~ Lake Anna Winery ~
One of the several activities planned by Zanzooni for our Fredericksburg VT meet weekend was a trip to the Lake Anna Winery for wine tasting in Spotsylvania, Virginia. The half hour or so drive to the winery by a convoy of cars filled with VT'rs took us through the Virginia countryside with rolling hills and trees which were on the verge of changing colors for the Fall. Soon before us were acres of grape vines split by a tree-lined, narrow road leading to the winery itself.
Lake Anna Winery began as a spark in the eye of Bill Heidig, a farmer and engineer, when a trip to France's wine-making region in 1981 ignited an idea to produce wine on his own farm where conditions were similar to those in France. Now the business is carried on by the Heidig's sons, Eric and Jeff. It was Eric who took the group on an in-depth look at the history of the vineyard, and the many steps it takes to actually produce a good wine. It was quite a technical journey which interested most of us, and I realized that producing good wine like running a viable winery business itself, is an arduous endeavor requiring a lot of savy. However, Lake Anna Winery, though small, can boast of being a profitable business with competition in an industry ruled by giants. Lake Anna Winery is 1 of 180 wineries in Virginia alone.
The tour of the winery lasted about 45 minutes culminating in a visit to the wine-tasting room where we tasted samples of about 12 wines produced at Lake Anna. My favorite was "Totally White" which matched my taste for sweeter wines. The tour and wine tasting was more than worth the $5 we paid and included the "Lake Anna" signature wine glass as a souvenir! As the drive back to Fredericksburg was about 30 minutes or so, it would have been nice to be served some small snacks to go with the wine---this is a suggestion more than a complaint---which would have been worth a couple more dollars. ( Personally, I would have made an agreement with a local cheese producer which would have been beneficial to both businesses.)
Adjacent to the wine-tasting bar was a shop which sold Lake Anna wines, wine-related items and some gourmet food items, and several members of our group purchased wines or more here. The wine-tasting room featured a bar, a large fireplace and outside deck, and hosts events throughout the year, as well as is often used for wedding receptions. The winery also has a website where you can purchase wine and gift baskets with wine if you are looking for a special gift.
Highlight: The family dog, Bandit, was a cute and friendly addition to the winery who won over the animal lovers among us!