3/14/2007

Lake Anna Winery: A Place to Relax, Sip and Enjoy!


After leaving Cooper Vineyards, Vine Spot headed to Spotsylvania, VA to get an eyes view of the beautiful and serene Lake Anna, a 13,000 acre man made lake. Another must see and visit in Spotsylvania is one of Virginia's pioneering wineries. Aptly named, Lake Anna Winery is located a few miles from the entrance to Lake Anna State Park and the drive to Lake Anna Winery provided for some very nice views of the lake. Lake Anna Winery is a family run farm winery that was started in the early 80’s by Bill and Ann Heidig, whose sole purpose was to grow grapes to sell to other established Virginia wineries. After several years of successful harvests and watching their fruit win numerous awards for other local wineries, Bill and Ann decided to launch their own winery in 1990.

Lake Anna Winery (sign seen from the road)


Nowadays, the Heidig sons, Eric and Jeff, who have always played an active role in the family run business, have taken over ownership, managerial and operational duties of the winery. Since 2002, acclaimed winemaker, Graham Bell, who has also served as the primary winemaker for Horton Vineyards, is Lake Anna's full time wine maker; and “yes”, this is the same Graham Bell that consults for Copper Vineyards and responsible for their award winning wines.

Lake Anna Winery (as seen from the road approaching the winery)


Upon entering the tasting room Vine Spot was surprised at the sheer size of the facility [much larger on the inside than it looks from the outside]; tall ceilings, large windows supplying an abundance of natural lighting and enough floor space to handle the busy crowds the winery plays host to on the weekends. Another nice and unique feature of the tasting area is the dual sided tasting bar, which I’m sure eases tasting wait times on those hectic weekends.

Tasting Room (rear side of dual bar visible)


After walking around the gift area and winery, we were warmly greeted by Eric Heidig and invited over to taste some of Lake Anna’s award winning wines. Eric informed us of several upcoming events, and explained the wine making and business approach that have kept Lake Anna Winery afloat for over two decades. Eric also told us about the history of the winery, life on the restful lake and added “he would never live back in the city”, which after hanging around the quiet and preaceful lake for a ½ a day, Dezel completely understands his reasoning.

Moving onto our tasting, the following wines were offered: In the white category were the Seyval Blanc 2005, Bellhaven Chardonnay 2005, Chardonnay Barrel Select 2004 and the Totally White (Chardonnay, Viognier and Seyval Blanc blend). Moving to the reds, the wines offered were the Merlot 2003, Cabernet Franc 2005, Totally Red (Merlot based grape blend), Claret (off-dry red wine blend), and the bold and jammy Chambourcin. The sweet offerings were the Lake Side White (Seyval Blanc based sweet wine blend), Lake Side Sunset (Seyval Blanc, Muscat, Viognier sweet and refreshing blend) and ended with the Lake Side Red (Muscat Hamburg, Chambourcin red wine sweet and fruit blend).

Dezel having a sip while chatting with Eric

From red to white, dry to sweet, Lake Anna Winery has a full spectrum of wines sure to please every palate. Since warm weather is around the corner, Vine Spot marked some nice spring time selections on the tasting sheet to adopt and take home. One of Vine Spots top picks is the award winning (Silver - 2006 Governor’s Cup) off-dry Seyval Blanc 2005, which at $12 is a nice spring time selection offering lush tree fruit flavors and tropical notes including pineapple. Yummy! This wine, in my opinion, would pair well with grilled chicken dishes and picnic fare. Another selection, the crisp and refreshing Bellhaven Chardonnay 2005 is fermented and aged in stainless steel offering delicate fresh fruit and good balance; enjoy this selection with seafood and light hors d'oeuvres or on its own. Not a spring wine, but albeit a tasty selection that you need to try, is the award winning (Silver – 2006 Governor’s Cup) Merlot 2003; inviting red berry bouquet, easy drinking, friendly tannins and red fruit flavors on the palate describes this food friendly Merlot. Looking for fruity wines with a little sweetness and served chilled? At $12 per bottle any of the three Lake Side {White, Sunset, and Red} will suffice. All three wines have distinct flavor profiles, but share a sweet, fruity and festive style that sweet wine lovers will thoroughly enjoy.

Dezel enjoying a glass of Merlot by the brick fireplace

Following our tasting and chatting with Eric, Dezel enjoyed a glass of the Merlot 2003 while sitting by the brick fireplace, which was comfortable and warming, considering it was a rather chilly day. With spring around the corner, (Hooray!) consider packing a picnic basket and visiting Lake Anna Winery and enjoying your stay outdoors on the deck overlooking the vineyard or the manicured lawn area. Be sure to check out the Lake Anna Winery website, as they host fun filled events throughout the year including Jazz in the Vineyard and Virginia Renaissance Faire. When readers set out to visit the beautiful lake and the Lake Anna Winery, do let them know you read about them here on Virginia Vine Spot.


Happy Sipping !

Dezel






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