There are two main things you should know about Virginia fave Williamsburg Winery: Its pair of awards for best wine in Virginia and the 6'5" colonial-era man buried on the property.
We don't mean to take you off course from wine, but it isn't every day that you find a 400-year-old grave of a freakishly tall English colonial buried on winery property. But our tour guide, Jack, spilled the beans and now we must tell.
The grave was found during a 1988 archaeology dig on the property and dates back to the 1600s. Ultimately, it was moved to another location on the property shortly after it was found -- and the mystery man was buried with a bottle of the Governors White.
No, we're not making this up. So, speaking of Governors White, this was the first wine ever produced by Williamsburg back in the late '80s, and within two weeks of its release, it won a gold medal. The winery's 2010 Adagio would be awarded the 2014 Virginia Governors Cup 26 years later for best wine in Virginia. The 2010 Adagio is a red wine blend with a blackberry richness and tastes of vanilla and cream from the oaks used for aging.
Adagio is a blend of 42 percent Cabernet Franc, 30 percent Merlot and 28 percent Petit Verdot, aged in French, American and Hungarian oak.
"I taste a lot," said winemaker Mathew Meyer. "I also have a certain idea with each vintage on how to make them a bit different, some years being more bold then the last. When you do a blend, sometimes one percent can make a difference."
If you're not familiar with the Virginia Governors Cup, it features a panel of 40 world-class judges that sample close to 400 of the best Virginia wine. The 12 highest ranking wines are then assembled to the Governors Cup Case, where the winner is chosen. This years Governors Cup took place Feb. 27, 2014, where Matthew Meyers, Patrick Duffeler II and Patrick Duffeler Sr. of the Williamsburg Winery were awarded top prize for their 2010 Adagio.
During our visit along our tour of the property, we were also shown part of a cork tree, which we've never actually seen before. It takes a total of 10 years for a cork tree to regenerate, but cork trees can be used over and over.
Our tour also included an informative video of the history of the winery as well as a tour of the dark and rustic looking underbelly of the property. The idea behind the design was to make the building look like a rustic Italian winery, which is a job well done -- it looks authentic.
Tastings are $10 and include a short tour. If you want a more extensive tour, you'll pay $36 per person (reservation required) with tastings in the private wine cellar.
The winery is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily March through December. The last tour begins at 5 p.m. each day. In January and February, the tastings are weekdays 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and weekends 10 a.m.-6: p.m. The last tour begins at 4 p.m.
Williamsburg Winery is located at 5800 Wessex Hundred, Williamsburg, Va.