A Pandemic Escape: Evenings on the Hill at Pippin Hill

by Charlottesville29

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In normal times, Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards is not open for dinner. The vineyards’ events schedule is so jam packed that, at 5 pm each day, staff usher out guests, leaving only to their imagination what it might be like to dine as the sun sets on the vineyards’ stunning grounds.

But, we are in a pandemic. And, for all the devastation COVID-19 has wrought, there are a few silver linings — opportunities that would not exist but for the unprecedented times. With the pandemic wiping out Pippin Hill’s events calendar, the vineyard is now open for dinner on select evenings. As we dined last night on the vineyards’ veranda with a group of friends – socially distanced from one another – the same comment recurred: “Why would we go anywhere else?”

It’s not just the setting — though that alone would be reason enough to spend an evening on the hill. It’s the entire experience. If not for servers’ masks and the fact that food and wine are delivered to a table next to your table, you would hardly know there was a pandemic. During a time when the virus seems to consume our psyches every minute, that escape is priceless.

Service hasn’t missed a beat. The decades of experience in the hospitality industry of owners Dean Andrews and Lynn Easton still show. And, the food is as good as ever, too. With sister restaurant Red Pump Kitchen temporarily closed, the vineyard has reinforced its kitchen and front of the house with staff from Red Pump. It’s a team that is capable of leaving you thinking, if just for a moment: “Pandemic? What pandemic?”

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The kitchen takes the “ugly” tomatoes from the vineyard’s own garden and blends them into a vinaigrette to bathe the pretty ones in a salad of heirloom tomatoes, grilled cucumber, and burrata, topped with garlic crumb

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Sauteed peach and shishito pepper with goat cheese, toasted pecan, and honey

Book your escape here