Veritas Vineyard: Truth in the Foothills

Veritas_Vineyard_1781Nestled in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains is the family-owned Veritas Vineyard and Winery. While passing by that stretch of Afton Mountain Road, (Route 6), outside of Charlottesville last weekend, I stopped to take some pictures.

I’m far from being a wine connoisseur and I’m even less of a consumer. However, I’m intrigued by the art and science (and hard work!) of making good wine. Besides that, the striking nature of a vineyard is hard to miss. Veritas Vineyard & Winery is no exception when it comes to quality and beauty—they have received many awards and accolades since their inception in 2002.

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Veritas Vineyard & Winery in Afton, Virginia, complete with a Blue Ridge Mountain backdrop.

In Latin, “veritas” means “truth.” The vineyard’s name harkens to the words of Pliny the Elder, a first century Roman author and philosopher of nature: “in vino veritas.” Translated, this means “in wine there is truth.”

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In the foreground here is a unique metal sculpture situated on a rise not far from the Tasting Room. — Veritas Vineyard & Winery; Afton, VA

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The grapes grown at Veritas Vineyard are primarily vitis vinifera, a grape common to Europe and Asia. An American-French hybrid is grown to a lesser degree as well. —  Afton, Virginia

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At Veritas, overnight guests can stay at The Farmhouse B&B. This lovely 1800s homestead offers six guest rooms and an adjacent 2-bedroom cottage. — Afton, VA

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Sheep craze in the pasture beside the barn-turned-cottage. — Veritas Vineyard & Winery; Afton, VA

I could have spent all afternoon in The Farmhouse Garden, which sits at the back of the house facing rows and rows of grapevines and the Blue Ridge in the distance.

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A pretty pollinator on a coneflower in The Farmhouse Garden. –Vertias Vineyard & Winery; Afton, VA

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…And still more coneflowers. — Veritas Vineyard & Winery; Afton, VA

The science and production of grapes is referred to as viticulture. Turning the subsequent grape juice into wine is known as vinification. Veritas Vineyard used the classic principles of the two when creating their wines. --Afton, VA

The science and production of grapes is referred to as viticulture. Turning the subsequent grape juice into wine is known as vinification. Veritas Vineyard uses the classic principles of the two when creating their wines. –Afton, VA

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The fruit of Veritas Vineyard’s labor can be enjoyed responsibly in the architecturally pleasing Tasting Room. — Afton, VA

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Looking out over Veritas and its lovely vistas, I sensed the work, time, and creative power involved from the moment the ground is prepped and the vines are planted to the final enjoyment of the wine produced, and I thought about how Jesus (God in human flesh) miraculously turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana. Concerning this miracle in relation to God’s ongoing providence over creation, C.S. Lewis wrote:

…it will have its full effect if whenever we see a vineyard or drink a glass of wine we remember that here works He who sat at the wedding party in Cana.

Year after year, by His creative power and through the stewardship of man and his labor, God is turning water into wine.


C.S. Lewis quote from God in the Dock, p. 29.

A Stop in Staunton, Virginia

The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library is on North Coalter Street in Staunton, Virginia.

The Woodrow Wilson Presidential LIbrary is on North Coalter Street in Staunton, Virginia.

I spent Father’s Day weekend at my parents’ house in Maryland. On my way back to North Carolina on Monday afternoon, I took a Staunton, Virginia, exit off of I-81 to stretch my legs and fuel up. A brown and white road sign for the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library caught my eye, so out of curiosity I traveled the 3.2 miles down into town. The route was well marked and I found the historic attraction easily.

The Woodrow Wilson Library is actually a series of buildings that includes Wilson’s birthplace, an Admissions & Gift Shop, and the Woodrow Wilson Museum. I was told that the library per se, with all its documents and archives, is not open daily to the public but is available by appointment for research purposes.

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The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library is a series of beautiful buildings: Museum (far left); Admissions & Gift Shop (middle); & the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace (foreground), where President Wilson was born on December 28, 1856.

I was feeling a bit stingy and a bit tight on time so I didn’t pay the $14 Admission fee, which covered a self-paced tour of the museum and a guided tour of Wilson’s birthplace. I did, however, peer through the glass panels of the museum where I spied President Wilson’s shiny black 1919 Pierce-Arrow limousine. An advocate for the automobile, Wilson took rides nearly every day during his presidency.  The Pierce-Arrow was a beauty!

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The glass-paneled garage at the Woodrow Wilson Museum contains Wilson’s 1919 Pierce-Arrow.

Behind the buildings was the best free attraction I could have hoped for: historic gardens! The grounds were sloping, so the gardens had a tiered effect.  Here are some of the pictures I took before hitting the open road once again. Enjoy!

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The back side of the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace faces the historic gardens and is even prettier than the front, I think.

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From the patio of the Birthplace, a view of one of the summer houses in the historic gardens at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library. The buildings in the background are part of Mary Baldwin College.

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The lower tier of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library historic gardens is a maze of hedges.

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Here, I’m standing in one of the two summer houses. In the background is the maze of shrubs formally referred to as a “boxwood bowknot parterre.”

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A peaceful spot in the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library historic gardens. (Staunton, Virginia)