DescriptionAmong his many interests, Thomas Jefferson hoped to establish vineyards in America to rival those of Europe. He employed an Italian viticulturist to plant vines at Monticello and along the mountain slopes toward Barboursville, but disease killed the vines before they could mature. Jefferson remained convinced that the region was ideal for winemaking. Successful vineyards were re-established here in the 1970s.
In his spare time, Jefferson designed a plantation home for his friend James Barbour, who served as governor of Virginia, U.S. senator and secretary of war. The mansion with its octagonal parlor was completed in 1822. After Barbour's death, a Christmas fire destroyed the estate. The ruins are visible on the grounds of the Barboursville Vineyard.