-time travel writer, Kurt has been published in over 55 online travel websites, and 9 magazines. See more of Kurt's stories at ...(Read More)

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