Lake Anna Winery
5621 Courthouse Road
Wed–Sat – 11:00am-5:00pm
CALL TO CONFIRM:
OWNERS: Eric and Jeff Heidig
WINEMAKER: Graham Bell. When I asked Graham which wine was his favorite, he said “They are like my children, I don’t have a favorite … maybe Petit Verdot.” If we’re honest, Graham, there’s always that one kid who isn’t an asshole like their brothers and sisters.
LOCATION DESCRIPTION: The winery is nicely situated off the main road and it’s rolling hills, beautiful vineyards, and wooded back forty are the perfect setting for the Virginia Renaissance Faire for a few weeks during May and June each year. It’s a fun day grabbing a bottle of wine and mingling with the nobles and townsfolk.
TASTING ROOM DESCRIPTION: Music from the 60s, high top tables, and their tasting bar chairs set the mood of an old-fashioned soda fountain shop. The high ceilings and brick fireplace create an atmosphere that would make for a cozy special event. The building was originally a dairy barn in the 1940s before Eric and Jeff’s father started the vineyard 35 years ago. The brothers started the winery 17 years ago in 2000.
DATE/WEATHER/TIME IN: 3/23/2017 | 50-ish⸰ | 3:05pm
MY RIDE ALONG (My side-kick for this visit): Mike R. – he’s getting pretty good at this wine-tasting gig. Now, when he makes wine, he will have a much better idea whether it’s actually good or not before pawning it off on his friends and family.
TASTING FEES: $7 for 10 wines
POURER: When I asked her name she said “It depends on the review – my name is Eric.” Patty is a funny, sweet, and accommodating lady.
THE TASTING: I’ve not found a winery yet where I love every wine they offer, and this was no different. But their good ones are great, and absolutely worth the visit.
|The following represents a 1-5 scale with What the fuck? being the worst and Oh, hell yes! being the best.
The W-I-N-O tasting scale (the M is silent because who cares about the Ms?)
|[W] – What the fuck?
If I won’t drink it, it’s fucking bad because I’ll drink anything.
|[I] – I’ll pass.
Not good, but not dumped. That would be wasteful.
|[M] – Meh.
|[N] – Now we’re getting somewhere!
This is a goodie. I may have bought it, or it might not be worth the money, or I’ve already spent too much.
|[O] – Oh, hell yes!
I probably bought this one.
Here we go, the Lake Anna Winery wines – please remember, these are just my opinions …
This grape does well in Virginia but you won’t see it at every VA winery. Sometimes Seyval Blanc smells like sulfer, but this one was good – a little spicy and fruity. Yeay, we’re off to a good start!
|Rating [N] Price $16|
|Oaked Seyval Blanc
The oak is French so it’s not overwhelming, the Seyval Blanc flavor still comes through. Two for two!
|Rating [N] Price $18|
It’s a good beginner wine, meaning there’s a tiny bit of sweetness. It’s not a bad blend but it wasn’t anything special.
|Rating [M] Price $15|
I’ve bought this one before (not today) and it’s still a goodie. It’s Bordeaux style but has .95% residual sugar which calms the boldness a bit if you’re looking for a red that doesn’t require food.
|Rating [N] Price $16|
Spice is there so that’s good, but the tannins are too big which means it HAS to be paired with food or it will take awhile to finish a glass. It’s named for grandma. 🙂
|Rating [M] Price $20|
The cost of this wine is justified by the cost to make it – only the highest quality grapes go into this wine. I appreciate that they are able to explain their pricing because a lot of wineries just spin that roulette wheel and whatever random number lands, that’s the price they go with. Anyway, I like to be able to drink wine without food and even though this is the winemaker’s favorite, the tannins were too much for me.
|Rating [M] Price $38|
|Lake Side White
Whoa! Close call, Patty. She almost water rinsed me, but my apparent panic caught her off guard and she was happy to provide me with a new glass. Lake Side White is made from Seyval Blanc so the nice spicy flavor comes through, but 3.5% residual sugar is a bit too sweet. The newbies will love it though.
|Rating [M] Price $14|
|Lake Side Sunset
This is a great beginner wine blend and even though there is 4.5% residual sugar it’s interesting enough to hold the attention of more experienced palettes too. No wonder this is their best seller – way to appeal to the masses!
|Rating [N] Price $14|
THIS! Previous tastings convinced me this is one of the most delicious wines I’ve ever tried, and it’s still a favorite. It started as an experiment using Michigan cherries (Graham’s wife is from Michigan) blended with Merlot. Eric, the owner, doesn’t like it but he recognizes it’s one of the winery’s best sellers, so he keeps it in production. Of course, I bought a bottle. Thank you, Eric!
|Rating [O] Price $16|
This Vidal Blanc has a big honey smell, but eh, it’s whatever. Late harvest wines are sometimes syrupy but this one dodged that bullet, so I’ll give it that.
|Rating [M] Price $20|
SUMMARY: Let me start with a shout out for Bandit, the winery dog, what a sweet boy. Lake Anna Winery is fully self sufficient – no part of their wine making process is outsourced, including bottling. They even have a generator capable of running the operation if necessary. Eric took us on a tour of the production area and we got to see the Italian-made mechanical bottling line that fills 1652 bottles per hour. Fancy schmancy! In the same room are their stainless steel tanks that were purchased used at a reduced price from Chrysalis Vineyards because the tanks didn’t match their decor? What the fuck, Chrysalis, doesn’t silver go with everything? How bougie! I would like to mention that Lake Anna Winery knows true class – they hung a chandelier in the middle of the barrel room. Overall, I really enjoyed meeting Eric and Graham, and the experience of this winery.
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