Who knew … fermented apple cider can actually have all the nuance and finesse of fine wine. Not far from Cedar Spring Inn, you can now enjoy the finest in modern day fermented cider made using ancient techniques, while taking in the glory of a property dating back to 1764 and Colonel Thomas Walker, guardian and mentor to Thomas Jefferson. The cider is really special; so are the picnic offerings also available in the tasting room. For more information visit www.castlehillcider.com.
Go to James Madison’s Montpelier to visit and walk the 200-acre old growth forest that offers miles of hiking trails for hikers of all levels. Several prize-winning trees live in the forest. While there, visit the Demonstration Trail which explains what it takes to manage a healthy sustainable forest. Both the Landmark Forest and the Demonstration Trail are available to visitors year-round, from 9:00am until 5:00pm except in the colder months when the forest closes at 4:00pm. For more information go to www.montpelier.org.
On Sunday, December 4th, the new hit musical comedy “Rock of Ages” will play at the John Paul Jones Arena. The performance begins at 7:00pm. For tickets go to www.johnpauljonesarena.com.
Plan on attending two terrific Monticello presentations this November, both featuring winemaker and master chef Gabriele Rausse. On Saturday, November 5th, it’s Cooking Unusual Vegetables, scheduled from 9:30am until 12:00noon. You will learn about sea kale, cardoon, Caracalla bean flowers, endive, Florence fennel, fava beans and crowder peas. On Saturday, November 12th, it’s a Vinegar Making Workshop, scheduled from 9:30am until 11:30am. The charge for each workshop is $15/person and reservations are required. Go to www.monticello.org for more information.
The McGuffey Art Center has prided itself on merging art and the Charlottesville community since 1975. At the center you will find galleries and open studios with workshops and classes scheduled throughout the year. For your holiday shopping, visit the McGuffey Art Center gift shop. There you will find special one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list.The Art Center is open Tuesdays through Sundays; you can get more information at www.mcguffeyartcenter.com.
We don’t pretend to know a lot about the local music scene. However, one thing is clear. If you like music of almost any kind, you’re sure to find it in Charlottesville. Here are some web sites to check out what’s coming to town and when:
Lots of folks from the DC area, Richmond and the “Beach” (as in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake) know about Charlottesville’s wine scene embodied in the 24 to 25 wineries known as the Monticello Wine Trail (www.monticellowinetrail.com). More and more, Charlottesville and surrounds are coming to be known for the craft brewery scene embodied in the five breweries known as the Brew Ridge Trail (www.brewridgetrail.com). But there is another art of fermentation … this one dealing with apples … that is creating the potential for a cider trail as well. Albemarle Cider Works in North Garden (www.albemarleciderworks.com) has been open for a couple years, and is now joined by Castle Hill Cider in Keswick (www.castlehillcider.com). By December Bold Rock Cidery in Nelson is projected to begin production, making yet a third option for true Virginia Cider. So if wine is not your thing … or if you have visited the entire Monticello Wine Trail … start visiting the local beer and cider operations. You will be richly rewarded!
Every Tuesday evening Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton features a $25 three course meal and a movie on the big screen. The movie changes but you can check out the schedule at www.bluemountainbrewery.com. Reservations and prepayment are required.
You can learn about the theory and meaning of the American Constitution right at the place the constitution was written. James Madison’s estate and home known as Montpelier in Orange, Virginia, now houses the Center for the Constitution. Educators, politicians and interested citizens are invited to attend weekend seminars devoted to an understanding of this important document. There is also the possibility of taking the course on-line. For more information go to www.montpelier.org.