The Inn at Monticello
Innkeeper(s): Robert Goss and Carolyn Patterson
Jefferson's Excellent French B&B Adventure and Wine Tour 1 Jul 2014, 7:00 pmThomas Jefferson served as the U. S. Minister to France from 1784 to 1789, succeeding Benjamin Franklin. In 1787, he set out on a 3 month journey through France and northern Italy. Traveling as a private citizen, he tried to meet the people of each region and sample their way of life. To his friend Lafayette, he wrote about his travels "you must ferret the people out of their hovels as I have done, look into their kettles, eat their bread, loll on their beds under pretence of resting yourself, but in fact to find if they are soft. You will feel a sublime pleasure in the course of this investigation..."
Jefferson's trip also took him to France's leading wine producing regions. In May 1787 he visited Bordeaux, where he toured Chateau Haut-Brion and sampled wines from Chateaus Margaux and Lafite. Before returning to Paris, he ordered 252 bottles of 1784 Haut-Brion from a wine merchant. When the wine arrived, Jefferson discovered that the merchant had filled the order with bottles of 1784 Chateau Margaux. Oh well! No doubt Jefferson and his frequent guests in Paris happily drank the wine anyway. In May 1788, Jefferson doubled down on 1784 Haut-Brion and ordered another 125 bottles, to be shipped to Monticello. These never arrived, much to Jefferson's dismay.
Jefferson's travels through France, his interest in wine, and the provenance of a 1787 bottle from Chateau Lafite that fetched $156,000 at a Christie's London auction in 1985 are the subjects of a fascinating book, "The Billionaire's Vinegar" by Benjamin Wallace. It reads like a detective novel and is the basis for an upcoming movie, produced by Will Smith and supposedly starring Brad Pitt.
Our Neighborhood: Willow Lake 20 Aug 2013, 9:23 amThis is Willow Lake, a beautiful pond on land adjoining the Inn. It's about 4-5 acres, and is spring-fed. Until about 40 years ago, the owners of the property used the lake as a watering hole for cattle and livestock. Now our dog Mikey and his owners think it's a very enjoyable place for walking and taking in the scenery and wildlife.
Heritage Theatre Festival at UVA 23 Jun 2013, 6:26 am
|From the 2012 Production of "1776"|
Ed Roseberry's UVA and Charlottesville Photographs 23 May 2013, 8:14 pm
|Alas, the Biff Burger Restaurant, with its $0.15 burgers, is no more!|
Filippo Mazzei, the "Unknown American Patriot" from Tuscany 7 May 2013, 6:53 pmThe Thomas Jefferson Foundation recently announced that it has acquired the papers of Filippo (Phillip) Mazzei.
So who was Filippo Mazzei? He trained as a physician in Tuscany, but he is best known in Virginia as the man who in 1774, with the support and encouragement of Thomas Jefferson, first tried to establish a commercial vineyard in the American Colonies. He planted vines on land that is now the site of Jefferson Vineyards, and he built a house, known as Colle, which still stands. Unfortunately, his timing was bad, as his venture was disrupted by the American Revolution. He returned to Italy, his home country, in 1779, and began working as an arms dealer for the American cause.
But Mazzei became much more than a winemaker and a merchant. He and Jefferson shared not only a passion for wine, but also an interest in politics. In fact, some historians and even President John Kennedy have credited Mazzei with introducing the concept "all men are created equal" to Jefferson.
After the American Revolution, Mazzei stayed in Europe and became a political writer and roving diplomat. He represented the Polish crown in France during the French Revolution, where he again met up with Thomas Jefferson. He died in 1816, at the age of 85. In 1980, in honor of his contributions to the founding of this country, the United States published a commemorative stamp with his name and the title "Patriot Remembered."
Taste Wines at Montpelier and Monticello! 30 Apr 2013, 2:28 pm
|Monticello's Wine Festival is held on the West Lawn
of Thomas Jefferson's home.
great opportunities to sample some superb wines, learn about Virginia's leading vineyards and winemakers, and experience the homes of some of our country's founders.
UVA Reunions Weekend 28 Apr 2013, 3:01 pm
In June, UVA will host Reunions Weekend, and Bob's Class of 1973 will be celebrating the 40th year since its members walked the Lawn and took their degrees. The UVA Class of '73 will hold its reunion dinner on the porticos next to the Rotunda. Interestingly, in November, 1824, another 40th (+) reunion took place at the University, when the Marquis de Lafayette returned to America, and was honored at a dinner at the Rotunda attended by former presidents Jefferson and Madison, and by the president at the time, James Monroe. It had been just over 40 years since Lafayette had helped America win the Revolution.
Saving the Rotunda 24 Apr 2013, 3:04 pm
If you're interested in historic preservation, you'll appreciate this story about the Rotunda, which symbolizes the University of Virginia and the vision of its founder, Thomas Jefferson. Since last year, the Rotunda has been undergoing some major repairs. It will soon have a new copper roof (the 4th covering since the building was constructed beginning in 1822), and the scaffolding erected during construction will be coming down, just in time for graduation exercises. For a fascinating account of the history, construction and renovation of the Rotunda, see this article which appeared in the Winter 2012 edition of the University of Virginia Magazine.
Charlottesville's "Fridays After Five" Free Concerts 15 Apr 2013, 7:31 pmCharlottesville's nTelos Pavilion, at the east end of the Downtown Walking Mall, is the place to hear live music from April through September. The City recently began its 2013 "Fridays After Five" concerts. Here's the schedule through May:
April 19 : NO BS Brass Band with Grits & Gravy (Modern Funk Brass Band)
April 26 : Cha Cha's Cadillac with Erin Lunsford & The Smokey Bandits (Rockabilly Country)
May 3 : Groove Train with Bluestep (Return of Disco!)
May 10 : William Walter & Company with Special Guest DJ Williams with Tara Mill & Yankee Dixie (High Energy Rock and Twang)
May 17 : Abbey Road with The Currys (Beatles, Beatles & Beatles)
May 24 : Beleza with Morro Azul Samba School (Funkalicious Samba Soul)
May 31 : Turnpike Troubadors with Carl Anderson (Rowdy Heartland Americana)
For out-of-town guests: these are local groups, some just playing for fun, and some hoping to make the big time like the Dave Matthews Band. Enjoy their music -- maybe one day you'll see one of them on a national tour, or receiving a Grammy or Country Music award!
Surfin' and Turfin' With WVPT and The Embers 14 Apr 2013, 7:52 amWhile Charlottesville was celebrating Thomas Jefferson's 270th birthday, WVPT, Virginia's public television station, held a beach party benefit at Foxfield Race Track, which is why the event was dubbed "Surf on the Turf." The Embers Band (not as old as TJ - only been around since 1958) rocked the grass with its ageless gets-you-movin' beach music.
If you missed the event, there's good news -- you can still support WVPT, with its excellent PBS broadcasts such as the "Downton Abbey" series, and you can experience an Embers performance at a number of places in the South. The Embers perform over 200 times a year. Bring your dancin' shoes!