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LakeAnnaLifeTimesOctoberNovember2015 19 eatdrinkDINING GUIDE Lake Anna Winery Turns 33 In 2016 Brings The Cow To You Leave the goodies to our expert staff.... cupcakes cakes ice cream cakes WHO WANTS SOFT SERVE AT THEIR PARTY We cater birthdays family reunions open houses car shows weddings and more at your location Call 540.854.4387 to book your event now or email us at 200 Lake Front Drive Suite 101 Mineral VA 23117 Lake Anna 208 Bridge 540-895-5285 billikensbbqcompany.netmenu BBQ Pulled Pork BBQ Pulled Chicken BBQ Beef Brisket BBQ Spare Ribs BBQ Ham Steaks BBQ Smoked Sausage B r e a k f a s t L u n c h D i n n e r ATM - Exxon Fuel Beer - Wine Minnows - Coffee Fishing Supplies Newpapers 540.872.3275Call Ahead Orders Welcome LKA Wear 5224 Kentucky Springs Rd Bumpass VA 23024 NEW FOR 2015 540.894.4440 Hours Monday 11a - 930p Tuesday Closed Wednesday - Thursday 11a - 930p Friday - Saturday 11a - 1030p Sunday 12p - 9p menu WEEKLY SPECIALS Burger - Sandwiches Pizza - Pasta Calzone - Stromboli The story of Lake Anna Winery began on a business trip to France in 1981. While traveling through the French countryside Bill Heidig noticed that the climate and soil conditions of certain grape-growing regions were similar to those on his Spotsylvania farm and an idea began to take root. Upon his return he presented the notion of planting grapes to his wife Ann. After a great deal of thought the two decided to plant a vineyard and launch a fam- ily business. They hired a consul- tant and started taking seminars on grape growing and winemaking. In 1983 two years after Bills initial interest the Heidigs planted more than 2000 Seyval Blanc and 250 Cabernet Sauvignon vines. Three weeks later on an extremely hot weekend they planted 1000 Char- donnay vines. BillandAnnsoonlearnedfirst-hand how much care grape vines require. Each vine has to be trained to grow straight up a stake. As only a single shoot can be allowed to grow later- als must be pruned constantly and the vines initial fruit clusters have to be removed as they form. When the vines finally reached the first wire of the trellis the Heidigs celebrated trading the painstaking work low to the ground for painstaking work they could do standing up. The first commercial sale came after the 1984 harvest when the Heidigs sold one-half ton of Seyval Blanc grapes to a Virginia winery. With the vines cooperation the yields rose steadily while Bill and Ann continued to expand the vine- yard. In 1984 and 1985 they plant- ed additional Chardonnay and Cab- ernet Sauvignon and in 1988 after the memories of planting and nurtur- ing had faded they planted 1000 Merlot vines. By 1988 over 28 tons of grapes from over 10 acres were being picked for delivery to several Virginia wineriesthat were turn- ing their grapes into award-winning wines. The Heidigs decided the time was ripe to make LakeAnna Winery a reality. The winery is housed in an old barn located on the Heidig farm. Built for dairy cows in the 1940s adapting this structure for a winery proved to be a real challenge. The original floor was not strong enough to support the weight of the tanks the ceiling was too low to accommo- date the height of the tanks and the roof leaked. The renovation began in earnest when the old cement floor was broken up and removed and replaced with reinforced concrete. The roof traded the old tin for new shingles and four holes were cut into the loft floor to accommodate the taller fermenting tanks. Remodeling the interior was the next task. To cut costs the Heidigs did as much of the work as they could stretching the forbearance of family and friends to the limit. Two neighbors Elmo Proffitt and Char- ley Gentry were of tremendous help. They spent many weekends constructing the large front door framing all the doors and windows and serving as advisors telling Bill and Ann that certain jobs were not as easy as they thought and then showing them the right way to do it. In the spring of 1990 the winery was completed. Upon the dawning of a new mil- lenium Bill who ran the vineyard and had been sharing the winemak- ing duties with Ann decided it was time to turn back the chronological progression of the winery. He felt they could either scale back to just growing grapes and selling them primarily to other wineries as in the 80s or see if any of the four children had any interest in taking over the business. Two sons Jeff and Eric were thrilled with the idea and Bill recognized that for them to come on board a commitment to expand the facility would need to be made. So in 2000 a major undertaking started with the concurrent building of a new open multi-use tasting room a climate-controlled case-goods warehouse and a new tank room crush pad that would more than double the present production area capacity. After a year of construc- tion work was finished and the new tasting room opened in the spring of 2001. About the same time the well- respected winemaking consultant Brad McCarthy had been hired to oversee cellar operations and in the spring of 2001 suggested that the hiring of a winemaker would give Ann and Bill time to pursue their own interests and allow them to step back a bit from the day-to-day operations. In May of 2001 Graham Bell was brought on board and in late 2002 the winery business was sold to the two brothers. Bill continues to man- age the vineyard with Jeff and Eric owning and operating the winery business. In 2002 production grew to 4000 casesand2003productionreached 5500 cases. LakeAnna Winery has also greatly expanded as a venue for area events like concerts and fundraisers including the annual Renaissance Faire. The Heidig familys time and ef- fort over the years have helped put Lake Anna on the map and made Lake Anna wine a marquee product for the region. Visit for more information. Left to right - Ann Heidig Bill Heidig Jeff Heidig Kate Bell Graham Bell and Jillian Holland sculptor.