Follow in the Footsteps of Jefferson, America's First Wine Connoisseur, in U.Va.'s Inaugural Summer Seminar on Virginia Wines, June 13 to 17

April 19, 2007 -- A new University of Virginia summer travel program will trace the evolution of winemaking in Virginia, from Thomas Jefferson, America's first distinguished wine connoisseur who struggled to adapt European grapes to the New World, to the contemporary Virginia wineries whose skills have made Virginia the fifth largest wine-producing state in the United States. The seminar, “Virginia’s Wine Legacy: From Jefferson to the Present,” runs from June 13 to 17, 2007. It will be led by Gabriele Rausse, a native of Vicenza, Italy, and one of the founders of the modern Virginia wine industry, who oversees wine production at the restored vineyards at Monticello, drawing on his experience having helped start over 40 vineyards and 10 Virginia wineries. He will be joined by a host of other leading wine experts and industry leaders.

Based at U.Va., participants will spend each morning learning about wine, the wine industry, winemaking and viticulture, including Jefferson's efforts to foster the European grape in Virginia. The afternoons will be spent visiting some of the region’s finest wineries and tasting the wines that have made Virginia wines highly regarded nationally and beyond. Each day is capped with a gourmet wine dinner.

Participants have the option of staying in the original student rooms on the University of Virginia Lawn, the heart of the Jefferson-designed Academical Village. A special after-hours tour of Jefferson’s home, Monticello, including rooms not normally open to the public, is also included in the program.

The five-day program is open to anyone and costs $1,725 per person with no lodging provided, $1,840 including a single room on the Lawn or Range, or $1,895 in an air-conditioned single room at Brown College, near the Lawn. Full payment required at registration.

The program is offered by the University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies as part of the school’s portfolio of Travel & Learn Programs for Adults.

Further information on the seminar can be found at or by calling (800) 346-3882 or (434) 982-5252 or e-mailing

About the U.Va. School of Continuing and Professional Studies Travel & Learn Programs for Adults

Each year, the University offers an assortment of seminars traveling to interesting and historic destinations in the United States and abroad to explore a wide variety of topics. These programs are led by leading U.Va. faculty and their colleagues at institutions worldwide.

2007 Programs
Summer on The Lawn: The 7th Shakespeare Seminar
The Play's the Thing
Charlottesville, Virginia | June 27-July 1, 2007

The 1st Annual Founding of North America Symposium
The History, Archaeology, and Architecture of Jamestown
Williamsburg, Virginia | July 18-22, 2007

Summer on The Lawn: The 19th Jefferson Symposium
In Jefferson's Voice: A Vision for America
Charlottesville, Virginia | July 29-August 2, 2007

The 20th Seminar at Oxford
The Life and Times of Winston Churchill
Oxford, England | August 12-18, 2007

The 1st Gathering Storm Seminar
Cutting Edge Engineering for the 21st Century: Saving America's Leadership Position in the World
Charlottesville and Washington, DC | September 16-21, 2007

Further information on these seminars can be found at