Get in the Spirit with Local Libations
By Kelsey Thomas
The craft beverage scene in Virginia is buzzing, especially in Lake Anna and its surrounding areas. It seems like every year, there are new sips to savor and pre-existing delights that have to be experienced over and over again. Wineries, breweries and distilleries usually offer on-site tastings so you can get a taste of the latest and greatest offerings or imbibe their signatures. The following establishments are just a few that are nearby. Make your own tasting trail by visiting the ones whose offerings look like they may match your palette.
1781 BREWING COMPANY
11109 Plank Road, Spotsylvania, VA 22553
540-847-0199 • 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. brewery is complete with a fully functioning farm, making it one of the first farm breweries in the state of. 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, VA 22408
540-373-4555 • ASmithBowman.com
Using only the finest ingredients, A. Smith Bowman Distillery maintains their art in creating handcrafted spirits from tradition, alteration and creativity. They pride themselves in taking an innovative experiment and turning it into the “world’s best bourbon.”
17655 Winery Road, Barboursville, VA 22923
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. This wine crowns the pursuit of a constant vision—to redeem the gift of a gracious, generous ground, with vintages of vivid beauty.
BELMONT FARM DISTILLERY
13490 Cedar Run Road, Culpeper, VA 22701
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 mask in a stainless-steel cooker. The fermented mash is 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, VA 22960
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. The quiet atmosphere, pastoral views and great company are a perfect way to wind down from the stress of the workweek.
COOLING POND BREWERY
4411 Zachory Taylor Hwy., Mineral, VA 23117
540-603-0239 • CoolingPondBrewery.com
Cooling Pond Brewery is a veteran-owned, family-friendly brewery serving the Lake Anna area in Central Virginia. Conveniently located off Route 522 in Mineral, they welcome locals and out-of-towners alike! English-inspired beers are at the heart of what they do, they also offer rotating selections to satisfy the local palate. Flights are available for those who want to try a variety, as well as pints, and even growlers to-go. Their tasting room features a large stone fireplace with plenty of seating, and right outside their doors is an expansive patio where you can enjoy the hilltop breezes and the view. They do close for the winter, but are open through the rest of the year.
COYOTE HOLE CIDERWORKS
225 Oak Grove Drive, Mineral, VA 23117
540-894-1053 • CoyoteHole.com
Coyote Hole Ciderworks makes delicious hard ciders using apples sourced from the finest orchards in Virginia, with some apples grown onsite. 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.
EDEN TRY ESTATE & WINERY
6818 River Road, Fredericksburg, VA 22407
818-468-2936 • EdenTryWinery.com
The “Garden of Eden” theme translates to the names of their wines: Serpentine Blanc, Eve’s Delight, Adam’s Rib, Fig Leaf Red and Forbidden. 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.
FIFTY-THIRD WINERY & VINEYARDS
13372 Shannon Hill Road, Louisa, VA 23093
540-894-1536 • 53rdWinery.com
Formerly known as Cooper Vineyards, Fifty-Third Winery & Vineyards is nestled among rolling hills in a traditional farming community. Owners David and Susan Drillock set out to create quality wines that express the character of each varietal. The winery consists of 103 total acres in Louisa County. Visit the winery, open year-round, for a tasting on the deck or in the tasting room.
LAKE ANNA WINERY
5621 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania, VA 22551
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. 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, VA 22551
540-582-2897 • MattaponiWinery.com
Mike and Janette Evans 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.
WILDERNESS RUN VINEYARDS
11109 Plank Road, Spotsylvania, VA 22553
540-847-0199 • 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. 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.