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November 13, 2018

Monticello Wine Trail: Pippin Hill Vineyards.

     Out of all the vineyards in Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the entire Monticello Wine Trail region... the one that I kept hearing over and over again that I just HAD to visit was Pippin Hill Vineyards! A lot of people that I've met in Virginia will rave on and on about Pippin's scenic location, their wide array of wines, and just the overall atmosphere of the winery. They're also one of the top wineries in the area for weddings and events, which I've heard they do a great job at! I wanted to save visiting Pippin Hill for the first time for a special occasion.

    My friend Anna from Vermont came to visit me last month, and I thought that was the perfect occasion to finally check out Pippin. I'd also heard that this winery was a great one to bring out of town guests too, and it didn't disappoint! Pippin Hill is located about 10 miles from downtown Charlottesville, and it's conveniently located right off of US-29. You're greeted by the scenic grey barn doors (pictured above) as you walk towards the tasting room! There is also an amazing pizza restaurant called Dr. Ho's Humble Pie located less than a mile from Pippin Hill- I highly recommend doing lunch there and then following it up with wine.

     Pippin Hill offers a large variety of both red and white wines. I'd love to return to Pippin and do a tasting, but on this particular day my friends and I decided to split a bottle of Viognier. I've shared in past winery reviews that since I moved to Virginia, Viognier has become my favorite wine variety. Viognier grapes are also the state grape of Virginia, so a bottle of that seemed perfect to introduce Anna to the Virginia winery scene!

    Not only was the wine wonderful, but there is something truly special about the atmosphere at Pippin Hill. Their tasting room is stunning, and there is so much green space in front of the winery that is perfect for having a picnic! Fun fact: there are even picnic blankets available for people to borrow in the tasting room. Pippin Hill does close early on a lot of Saturdays due to the high volume of events that they host. On the day we were there, we caught a bride and groom taking their wedding photos before their evening reception!

    I already can't wait to go back to Pippin Hill- I think this will continue to be the ideal vineyard to bring out of town guests to.

    Check out more of my Monticello Wine Trail blog posts!

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese

November 12, 2018

Sparkly Holiday Party Dresses On a Budget!

     I'm taking a break from outfits in fall earth tones and neutrals for today... and adding a little SPARKLE to your Monday. Talking all about sparkly holiday and NYE party dresses that are all under $40!

Photography by Kate Greer

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     Every Monday needs some sparkle right? I thought today would be the perfect time to share this darling dress. Sure, mid-November is still a little early to be thinking about New Years' style... but at the same time, why not buy your outfit for NYE early, and then not have to think about it until then? Plus, this fun dress could also work for other dressy holiday occasions before then.

    Can you believe that this beautiful dress is a Shein find?! I'm very happy with the quality- look how bright and beautiful the sequins are! I ordered a M in this (I typically size up and order M in Shein), however this dress runs a bit large for them! I probably could've gotten away with a S, my normal size for other retailers. But the fact that it is a little loose on me makes it more comfortable to wear, so I guess that's a win. 😊The colors in this dress make me think of Las Vegas- one of my favorite cities!

   My mom bought me these super cute heels for a wedding that I went to this summer! Sadly my pair is sold out now, but these are really similar. Since this dress is so colorful and eye-catching, I wanted my accessories to compliment it, and not compete with it. I love these crystal drop earrings from Sugarfix, and I added in some of my favorite Kendra Scott bracelets as well. 

    I hope y'all are having a good Monday! Last week was a really long week at work. I love working in radio because I genuinely love what I do and I really do have fun most days at my job, but last week was a (rare) week that my job felt more like stress and less like fun. I'm hoping this week will be off to a great start!

     Linking my dress below, and some other cute sequin ones from Shein!!


     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese 


November 9, 2018

Monticello Wine Trail: Moss Vineyards.

    Continuing my journey of (responsibly πŸ˜‰) drinking my way through Central Virginia! Welcome back to my Monticello Wine Trail wineries posts. Today's is a bit belated- I visited Moss Vineyards over a month ago, when my mom was visiting me. But better late than never for me to share about a winery, right?

     Moss Vineyards is an intimate, family owned vineyard located in deep in the hills of the northern part of Albemarle County. (Albemarle is the county that surrounds Charlottesville, and it contains a lot of the Monticello Wine Trail vineyards!) Moss Vineyards is definitely off the beaten path from the main roads in the county, but it is for sure worth a visit. My mom and I were actually trying to find Stone Mountain Vineyard, but my GPS got confused on the rural mountain roads, so we ended up at Moss!

    What really sets Moss apart from some of the other vineyards is that they really specialize in red wines. I did a wine tasting during out visit, and I'm pretty sure that all but one wine on the tasting menu were red varieties! They do have their own Viognier, which has become my favorite white variety since I moved to Virginia. Their Viognier was just a bit drier than those of other nearby wineries. I have to be honest- I'm not normally a red wine drinker! In the spirit of trying new things, I enjoy sampling different reds during tastings at wineries, but red wines aren't ever my preference. With that said, I enjoyed trying the red wines featured at the Moss tasting! My favorite out of the ones that I tried was the Architettura Reserva, which is a red blend of a few different varieties. This wine won bronze in the Virginia Governor's Cup this year!

     Moss Vineyards seems like it would be a great vineyard for a date. It's a smaller winery and has a more secluded feel to it, and I think that it would be very romantic to sip wine on the porch or in the open air pavilion. Moss really does have stunning views of the mountains- I could have spent hours gazing at them! I'd alsosay this winery is a must-visit specifically to anyone who loves red wine, as this is truly what they specialize in. Moss also has an event venue on-sight to host weddings- and I imagine they are just beautiful!

    I've made it easy for you to browse my past Monticello Wine Trail blog posts- just go to the "Travel" tab on the homepage of my blog, and then click "Virginia Wineries" to read more!

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese
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