It’s the time of year to celebrate Thanksgiving, and there’s no better way to do it than with Wine & Country style. Celebrations and special events may look a little different this year, but there is still plenty to do in and around town to welcome in the holiday season. From vineyard and brewery events to shopping local, kick off the holidays with a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend in Charlottesville!

Switch Up Your Centerpiece

Give your centerpieces fresh life by adding in pretty greenery, holly branches, etc. from your yard or a local greenhouse. Have fun arranging what you find in a vase for the middle of the table, then scatter any leftover pieces down the table runner. Or, consider tucking them into your napkin rings to add an extra pop of color and texture at each place setting. If you want to order a last-minute arrangement from a local florist, see our list of top vendors here.

Image © Rachel May Photography for Wine & Country Life

Top & Above Photo: Rachel May Photography

Vineyard Celebrations & Pairing Tip

If you want someone else to do the cooking this year, several local vineyards will be offering special Thanksgiving events. Barboursville Vineyards is one that will feature a four-course feast on Thanksgiving Day paired with their award-winning wines. For more seasonal celebrations, check out our Wine & Country calendar.

Not sure what wine to pair with your Thanksgiving meal this year? Try picking up a bottle or two of Chardonnay from a Virginia winery. This wine pairs especially well with turkey. Although it can taste different depending on where it grows and how it’s made, it typically offers moderate acidity, buttery and vanilla flavors when aged in oak, as well as flavors like apple and lemon.

Tables set for dinner at Barboursville Vineyards

Grand Illuminations in Charlottesville

These traditional outdoor celebrations showcase some beloved parts of town while also featuring fun for the entire family. The Winter Wander at Boar’s Head Resort will take place on select nights from November 18 to January 7, and will include fireworks, holiday treats from local food trucks, a visit from Santa and, of course, the festive tree lighting ceremony. Plan a visit or a “staycation” by booking the overnight Winter Wander stay package featuring an exclusive keepsake and premium VIP access to the lights.

Veritas Vineyards has launched a experience called Veritas Illuminated. Sip wine and toast s’mores by the fire pits before going on a winter wander through vines draped in twinkling fairy lights.

Charlottesville’s Grand Illumination at the Ting Pavilion on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall will take place on December 2 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. The show will feature musical acts that will be holiday related, uplifting, positive and inspirational. Food, holiday crafts and local craft beers and wines will be available for purchase. Then, watch as the giant tree is lit to kick off the holiday season! 

The Blessing of the Hounds Tradition

This annual event is traditionally held on the morning of Thanksgiving Day. The event showcases local foxhunting tradition and its English origins, as well as includes a brief blessing ceremony with bagpipes, a soloist, horses and hounds. Guests can enjoy cider and donuts and see the morning’s hunt begin. This year’s Blessing of the Hounds will take place on November 24 at 10 a.m. at Grace Episcopal Church in Keswick.

Blessing of the Hounds

Shop Local

If you are thinking about Thanksgiving, chances are you are also thinking about holiday shopping. Visit The Farmers Market at IX Art Park on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Stroll along the Downtown Mall to browse the many local holiday shopping options in downtown Charlottesville. Our Guide to Christmas Tree Farms in Virginia is another wonderful way to make memories and support local businesses this holiday season.

Charlottesville Downtown Mall

We wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend! Be sure to follow Wine & Country Life on Instagram for entertaining and recipe ideas. If you are looking for more local events, look no further than our extensive online events calendar. ~

Virginia Wine & Country celebrates elevated living in Virginia Wine Country. Virginia Wine & Country Life is a semi-annual luxury print magazine with a full digital presence. The Virginia Wine & Country Gold Book is an annual guide to the top award-winning wines, wineries and experiences in Virginia Wine Country. The annual Virginia Wine & Country Wedding Planner is an art book of elegant Virginia weddings. Virginia Wine & Country tells the stories of Virginia wineries, the farm-to-table movement, luxury travel, entertaining, art and the elegant country lifestyle. Ivy Life & Style Media also provides branding, web design and PR services for the wine industry.