My efforts to complete the Northern Virginia wine region required a couple stops south, just north of Fredericksburg. One of the stops along the way was Mattaponi Winery, which bears a Native American theme throughout the winery. We originally planned on dropping by Lake Anna first, but came across Mattaponi along the way. Overall, the wines at Mattaponi were ok, however the fruit wines can be compared to none!
The winery in itself I have little to say about. The tasting room was very small, and had a small deck out back with tent covering to enjoy on the property. Most of the production is completed just past that very deck. The gentleman that was pouring this particular day was very friendly and offered an in-depth explanation as to the story behind all of their wines. Most of the reds are not as heavy or structured as most normal varieties. If you are primarily a white wine drinker, the reds at Mattaponi would appeal more towards you, as they are all very light to medium bodied. My own opinion is that they were a bit too watery, and lacked that spice and strong tannin structure. Again, this is just my opinion.
The fruit wines however exhibited what most wineries do not, NATURAL ingredients and zero additives. I know this must sound like an organic food or Tropicana Orange Juice commercial but I speak the truth. The blackberry, blueberry, and strawberry wines tasted as if you were spoon-feeding yourself the actual fruit. Now I’m not a HUGE fan of fruit wine, but now and then it’s nice to mix things up. What better way than to grab a bottle of their fruit offerings for that hot summer day or to at least make yourself feel healthy (well in theory after all it IS REAL fruit haha). Lastly, Mattaponi makes what they label as Pow Wow ($25), which tastes like Chocolate Covered Strawberries, and I do mean EXACTLY like it. I was baffled, however at the $25 price point for a fruit wine, I couldn’t splurge for it. I did however, end up grabbing a bottle of the Odeimin or Strawberry wine. I’m sure one day in July, I’ll be sitting by the pool cracking open a water bottle sweating with condensation on the outside filled with Strawberry wine. The winery though is still very new and is off to a descent start, I’m sure over time they will develop in their wine-making ability of normal varieties if the fruit wines are any indication. For now though overall, unless you’re looking for some fruit wines, I wouldn’t make it a top priority however if you’re in the area, give it a shot. Not to mention the tasting fee IS only a couple bucks.
Kizismin or Sun Berry ($15): Peach and grape on the nose, light smooth finish
Merlot ($15): Floral nose, dark berry fruit palate and finish very light and watery
Cabernet Franc ($14): Plum nose with smooth light plum taste with a very short finish
Chambourcin ($15): Ripe fruit forward nose and flavors, light off dry finish
Makadewamin or Blackberry Wine ($15): Spoonful of blackberry with a creamy finish
Tibik-Kizismin or Blueberry wine ($18): My least favorite, though tastes like somewhat of blueberry but not over bearing
Odeimin or Strawberry wine ($20): Fresh cut strawberries from start to finish
Last year, I finally took advantage of the opportunity to visit Temecula’s Wine Country. With iPods loaded with crazy throwback tunes, playlists roaring and near perfect weather, my friends and I hit the open road on our way through the hills to Temecula. What was I expecting upon arriving? To be honest, I had no idea. I had been to Stone Brewing Company the previous year so the scenery I was looking for was similar to that. Desert hillsides lined with sparse greenery, palm trees and a lot of rocky soil. As we approached the "Welcome to Temecula" sign, we drove past gorgeous housing communities and neighborhoods, which had me scratching my head. Okay... so, where is wine country? [...]