Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wine Tasting Events

Things to do in and around Charlottesville this weekend --

Experience the joy of Italian food, fine wine and hilarious entertainment  -- all for the rare rate of $12. No joke. No typo. $12. (Tickets required.)

And here's how:

Go online and buy a ticket to the Big Night at the Paramount: Culinary Series with Food, Wine & Film.

But first, let us help you plan your weekend -- read on.......

April Fools weekend is fast approaching.  Spring, my friends, is in the air!  Well, at least spring is suppose to be in the air.  Actually, for some reason, it feels like Old Man Winter is still hanging around the Hollow.  Be not dismayed, however, for April showers will most assuredly, sooner or later, bring May flowers, and maybe we can fool Old Man Winter into thinking it's spring. By the way, I hear it's lovely in Italy during the spring - 71 decrees in Rome.

So lets bring Italy to the Hollow, shall we?  Have we got a plan for you!  We still have the Shenandoah Suite available, Country Manor too (but you'd better hurry). First, you should plan to check in between 5 and 6 pm.  Dick will give you the Grand Tour of the Inn, views of the Skyline Drive and surrounding mountains from the family room, the whole nine yards.  We're even coaching him to speak with an Italian accent.  Well, it's sort of like an Italian accent with an Indiana farm boy type bent to it.  Must be similar to a Northern Italian accent. Nevertheless, he's working on it and, I'm confident, it'll be perfected by Friday (fingers crossed).  After the Grand Tour, we'll show you to your room so you can settle in and then send you off to the quaint little town of Crozet, which is a lot like the romantic region of Tuscany in Florence, Italy, surrounded by the Appenine mountain chain and lying in a fertile valley that is home to many charming Tuscan vineyards and olive groves. Ok, Ok, I know what you thinking . . . and you're right. . . Crozet is probably not just like Florence, Italy, but it is a cute little town, home to nice people who are always quick to offer a stranger a friendly smile coupled with a cheerful greeting.  And Crozet is surrounded by beautiful mountains, it does lie in a fertile valley with gorgeous apple and peach orchards dotting the landscape, and it is home to several outstanding wineries like King Family Vineyard. Perhaps most importantly, in keeping with our theme, Crozet is home to a local haunt, a tradition going back 31 years, loved and revered by many.  Yes, Crozet is home to Crozet Pizza. Can Florence, Italy top that? I think not!
I know it sounds too good to be true, but that's our plan for Friday night:  you will dine on National Geographic's "Best in the World" pizza.  Your mouth is probably watering just thinking about it . To complete the whole Italian feel Florence ambiance thing we're creating, I'm trying to talk Dick into going over to Crozet Pizza and teaching the owner, Colleen, how to speak with his Northern Italian accent, but he doesn't feel like he's mastered it quite let, at least enough to educate others, so you might have to settle for eating delicious pizza served by folks who speak with plan ole Crozet Virginia accents.

When you travel back to the Hollow (just a 7 mile trip), we'll have a warm fire waiting for you in your room if you'd like, or in the family room.  We still have a couple of rooms with whirlpool tubs, so if you hurry and reserve one you could come back to the Hollow for a late night soak or you can just call it a night and crawl into one of our comfy beds with warm down comforters and fluffy pillows.  Maybe you can curl up with a good book, but once you're in that warm bed, I'm not sure how long you'll last.  One. . . two. . maybe three pages before you are sleeping like a mountain bear in winter.

Mountain bears usually wake up hungry, so Dick is planning on having some hot "Italian" pumpkin pancakes waiting for you.  Actually, they'll be the same pumpkin pancakes our regulars have come to love, but they'll be even more memorable this weekend because we''ll have Italian opera paying on the CD player in the dining room and, of course, if you want, Dick will demonstrate his flare for the Northern Italian accent.

After a great breakfast on Saturday, you can head out of the Hollow and drive east towards Mr. Jefferson's home on the mountaintop. We are only about 30 minutes from Monticello and the drive itself taking you through rolling hills of horse and farm country will the Blue Ridge Mountains for a backdrop.  And Mr. Jefferson's house is a fine example of neoclassicism with influences of Italian and contemporary French architecture.  The day may be a bit brisk in the morning but we're hoping for blue skies and warmer temperatures in the afternoon.  Plus, we still have some signs of spring to enjoy; the redbuds are blooming, as are the daffodils and forsythia, so we'll be grateful for a little chill in the air and cherish the beauty that surrounds us.

When you get back to the Hollow, maybe you'd like to take a walk in the Italian alps before dinner.  Well, it's not exactly the Italian alps, but a walk in the Shenandoah park is a pretty breathtaking experience, be it for the first time or the fiftieth, such an experience never ceases to inspire.  And after a long hike on the trail, you'll be hungry again.  Why not try da Luca Cafe and Wine Bar in Old Trail Village, just a few minutes from The Inn at Sugar Hollow Farm

On Sunday morning enjoy a leisurely country breakfast (a Sugar Hollow specialty) and in the afternoon head off to Charlottesville's jewel of a theater, the Paramount, (vintage 1930) to taste fine local wines and sample hors d'oeuvres. (Italian wines available by the glass.) Pre-movie enjoy a discussion by wine and food columnist, Megan Headley with colleagues, winemaker, Gabriele Rausse and pastry chef, Giancarlo Gnali and Tavola chef/owner, Michael Keaveny.

After such a pleasant prelude, settle back and enjoy the feature film, Big Night starring Stanley Tucci, Tony Shaloub, Isabella Rossellini. "Big Night" - about 2 Italian brothers who come to New Jersey to open an authentic Italian bistro, The Paradise, and are foiled at every turn by rival restaurant Pascal's, that serves super-size portions of spaghetti and meatballs and flasks of bad Chianti at exorbitant prices.Disgusted by American's taste for cheap food and cheaper wine, the brothers, Primo and Segundo concoct a plan to boost business.

After such fabulous weekend you can't possibly rush home. Plan to stay with us Sunday night.  Play hookie on Monday.  Give in to spring fever.  We'll write you a note.

Questions?  Just call the inn and ask for me, Bit, Assistant Innkeeper. See you soon!

Dick and Hayden Cabell Owners/Innkeepers
The Inn at Sugar Hollow Farm (Near Charlottesville, VA)
6051 Sugar Hollow Road Crozet, VA 22932

Awarded the Certificate of Excellence by
Selected for Travelers' Choice Award Top B&B Inns in America by

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