Women Take Wintergreen

Resort's fall inspirations weekend encourages life enhancement plus a little pampering

When my husband and I set out for the 11,000-acre Wintergreen Resort early last November for me to participate in its Inspirations Weekend, I anticipated the great food, wine and spa treatments for which the resort has come to be known, as well as activities like golf and tennis that my husband enjoys when he has a day alone. What I didn’t foresee was the very rewarding sharing time with women ranging from 20-something to 70-something, as well as mind-and-life expanding speakers who engaged us in meaningful dialogue.

If there’s one thing all of Wintergreen’s women retreat speakers have in common, it’s that they don’t need to move to a different place or get a new job to achieve fulfilling lives. They encouraged us to focus our lives on the here and now. Friday, Saturday and Sunday speakers covered stress management, healthful eating and gaining clarity and simplicity combined with yoga sessions, spa treatments and one-on-one coaching appointments.

This year’s Inspirations Weekend, Nov. 4–6, promises to be even better than the 2010 event, as the resort is beginning earlier on Friday to allow more time. On our trip last year we checked into our reserved condo early so we could relax and become oriented to the resort’s layout (things look different without the snow we saw on the ground when we’d been there to ski a couple of years ago). I recommend having a massage, facial or manicure/pedicure before the 6 p.m. wine reception or taking advantage of a personal coaching session.Even without the divine spa treatments, the Wintergarden’s outdoor hot tubs (open year-round) are one of my favorite places to relax in Virginia, while taking in the mountain vistas through a steamy mist.

The 4 p.m. yoga session with a certified Hatha Yoga instructor was another option, with enough time left to dress for the reception, which showcased the Virginia wines of Afton Mountain Vineyards. Afterward, Nicole Greer engaged the group in discussing “The Simple Truth about My Life.” The dialogue, which focused my attention on taking stock of the various areas of my life energized me but didn’t interfere with a wonderful night’s rest on the mountain and a readiness for another yoga session at 7 a.m. Saturday.

Saturday morning’s session on “Emotional Brain Training” with Cynthia Moore, a University of Virginia clinical nutrition manager, helped our group better understand stress and how it influences every day, particularly overeating. Nautilus National Book Award winner Marietta McCarty—author of the bestsellers Little Big Minds and How Philosophy Can Save Your Life: 10 Ideas That Matter Most—was my personal favorite of the weekend as she discussed simplicity during Saturday’s luncheon and afternoon program, and I found myself wanting to join one of the philosophy clubs she’s founded across the country.

The weekend wrapped up on Sunday with more yoga and an inspirational brunch presentation, “The Four Elements—Earth, Water, Wind and Fire.” The Inspirations Weekend is priced at $545, which includes two nights’ accommodations, admittance to all presentations, morning yoga sessions, Friday lunch and reception, three meals on Saturday and Sunday brunch. It also includes a $50 Spa at Wintergreen credit. Taxes are in addition to the package

While I got inspired, my husband occupied himself with a relaxed lunch, dinner and breakfast on his own at Wintergreen’s casual Copper Mine Bistro. Its Mediterranean dinner menu and comfortable setting provided the perfect complement to a day on the links.

To book a weekend package, visit www.wintergreenresort.com/ inspirations or call 800 266-2444 for the Inspirations Weekend package.
For information on golf, tennis and other available activities at the resort, go to www.wintergreenresort.com.

On Sunday afternoon following the retreat, my husband and I explored a meadery, brewery and ciderworks—where we purchased our favorite brews to serve at fall parties—in addition to a few Nelson County wineries. With the exception of Albemarle CiderWorks, located between Wintergreen and Charlottesville, all of the listings below are in Nelson County.

Albemarle CiderWorks
North Garden

Afton Mountain Vineyards
234 Vineyard Lane, Afton

Blue Mountain Brewery
9519 Critzer’s Shop Rd., Afton

Cardinal Point Winery
9423 Batesville Rd., Afton

Devils Backbone Brewing Company
(serves lunch, dinner 7 days a week)
200 Mosbys Run, Roselanda

Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery
2800 Berry Hill Rd., Nellysford

Veritas Vineyard and Winery
145 Saddleback Farm, Afton

Wild Wolf Brewing Company and Home Brew Shop
2773A Rockfi sh Valley Highway, Nellysford

Wintergreen Winery
462 Winery Lane, Nellysford

Categories: Weekends