Image from Lake Anna Winery
Make Your Own Virginia Beer, Wine and Spirits Tasting Trail
Virginia’s craft beverage scene is booming, especially in the cities surrounding Lake Anna. Sip, savor and discover some of Virginia’s best beer, wine and spirits for yourself along your own personal tasting trail. Wineries, breweries and distilleries typically offer on-site tastings allowing you to taste the latest vintage or release, or imbibe a signature offering. Here are some of our favorite places to experience Virginia beer, wine and spirits near Lake Anna.
13372 Shannon Hill Road, Louisa | 540-894-5474 | CooperVineyards.com
Voted one of the “Best Tasting Rooms” in Virginia, Cooper Vineyards remains focused on customers “enjoying remarkable wines in a relaxing atmosphere.” Its LEEDS Platinum-certified tasting room features a 35-foot-long concrete tasting bar and a covered deck, with a separate tasting bar overlooking the vineyards and a pond. Owners David and Susan Drillock purchased the winery in July 2015 and are committed to quality wines from 100% Virginia grapes. Cooper Vineyards also hosts live music year-round on Saturdays and Sundays.
1781 Brewing Company
11109 Plank Road, Spotsylvania | 540-842-0199 | 1781Brewing.com
Located on a historic piece of property near the Wilderness Battlefield, 1781 Brewing Company serves farmhouse ales using natural ingredients from their own land. The brewery is complete with a fully functioning farm, making it one of the first farm breweries in the state of Virginia. They strive to produce the best Belgian, German and French influenced ales on the East Coast. Their flagship line of beer, The Portrait Collection, ties in the rich history of the area while paying homage to French Saisons, old-style porters and German Pilsner malts.
A. Smith Bowman Distillery
1 Bowman Drive, Fredericksburg | 540-373-4555 | ASmithBowman.com
In 1927, A. Smith Bowman purchased Sunset Hills Estate to house a dairy farm and granary. With the abundance of grain, Bowman decided to build and license the distillery in 1935. Due to the influx of real estate costs and taxes, Bowman’s sons moved the distillery 60 miles away to Spotsylvania County to carry on the tradition of their father. Using only the finest ingredients, A. Smith Bowman Distillery maintains their art in creating handcrafted spirits from tradition, innovation and creativity. Current master distiller Brian Prewitt leads the team with nearly 15 years of experience in brewing and distilling, and continues to craft small batch award-winning spirits that stay true to the Bowman tradition while also experimenting with new styles of spirits.
Adventure Brewing Company
33 Perchwood Drive Fredericksburg | 540-242-8876
3300 Dill Smith Drive, Fredericksburg | 540-242-8876
The owners at Adventure Brewing Co. have embarked on an adventure, indeed, with a goal of producing about 30,000 gallons of brews each year. Among those brews, four styles are offered year-round: Stiletto Stout, Backpack Wheat, Super Power Pale Ale and Expedition IPA. In addition, the brewers craft seasonal offerings as well as experimental, small batch brews. Depending on the time of year, you may get to sample their “Go East, Young Man” peanut butter banana wheat, Scotch Ale, Pumpkin Patch Ale and so much more. Stop in for a tasting, flight or pint, or make it an outing and pair their brews with the delicious cuisine from the various food trucks on-site.
17655 Winery Road, Barboursville |540-832-3824 | BBVWine.com
Welcome to the home of Octagon, the wine that has come to define the viticulture region envisioned by Thomas Jefferson and established here in 1976 by Gianni and Silvana Zonin. Octagon derives its name from the symbolic centerpiece of this estate, the Great Room, which defines the mansion Jefferson created for Governor James Barbour. This wine crowns the pursuit of a constant vision—to redeem the gift of a gracious, generous ground, with vintages of vivid beauty.
13490 Cedar Run Road, Culpeper | 540-825-3207 | BelmontFarmDistillery.com
As the first craft distillery of American whiskey in the United States, Belmont Farm has been producing whiskey for 30 years using the age-old tradition of the pot still. After growing, harvesting and grinding their own corn, wheat and barley, the owners use a special family recipe to cook the corn mash in a stainless steel cooker. It is then that the fermented mash is handled with care and transferred to a 2,000-gallon, genuine copper pot still, which the Miller Family believes is the secret behind their fine whiskey.
16234 Marquis Road, Orange | 540-656-6177 | ChateauMerrillAnne.com
Chateau MerrillAnne is a small, boutique winery located in the rolling farmland of Orange County. The winery offers a broad selection of handcrafted wines from the finest vineyards in Virginia. When you visit, you’ll have great wine and a wonderful experience, from the one-on-one service—where you can talk to the owners about wine—to the rustic and relaxing tasting room. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the tasting room or in the spacious deck area along lovely open meadows. The quiet atmosphere, pastoral views and great company are a perfect way to wind down from the stress of the workweek.
Coyote Hole Ciderworks
225 Oak Grove Drive, Mineral | CoyoteHole.com
Coyote Hole Ciderworks makes delicious hard ciders using apples sourced from the finest orchards in Virginia. Some apples are grown onsite, but all are 100% Virginia apples. Their wide array of ciders are naturally gluten free. When you visit their tasting room, you can sample the Hopped Pressed Apple and the Oma Smiths, as well as seasonal specialty ciders like Holiday Spice or Blackberry Pear. Coyote Hole draws its name from Mineral’s mining past. The town contained small blast holes used in mining operations called “coyote holes,” because of their resemblance to this animal’s den. Come experience delicious hard cider right in the heart of Lake Anna.
