Just a little bit up Route 22 in the Keswick neighborhood awaits what is perhaps the Monticello Wine Trail’s most serendipitous winery, Merrie Mill Farm Vineyard. The vision of youthful, British owners Guy and Elizabeth Pelly sees beyond ye-olde-barn-conversion tasting room. Instead, they’ve built an elaborate 5,000-square-foot clubhouse on two levels with a veranda that overlooks seven acres of vines punctuated with tables, awnings, and sculpture-sized ball and jacks. Inside, the tasting room is lavishly decorated in vivacious colors with eccentric trappings from portraits to mobiles. Intriguing spaces both indoors and out invite small groups to cluster and enjoy Merrie Mill’s seven different varieties, including Petit Manseng and Petit Verdot. Their menu includes several sharing platters that pair perfectly with their wines.
The tasting room is available for private parties, and your first visit is sure to make you eager to plan a return.
Clearly the Pellys have brought a transformational vision that mixes old-world charm with Albemarle’s reverence for it, and wine.