Meriwether Springs Vineyard & Brewery

As the name implies, this properly is on the estate of Meriwether Lewis. That’s right – the same dude who (along with his buddy Clark) traveled all the way from Virginia to the Pacific coast and back. Now this property is an event center that more recently opened as a wedding destination, brewery, and (most importantly for me) a winery. I bet Lewis didn’t see that one coming!

I arrived on a Friday afternoon so things were relatively tame. But I can imagine this place getting super busy on weekends and in the evenings. They were still installing the pizza oven when I arrived, but food trucks seemed to be a frequent visitor here.

While as a winery they are new, they’ve been growing grapes and making wine for several years. In fact Matthieu Finot (of King Family fame) is their wine maker. So in terms of devotion to good wines, this place is definitely on the right track.

Since I’m a huge history buff, I need to talk a bit about the property. Merriweather Lewis was a Virginian who grew up on this property, once known as Locust Hill. Most of that farmland has since turned into a residential area (his original home is now a B&B down the street). No original structures remain intact, although there is a well that is original.

The main building looks like a home that was changed into a tasting room. There was still a fair bit of renovating going on, although the basement was ready to go. Not seen but also on the property is a home that can be rented out on Air B&B for weddings. I settled down and perused the options while my servers brought me up to speed on their offerings.

The staff were well versed on both the wines and beers, and neither option seemed to be more in favor over the other. Not wanting to miss out I had a mini flight of craft beer as well. Because seriously, who can miss out on a beer called “Westward Wheat”?

OF COURSE I tried the beer. But this was a wine excursion first and foremost, so after a few sips (OK, more than few sips) I delved into the wine.

Of the whites, I tried but don’t have notes on the Vidal. But the Pinot Grigio was refreshing. But the most interesting of the whites was the White Heritage, which was an apple/vidal combo.

For the reds, I liked the Chambourcin. But the biggest surprise of the visit was their “Apassimento” amaretto-style Chambourcin (its made in a different method than other typical wines – something about drying the grapes). It was very raison-y, if that makes sense. This is the first amaretto style I’ve ever had in Virginia so I didn’t really know what to make of it.

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