Merrie Mill Farm & Vineyard
The Tasting Room at Merrie Mill has to be seen to be believed and has often been described as a journey through the looking glass with Alice in Wonderland.
When Guy and Elizabeth Pelly came from the U.K. to Charlottesville to attend a Castle Hill wedding, the trajectory of their lives was forever changed. The London-based couple fell head over heels with the energy of the university and small city charm and instantly saw themselves in the burgeoning farm and winery scene.
“I just got this vibe about the place. We saw what other farms were doing around here and it inspired us. This is a real destination,” said Guy, who grew up on a small farm near Kent in southeast England.
The couple purchased the 413-acre Merrie Mill Farm & Vineyard estate in 2018, planting and growing seven varieties of grapes on 12 acres that birthed whites, reds and a celebrated rosé. While the rare Manteo soil and nurturing sun did its job on the grapevines, Guy and Elizabeth spent years building out their fabulously unique tasting room.
Notching a name for its welcoming, playful spirit as well as delicious wine, the Tasting Room at Merrie Mill was finished in 2021 and began hosting weddings in 2023. The venue stands alone with Alice in Wonderland whimsy and guests are delighted and inspired by the wonderfully weird maximalist style and unexpected artwork.
Elizabeth collaborated closely with Jenn Grandchamp of Kemble Interiors to conceive the high-design space set around two copper bars, a lofted interior, and multiple terraces and lawns overlooking the vineyards. A wedding day reveal all of its own, the room sings with childlike wonder among a floating sea lion (a 100-year-old taxidermy transplant from Amsterdam) over the bar, a painting of Guy’s great-grandfather above the fireplace that was commissioned by famous English royalty artist Oswald Birley, Victorian-era pressed seaweed and a cabinet of eclectic curiosities set against tasteful and comfortable furnishings.
Weddings take place on Saturdays, April through November, and couples are invited to enjoy the entire property Friday evening until mid-day Sunday with lodging and/or a bridal suite included in the enchanting two-bedroom Clementine Cottage. Ceremonies of up to 200 guests take place by the grapevines on the front lawn overlooking timeless South West Mountain backdrops. Vows are succeeded by cocktail hour inside the compelling tasting room followed by dinner and dancing in the property’s grand event tent.
Couples are encouraged to personalize the reception space, treating it as a blank canvas to design with florals, décor and lighting while showcasing the engaging tasting room space in all its ready-to-entertain glory. Blissful photography scenes continue into the vineyard and against historic outbuildings that include an elegant Dutch barn and rustic white grain barn.
The Pelly’s are thrilled to welcome couples to their world of wine and wonderment.
“We’re excited about one of the most important days of your life,” Guy says. “It’s really special to us to be included in your day. Merrie Mill will become a special place to so many people.”
Our venue pushes a unique, design-driven vibe. It’s got the element of vineyard prettiness and mountain views combined with the charming historical aspect and then the added element that nowhere else has — our whimsical tasting room.
My biggest piece of advice is…
Check out the design of our tasting room and then have fun with the design of the tent so that it feels like a nice flow from cocktail hour to dinner and dancing in the tent. It can be a continuation of the whimsical style. That’s where I’d go with it.
My favorite special wedding moment is...
The big reveal when we (guests) walk into the venue and see all the details. When it’s done really well, it’s like walking into the couple’s personal tastes and touches. It’s always fun to see.
My favorite leisure beverage is...
I love red wine, but if I go for a cocktail, it’s a whiskey sour.
Things To Do
16 mi to Charlottesville–Albemarle Airport
13 mi to Downtown Mall
12 mi to Monticello
16 mi to UVA
35 mi to Shenandoah National Park
Amenities & Services
By the Numbers
Make it Yours
- Host a wine-tasting welcome reception in the whimsical Tasting Room at Merrie Mill.
- Plan a gorgeous photo shoot utilizing the property’s vineyard and Southwest Mountain backdrops and historic outbuildings that include an elegant Dutch barn and rustic white grain barn.
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Elegant vineyard and countryside grounds cloaked in Southern hospitality.