This past weekend I was in Fredericksburg, Virginia for a dear friend’s wedding. The route back home on Sunday took my boyfriend and I all through central Virginia. We passed many vineyards and wineries before spontaneously deciding to make a stop at Cooper Vineyards Winery in Louisa County.
He and I had never heard of this one so we were a little nervous about choosing to stop here. We were also in a dead zone for our phones and couldn’t look up any reviews or photos. But really, what did we have to lose? The winery was located deep in Central Virginia, just a short drive from Lake Anna. We turned off a country road and onto a forested gravel driveway. Those woods opened up suddenly to rolling hills full of vines and a large, modern orange building in the distance. Then was when we realized we had picked a good one.
One great thing I noticed immediately about Cooper Vineyards was the environmental friendliness of the place; large solar panels had been installed by the parking lot. If you drove a hybrid or electric car or even carpooled with your friends you were rewarded with a VIP parking spot right at the front.
The building itself was just as beautiful as the land it was built on. We were greeted at the door by a friendly dog appropriately named Puggy. This particular winery is very much dog friendly, as long as they remain leashed. Inside the building was a large tasting room with high ceilings and beautiful track lighting. Floor to ceiling windows encompassed half of the tasting room, which allowed beautiful views of the property and a flood of natural light. Also there was a large covered back porch with plenty of tables and outdoor fans, perfect for enjoying a picnic with friends.
So the tasting at this place was very broad. For $10 you get to taste about 15 of Cooper Vineyards’s wines! The winery also features a selection of several sparkling wines that are available to purchase by the bottle. So, you start with their standard selection of dry whites. However, none of these really stood out for us. But I started enjoying the wines more when we moved to their dry reds. I’m not the biggest fan of bold red wines but I could really appreciate the complexity of their Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Their 2013 Norton Reserve was my favorite out of the dry reds. The last group of wines were the sweet and dessert wines and also my favorite group! Besides their bottled Sangria, which our pourer said tasted like skittles (and everyone agreed), I loved every single one.
They had two dessert wines; a classic white called, “Vida” and their infamous chocolate-infused red called, “Noche.” I very, very much enjoyed these two. I could’ve stuck a straw in the Vida and call it a day, but to be honest, the high residual sugar would have certainly made for a nasty hangover. I had some serious hesitation about trying the chocolate dessert wine though, but it was so uniquely delicious and was most deserving of the praise it receives. Apparently, that wine is their top selling bottle!
We ended up getting two glasses of their sweet red wine and then a bottle of their light, chilled Rose. Our phones were almost dead and we needed Google Maps to continue home, so we charged them on the large porch for awhile and enjoyed the nice summer breeze and beautiful scenery. I am so glad we found this Central Virginia winery and decided to make a spontaneous stop. We just planned on getting a tasting but we loved the winery and their products so much that we stayed and ended up splitting a bottle!