There is a reverent, almost magical quality to the air when you step inside Potter's tasting room. Maybe it's the nearly hundred years of history that's taken place inside its thick stone walls. Maybe it's the fact that you're standing in an actual former church. Maybe it's the residual creative energy that still pulses through this former home of artists, makers, and social gatherers. Whatever the reason, there is a deep sense of place inside and out at Potter's—a feeling that important moments of spiritual and artistic realization have happened here, made sacred by the gentle passage of time.
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Given its dreamy ambience, stunning architecture, expansive grounds, and convenient location, Potter's is an ideal place to host your wedding or rehearsal dinner, or private event. With both indoor and outdoor spaces to hold wedding ceremonies and receptions, cocktail gatherings, and private dinners—including an actual former chapel and a series of large, terraced lawns—there's plenty of opportunity to create a customized feel and flow to match your unique event.
Located only ten minutes from downtown Charlottesville, Potter's location can't be beat. Tucked away in the forested hills of southern Albemarle county, but easily accessed just off of Rt. 29, you'll get both bucolic vibes and a short, easy drive from town.
The main hub of the tasting room and the most iconic visual space, the Chapel was indeed once used as an Episcopalian house of worship from 1924 until the early 1940s. Exposed rafters and tons of skylights lift the eyes upward towards the vaulted ceiling and working bell tower, while the plaster walls reveal the room's history through patches of exposed stonework and natural patina. The vibe is bright, modern, and welcoming. Custom rectangular and square farm tables, made from reclaimed hardwood saved from the original structure, fill the space along with bentwood bistro chairs in natural wood tones.
The stage beneath the bell tower is perfect for ceremonies or musical performances, and comes equipped with colored stage lights and a PA system (available upon request). The 22-ft soapstone bar along the east wall separates into 6-ft mobile sections that can be repositioned as needed. The Chapel can accommodate 125 chairs when arranged with row-style ceremony seating.
Walk through an opening in the chapel and you'll find yourself in the soaring South Hall. With original stone walls (18-inches thick!) from floor to 40-foot ceiling, the South Hall is both expansive and cozy all at once. It boasts two working fireplaces, enormous skylights, and tons of windows to beautifully illuminate all that stonework. The timber-framed Mezzanine extends over one-half of the South Hall, creating an intimate nook underneath that begs for fireside chats. A graceful two-story staircase with modern wrought iron railings extends up the opposite wall. Two single bathrooms (one ADA accessible) are down the hall from the South Hall. Overlooking the lush lawns, two doors open from the South Hall to a small porch and the grounds beyond.
The South Hall + Mezzanine can be used together for a smaller indoor reception. However due to the size restrictions of the space, and the fragility of the historic structure, we ask that indoor receptions be limited to no more than approximately 100 guests.
Built using traditional timber-framed construction from red oak trees on the property, the Mezzanine is a semi-private gathering space overlooking the South Hall. Bright and airy, it features a soapstone tasting bar and a single bathroom, as well as a charming Juliet balcony overlooking the chapel. Additional 10'-long reclaimed wood farm tables outfit this space, which is perfect for a small gathering of 50 people or less. Connected but separate, the Mezzanine can be used in a myriad of ways during larger events: as a lounge, a private hideaway, an out-of-the-way spot for special activities, or simply as an extension of the seating area below.
Designated with a European farmhouse in mind, the flow of traffic moves seamlessly from indoors to outdoors at Potter's. There is an abundance of outdoor seating throughout the various sections of our wraparound patio, which extends around three sides of the building. Wrought iron bistro tables and comfortable outdoor rattan chairs are arranged on classic pea gravel terraces, creating enough outdoor seating for up to 120 people. Wide concrete steps lead from the patio to a sunken gravel court, perfect for bocce or other lawn games.
The first of the two terraced lawns, the Upper Terrace is flat, grassy area just off the South Hall. On its northern border is a charming outdoor nook we call the Boxwood Garden: a small, flagstone patio enclosed by a tall boxwood hedge with a three-tiered, antique stone fountain at its center. The Upper Terrace offers a convenient and beautiful outdoor ceremony location, with its northern view offering a pastoral scene of gently sloping woodland hills.
A quick walk down the grass ramp and promenade will get you to The Lower Terrace. Double the size of the Upper Terrace, it's the perfect flat, grassy area for placing a large reception tent. This space can fit a tent of 100 feet in length, thereby accommodating larger weddings and parties with a guest count of up to 200. Right near the Lower Terrace (but out of sight thanks to the slope of the hill on the lawn's perimeter) is a perfect location for a catering tent that includes drive-up access. There is also space for a restroom trailer nearby. The Lower Terrace also comes equipped with grounded power outlets.
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