Eden Try Estate Winery
6818 River Road, Fredericksburg | 540-786-0037 | EdenTryWinery.com
The owners envisioned a recreation of the Garden of Eden in Virginia; thus, Eden Try is “a try at the Garden of Eden.” Masked by formal gardens and abundant natural beauty, the winery also boasts fountains and walking paths. The “Garden of Eden” theme also translates to the names of their wines: Serpentine Blanc, Eve’s Delight, Adam’s Rib, Fig Leaf Red and Forbidden touch on the traditional story. Other wines include a Rose Blend, Vidal Blanc, Paradise—a blend of Viognier, Chardonnay and Petit Manseng—Chambourcin and other delicious reds. Tastings and tours must be scheduled, as the winery is not open to the public.
4675 E. Grey Fox Circle, Gum Spring | 804-556-3917 | GrayhavenWinery.com
Lyn and Chuck Peple started their wine business with a commercial vineyard in 1978. Daughters Jane and Max joined in and stayed on as the family launched their winery in 1995. They specialize in small-batch production of wines, striving for a more unique batch each time. They bottle their wines about once a week throughout the year and advise visitors and other tasters to purchase their favorites while they’re still available. Overall, they feature over 17 varietals and have four to six wines available for purchase at most times.
345 Hartwood Road, Fredericksburg | 540-752-4893 | HartwoodWineryVA.com
Hartwood is an area known for its concentrated deer population. “Hart” is the old English word for deer and, according to local legend, is the basis of the area’s name; and in turn the winery’s logo. Owner Jim Livingston started building Hartwood Winery while still an educator with Prince William County, Va. Jim has been involved with Virginia wine since 1975. He established, with the help of family and friends, the first Stafford County commercial vineyard in 1981 and farm winery in 1989. Jim’s wife Beverly joins him in making the winery what it is today. Hartwood Winery’s award-winning wines are clear evidence of potential embodied in Virginia wines during our rapidly maturing wine industry. Hartwood Winery continues to build on its solid foundation by providing excellent wines in a warm, friendly atmosphere for all to enjoy.
5621 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania | 540-895-5085 | LAWinery.net
A trip to France in 1981 gave owner Bill Heidig the idea to start a vineyard. He noticed the conditions there were similar to his farmland. A few years later, after slowly adding new grapevines with his wife, Ann, Bill found himself supplying wineries with grapes that were then turned into award-winning wines. The family knew the time was right to open their own winery. They converted an old barn and have been selling their own wine for decades with sons, Eric and Jeff, heading up the winery as Bill manages the vineyard.
7530 Morris Road, Spotsylvania | 540-582-2897 | MattaponiWinery.com
Mike and Janette Evans show their ultimate respect for the land at their winery, a dream come true that started more than 20 years ago. Their log cabin was built with help from friends and family as part of an effort to create a Christmas tree farm. They sought inspiration from earth-honoring Native Americans who originally named the area after four rivers, Mat, Ta, Po and Ni. Visitors can select a tree in season and enjoy unique wines year-round, including ones with Native American names: Try the Wabamin (meaning white berry), a semi-dry wine, and the Miskwamin (meaning red berry), a full-bodied wine with the intense flavor of Blue Concord.
Sassafras Shade Vineyard
4492 Ladysmith Road, Ruther Glen | 804-596-0179 | SassafrasShade.com
Sassafras is the only vineyard and winery in Caroline County. Owners Ann and Gary Dudley named the winery after the lovely sassafras trees that grow on the property, which are also incorporated into the wood of their 950-square-foot tasting room. After launching its tasting room in late 2014, the winery has offered a vast range of varietals including Vidal Blanc, Cayuga White, Granny Smith Apple, Chambourcin and so much more. Though the winery itself is young, their grapes have been growing for nearly 15 years. The family owned and operated winery is located just south of the Fredericksburg area and continues to bring fabulous wines to the area.
Spencer Devon Brewing
106 George St., Fredericksburg | 540-479-8381 | SpencerDevonBrewing.com
More than a brewery, Spencer Devon Brewing masters the art of craft beer and seasonal cuisine pairings. The casual, urban brewpub, which opened in April 2015, offers high ceilings, slate floors and of course, brews. While the tap list is constantly rotating to reflect the seasons, they’ve brewed a West Coast IPA, Brown Ale, Milk Stout, Pilsner, Pale Ale and Double IPA, just to name a few. You’re given the option to order tasting flights or even fill a growler if you discover your new favorite brew. Head brewer Trent Wiegers and the rest of the Spencer Devon Brewing team has a goal of continuing to brew high quality beer using locally sourced ingredients.
Weston Farm Vineyard & Winery
206 Harris Creek Road, Louisa | 540-967-4647 | WestonFarmVineyardAndWinery.webs.com
Just half a mile outside of Louisa, Weston Farm Vineyard & Winery first planted 10 acres of vines in 2005. Today, the winery produces Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Franc, Meritage, Norton Reserve, Rosé and more. Weston Farm also produces several fruit-forward wines, with flavors such as watermelon, raspberry, peach, strawberry and cherry. Enjoy a sampling of their wine in the tasting room or take it outside, overlooking the vineyard. The beautifully landscaped winery is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine and a picnic lunch.
Wilderness Run Vineyards
11109 Plank Road, Spotsylvania | 540-842-0199 | WildernessRunVineyards.com
Wilderness truly runs at the winery! Set on the farm’s rolling hills, you’re bound to meet turkeys, guineas, donkeys and even llamas. The owners of Wilderness Run strive to produce wines that reflect true Virginian wine—wine that combats the combination of clay and slate soil and long growing seasons, which make every wine produced that much more of a victory. Currently, the winery is growing Malbec, Petit Verdot and Viognier. In the past, they’ve been successful with Nebbiolo, Barbera, Sangiovese and Chambourcin, and they will continue to foster growth of other varietals such as Viognier and Chardonnay, among many others.