Years ago a friend told me about their favorite vacation spot, but swore me to secrecy lest “everybody else found out about it.” I went, it was fantastic, and my lips have been sealed since then. That one is in the vault, but I can tell you about a trip I took on Monday that was even better, the rarest of the travel unicorns, the 24-hour vacation. There are rules to qualify for the 24 vacations, and the obvious one is that it’s a one-night stay. The destination should be stress-free, the accommodations should feel like you are far away from home, good food and drink are on hand, and by the time you get home, you’ll feel like you were on vacation. Tough order, right?
Enter Barboursville Winery, 60 miles from Richmond, and a great little getaway. It has always been my favorite Charlottesville area winery, but I recently learned it has an inn and cottages to rent. The tasting room is set among meadows and rolling hills overlooking the ruins of Governor Barbour’s mansion, designed by Thomas Jefferson and destroyed by a Christmas day fire in 1884. Near the ruin is an inn that had served as the family’s residence (post yule log debacle), and several outbuildings that have been converted to guest cottages. 
On arrival, we hit the tasting room. You can either self-serve and enjoy a view from the spacious outside deck, or upgrade to the Library where you can order a flight of selected wines on the patio overlooking the vineyard. Cheese boards and light fare are available, with a larger selection available when the restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday. 
After the tasting, we had a short drive to the cottage and had a seamless zero-contact check-in. We stayed at the Sangiovese, a two-room building that had served as the estate’s schoolhouse. It was well appointed with a small kitchen with plenty of snacks including a bottle of sparkling wine, croissants, artesian bacon, and an egg casserole for breakfast. The grounds are lovely, and we felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. The next morning we sat on our private deck and enjoyed coffee while being serenaded by a herd of black Angus in the field below and a mockingbird in a nearby walnut tree.  
If you like a morning walk there are multiple destinations available, whether it’s the meadows, ruins, or the vineyard. Checking out was as easy as leaving a key in a box, and a stop in the charming town of Gordonsville made the trip complete. If you want a quick relaxing getaway, I highly recommend this one. I’ve already booked a night for next year, and this time I may also add a tasting at Horton Winery which is just a few minutes down the road.

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