The latest addition to Virginia’s craft beverage industry, the Fermentation Farm Trail winds through the pastoral landscape of Louisa County, connecting three wineries, two breweries, and a cidery in a farm-to-glass route. The trail borders Interstate 64 between Richmond and Charlottesville on the southern end and Lake Anna to the north. Find a designated driver and spend a weekend sipping your way along this delicious trail responsibly, or book a charter drive experience for a group getaway to the rural treasures found along the trail.
While it’s possible to visit all six in an afternoon with a designated driver (that’s what we did!), we suggest to truly enjoy the trail and safely explore the region, it’s best to either pick 2-3 and book a transportation company to ferry you to each location or to make your own Fermentation Farm Trail checklist and explore one at a time during a weekend visit.
If you opt for a transportation company, here are a few that operate in the Central Virginia region and allow for customized trail experiences:
Read on below to learn more about each winery, brewery, and cidery located along the trail.
Pro Tip: Pick up a trail guide at any of the trail locations or download here; at each location, ask your server to stamp the guide. Once you have received all six stamps, you’ll receive a free Fermentation Farm Trail glass to commemorate your journey!
A family-owned boutique winery that also produces craft beer and cider, Everleigh Vineyards is the latest craft beverage addition for Louisa County. The vineyards grow each year since originally planted in 2015, and the latest varietals added include Chardonel, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc. Grab a flight of the latest wines at the stunningly modern, one-of-a-kind wood and resin bar, built custom for the winery, then head upstairs to take in views from above the vines as you unwind in the swinging chairs. While new, this winery will be one to watch as the owner’s ambitious plans come to fruition.
Lake Anna Winery–Spotsylvania
Lake Anna Winery is helmed by the Heidig family, who decided to try their hand at winemaking after a fortuitous trip to France in 1981. Over the next 40 years, the family planted thousands of grape vines, with varietals like Seyval Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay blanketing the property. Don’t miss sampling their Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Tannat, as these have all been silver and gold medal winners at the Virginia Governor’s Cup over the past several years.
Coyote Hole Ciderworks–Mineral
If cider is your adult beverage of choice, swing by Coyote Hole Ciderworks in Mineral to try a few of the creative cider blends offered in the tasting room. The cidery uses 100% Virginia-grown apples to craft refreshing, slightly sweet ciders and sources nearly all the additional ingredients from local farms and purveyors. Coyote Hole is especially known for the Sangria cider blends produced, such as the Sister Sangria, a green apple cider blended with Cabernet Franc, blackberries, cranberries, and tangerines, or the Sunset Sangria, made with white wine, cranberries, peaches, and strawberries. Pair your cider tasting with a hot flatbread pizza or a panini, made to order in the cidery’s kitchen.
Cooling Pond Brewery–Mineral
Cooling Pond Brewery is a small veteran-owned farm brewery located just minutes from Lake Anna. English-inspired beers such as ales, stouts, and bitters are the heart of this Central Virginia brewery, but they also produce crowd favorites like Hazy IPAs and sour beers. Boswell’s Tavern, an Extra Special Bitter that was named after a historical Louisa tavern, was awarded gold at the Virginia Craft Beer Cup Competition, an annual event held by the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild. Additionally, they serve ciders from Castle Hill Cider and Son of a Bear Cider, wines from Barboursville Vineyards and Lake Anna Winery, and are currently working on their own wines, which will be released in the spring of 2023.
While sampling a flight, peruse the floral art prints and stained glass available for sale, crafted by the owner’s daughter.
Fifty-Third Winery & Vineyard–Louisa
One of Central Virginia’s hidden wine gems, Fifty-Third Winery & Vineyard got its name due to being the fifty-third vineyard out of over 300 to open its doors in Virginia. Established as Cooper Vineyards in 1999, the winery was purchased in 2015 by Dave and Susan Drillock, who have since made it their mission to craft only the highest-quality Virginia wines that showcase the unique terroir of the region. Winemaker Chelsea Blevins joined the team in 2019, and her exceptional skill of revealing the intrinsic characteristics of a varietal has led to a whole lineup of impressive wines. We especially enjoyed the Rock Ridge, a full-bodied red blend made from Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, and the Vidal Blanc, a crisp white wine aged in stainless steel for seven months (this one was awarded a gold medal in the 2021 Governor’s Cup competition!). Open daily from 11am-5pm, the winery is about eight miles off Interstate 64, making it an ideal pit stop if you’re traveling between Richmond and Charlottesville.
Southern Revere Cellars–Louisa
Photo Credit: Sheridan Grime, @southernrevere
Southern Revere Cellars is the perfect destination to wrap up the Fermentation Farm Trail tour, as they serve wine, beer, and even a couple of ciders from nearby Virginia cideries. The brews run the gamut in terms of styles; during our visit, we tried a little bit of everything–Caramel Apple Ale, Sea Salt Tangerine Sour, Chardonel Saison, Double IPA, and Stout. On the wine side, you’ll discover white wine varietals like Chardonnay and Vidal Blanc (this grape is having a moment in Central Virginia!) and several red wines including Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Travel the trail, snag your limited-edition Fermentation Farm Trail glass, and share your favorite beverage with us in the comments below!