Mount Fair Vineyard
Active in the equestrian community, John and Dudley Macfarlane set their intention on moving to the Charlottesville countryside once their three sons emptied the nest. For 35 years, they lived in New York, juggling successful careers in finance and never losing sight of their bucolic vision. Fond memories of their early life together, where she taught law school and pursued equestrian riding while he earned his graduate degree, drew them back to Charlottesville.
In 2003, the family purchased Mount Fair Farm and developed one of Albemarle County’s oldest and best-preserved historic homes, gradually adding an indoor arena, guest home, barn, farm manager’s home, state-of-the-art equestrian facilities, a glass greenhouse, apiary and an eight-acre family-owned and operated vineyard producing remarkable Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.
The Macfarlane’s worked alongside renowned architect Mark Finlay to design the Arena, Paddock House, Vineyard House and support buildings. Landscape architect Thomas Woltz of Charlottesville’s Nelson Byrd Woltz firm planned the flowing property layout and Carmen Fischer designed the raised garden beds that house native plants and vegetables.
The farm’s gentle rolling hills, Blue Ridge Mountain views, sunlit horse paddocks and wildflower meadows call to couples seeking a natural romantic retreat. In 2022, Mount Fair Vineyard began hosting its first full season of weddings.
“The motivation is to share the beauty of the property with others beyond our family,” John says. The farm is hosting selective events, limiting weddings to fewer than 10 across a season that falls between early May and late October.
The venue is nontraditional in that the owners are hands-off and weddings unfold with a couple’s chosen planner and vendors. Mount Fair appeals to those with appreciation for sustainable farming, a connection to horses or just a desire to tie colorful threads of history into their wedding celebration.
“We provide a clean venue slate,” says John. “You have to have ingenuity, creativity and vision to put a wedding together here.”
Visionary couples have hosted al fresco cocktail hours with accompanying violinists on the lush greenhouse terrace and breathtaking receptions in the 15,000-square-foot indoor arena. Mount Fair’s event point person Elaine Ricca has welcomed elaborate and whimsical weddings where couples have brought in plush antique furnishings and a custom stage and dance floor. Others have arranged fountain-side living room lounge areas. Grand tents on the paddock lawn have hosted farm table dinner receptions under soft strung lighting and violet hour sunsets.
Mount Fair is a weekend wedding destination, with wedding parties arriving Friday morning and departing Sunday afternoon. Wedding party guests are invited to use the Paddock House, reconnecting on the wraparound porch and strolling the meticulously manicured gardens. The second floor bedrooms serve as bridal suite and groom party prep spaces and a game room entertains with a pool table, foosball and video room. The charming Via Cottage and winery are also available during the weekend.
“Couples are invited to shape their own experience built around the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains,” says John. “It’s a special place.”
The weddings we have hosted have been very different from each other. Each created in their own vision.
The best weddings are…
those that get the entire family involved to make their day relaxing and fun — and putting their unique twist on the preparations!
My biggest piece of advice is...
create a budget and then shop around for the perfect venue that will encapsulate your memories forever.
My favorite special wedding moment is…
the ceremony for sure! Bringing the unity of the couple together with all their family and friends gathered to celebrate.
A Mount Fair Vineyard must-do is...
to take a deep breath, look around and enjoy the sweeping views of the surrounding countryside and Blue Ridge Mountains.
Things To Do
18 mi to Charlottesville–Albemarle Airport
18 mi to Downtown Mall
23 mi to Monticello
16 mi to UVA
20 mi to Shenandoah National Park
Amenities & Services
By the Numbers
Make it Yours
- Connect with your wedding party for an intimate gathering at the winery set on a hill above the 10-acre vineyard.
- Utilize the Paddock House for family and friends to enjoy two bedrooms and a finished basement game room with a pool table, foosball, and video room, furnished with a sofa bed to accommodate additional guests.
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