There are three far-flung wineries spread among the rolling hills of Spotsylvania County. Mattaponi Winery is counted among them and has carved out its own unique niche as a producer of award-winning fruit and grape wines. The winery also emphasizes the Native American heritage of its owner. Mattaponi is a reference to the county’s four rivers and was the name of the Indian tribe ruled by Chief Powhatan, who was also the father of Pocahontas.
The Pattaponi sign.
Mike and Janette Evans have been making wine for nearly twenty-five years. It started, as is often the case, as a hobby and then took on a life of its own. For the last ten of those years, Mike and Janette have been a licensed farm winery. As such, they have engaged in public sales both from the tasting room, located just south of Fredericksburg, and at many of the annual festivals held throughout the state.
The current tasting room.
All of the Mattaponi wines are estate made and include a wide range of styles. I counted eleven offerings on the tasting list, which ranged from off-dry to sweet. Six of these were from locally-purchased grapes and the other five were from fruit. I noted that there was even a grapefruit wine on the menu. You don’t often see that in Virginia. Visitors can also purchase a glass of red or white sangria, which is made from the fruit wines.
A few of the Mattaponi wines.
On the day of my visit, the tastings were being conducted on the screened porch of the original winery building. It was a little cramped, but the staff made the best of it and worked the room to insure everyone was satisfied. There is, however, a new tasting room being worked on even as I write this review. I was able to tour the new facility and it will be impressive. By the time this is published, the new tasting room will likely be in operation.
The new tasting room.
The staff was courteous and very helpful. I was also grateful for an opportunity to see the new tasting room. All things considered, it was a pleasant and informative visit. If you’re in the area, I recommend dropping by and seeing what you think. I’d love to hear about your visit.