Thank T.J. it’s Fridays: Happy Hour at Monticello!

The view from on high: Enjoy Monticello in a whole new way—with a glass of local wine in your hand. Photo: Thomas Jefferson Foundation The view from on high: Enjoy Monticello in a whole new way—with a glass of local wine in your hand. Photo: Thomas Jefferson Foundation

Join Thomas Jefferson—aka Bill Barker, the new T.J. impersonator—for local wine, beer, and picnic fare from Farm Table, on June 14 on the west lawn of the presidential plantation. Monticello is always a beautiful place to visit, but at twilight, with an adult beverage in hand, you may gain a new perspective. (Hell, Barker may even seem to be an apparition.) Stroll the grounds, explore the gardens, and take in the views from the mountaintop as evening approaches and the work week fades in your rear-view mirror. If the mosquitoes swarm, you can escape inside for a special tour of the upper floors. Also offered, sans Barker, on July 12 and August 9. $5 admission; pay-as-you-go for food and drink. Indoor tours must be booked in advance. 931 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy., 984-9800, monticello.org.

Wine and dine

Summer winery dinners are kicking into high gear, offering a special night out for the local staycation crowd. On June 14, Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards’ Strawberry Moon Wine Dinner features Mara des Bois strawberries (they’re small, French, and sweet, like Audrey Tautou) from the winery’s kitchen garden in each dish of chef Ian Rynecki’s multi-course meal, which also includes wine pairings by Michael Shaps of Michael Shaps Wineworks. Veritas Vineyards’ Starry Nights food, music, and wine events take place June 8, July 13, and August 10, featuring live bands and a range of offerings, from simply laying out a picnic blanket to enjoy the evening on the expansive grounds to a three-course meal on the porch. A more down-home experience awaits at Knight’s Gambit Vineyard on June 29, when Americana band Kat & the Travelers play on the porch while a food truck serves up tacos. Overlooking a horse pasture and with mesmerizing mountain views, Knight’s Gambit is an Albemarle County gem. Meanwhile, on the evening of June 14 at Glass House Winery, in Free Union, Charlottesville’s ADAR Duo provides the tunes and the Two Brothers Southwestern Grill food truck rolls in from Ruckersville. See the wineries’ websites for details.

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