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Winter Wineries

Nearby wineries include Jefferson (800-272-3042, www.jeffersonvineyards.com), where we once tasted alongside a couple of guys dressed in Colonial garb, and Burnley (540-832-2828, www.burnleywines.com), a homey operation with a drab tasting room but decent-priced wine and terrific counterfolk.

Monticello is about 15 minutes away -- but to tour it would mean you'd have to leave the cabin.

Winter finds relaxed staff and off-season specials at many wineries: A recent tasting at First Colony Winery, above. (Jay Paul For The Washington Post)

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The Cabin at Kincora is at 265 Campbell Rd. Rates from $150 a night. Details: 434-296-6286, www.cabinatkincora.com.

The Summer Kitchen Cottage at the Inn at the Crossroads, North Garden, Va.

The inn is on the National Register of Historic Places and has the distinction of once being . . . an inn. Since it was built in 1820, it's been hosting one traveler after another.

Jim and Janet Stern bought the place in 2002 and quickly went about renovating it. We stayed in the Summer Kitchen Cottage, a former cookhouse that was built around 1824 and stands 20 feet from the main inn. The two-story cottage has an airy, creaky-floored bedroom and a bathroom on the top floor, and living area with a housekeeping kitchen (sink, microwave, coffeemaker, mini-fridge) on the first. A futon sits near a wood-burning stove.

While the inn's Tavern Keepers Suite, with its king bed and pullout sofa, is probably more comfortable for a group, we loved the privacy of the cottage -- though some hard bargaining decided the sleeping arrangements. The occupants of the bed had the better night's sleep, but they also had to go into the cold to find firewood.

Breakfast is offered only on weekends through March 1 and is served in the main inn. Nearby wineries include First Colony (877-979-7105, www.firstcolonywinery.com), whose tree-lined property is lovely in any season, and Oakencroft (open weekends starting in March, 434-296-4188, www.oakencroft.com), with a lake out front and staffers who always cheerfully answered the stupid questions we lobbed at them.

The Inn at the Crossroads is at 5010 Plank Rd., about nine miles south of Charlottesville. Through April 7, the Summer Kitchen Cottage is $79 a night weeknights (two-night minimum) and $99 weekends (two-night minimum). Details: 866-809-2136, www.crossroadsinn.com.

The Cottage at Sharp Rock Farm, Sperryville, Va.

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