July 11, 2009

Blog Header - July 12, 2009


oday’s header photo shows the ruined walls of the house designed and built by President Thomas Jefferson for Governor James Barbour (Virginia’s 19th governor from 1814–1825). President Jefferson’s creative octagonal design seen at his Monticello and Poplar Forest homes is evident in the ruins of Governor Barbour’s house as well. This home was much more like Jefferson’s Poplar Forest home with an octagonal two-level central area and two small wings extended out to each side of the octagonal central area.

This home burned to the ground on Christmas Eve just a few years after Gov. Barbour’s family had taken up residence in it. The property fell into disuse and brambles, trees, and weeds grew up and took over the property until the late 1970s when an Italian wine maker purchased the property and set up the phenomenal Barboursville Vineyards and Winery [Wikipedia site].

This Old World-style vineyard produces some of the best wines the United States has to offer. Their top wine, named "Octagon" after Thomas Jefferson’s favorite architectural shape, was proclaimed the "best wine in the world" by the wine expert at Richmond, Virginia’s Jefferson Hotel.

Additional posts about Barboursville Vineyards and Winery:

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