Indian Country Today
This Native American winery located in Spotsylvania, Virginia, just received another award for one of their wines, the bronze in the National Commercial Competition with the American Wine Society. Over 1000 competitors in the United States entered.
Mattaponi has become known for their award winning sweet dessert wines, which are indigenous to Virginia. Janette Evans, the Cherokee woman who runs this family winery with her husband, told us that the dessert wines are special to her because they reflect Native American history. When settlers arrived in Virginia, their survival depended upon the tribes showing them how to grow and maintain the local fruits. Mattaponi uses the fruits the tribes helped the settlers survive on to make their award winning wines, with their signature vintage, a strawberry wine, called Odeimin.
“As we have been planting our grape vines, we have been pulling up arrow heads, so we’ve built them into the tasting bar, with ten layers of resin holding them in place”, Mrs. Evans said. As the winery expands due to attention to the awards they’ve begun to stockpile, they have begun plans to build a traditional native long house. The tasting bar is located in their cabin, which they call “The Trading Post” after the first governor of Spotsylvania, Alexander Spotswood, who created a trading post to regulate trade between settlers and the local tribes.