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BIRTHPLACE OF WINE AND THE CONSTITUTION

By Michael Hepworth

Known as the Father of the American Constitution and the birthplace of his democratic progressive thoughts and rights of people, Thomas Jefferson’s home in Monticello , Virginia outside Washington DC was also the birthplace of wine industry in America .  Monticello itself is the major tourist attraction in the area, and even on a rainy midweek day it was pretty crowded with a 2 hour wait to get onto the tour of the house and grounds. There is enough to see in the main museum area however, starting out with a 20 minute film describing Jefferson ’s luxurious but extremely productive lifestyle at his house.  Jefferson was an architect amongst his many other accomplishments, and designed and built the house over a 40 year period based on the drawings of famed Italian architect Andrea Palladio.the house remains one of the top 25 tourist attractions in America, and for a more comprehensive view of the nations third president this is the place to go.

A local restaurant in Keswick Hall called, Fossett’s is a strong supporter of the wineries, that usually are restricted to between 4,000-8,000 cases a year. I tried a 2007 Petit Verdot from the Jefferson Winery, which in a way is a substitute for Pinot-Noir, which unfortunately does not grow in Virginia , and found it a perfect complement for the gamy taste of the lamb. Fossett’s is a classy and elegant restaurant with a multitude of interesting and unique food pairings, and the knowledge of the servers and waiters is very impressive. This is a strong and powerful fruity wine with heavy tannins that is making a slight comeback amongst wine producers.  Thomas Jefferson would no doubt enjoy the fact that his namesake winery is cultivating the grape in its experimental plantings. The restaurant also features signature cocktails including the spectacular Lighthouse, (Mandarin Vodka, Cointreau, lime juice and blood orange).

Fact Sheet

Keswick Hall

Fossett’s Restaurant

Address: 701 Club Drive , Keswick , Virginia

Phone: (434) 979-3440

Website:www.keswick.com

Open Daily 6:00-9.30 pm

Also open for breakfast/lunch

 

Monticello

Website:www.monticello.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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