Virginia Wine Academy

Welcome to the new Inn at Meander Plantation blog! We’ve got some exciting Meander happenings to share with you!


First is the launch of our new Virginia Wine Academy, which premieres June 22-24, 2008. What a fun, fascinating, information-packed “experiential learning vacation” this 3-day package promises to be … after all, what could be more fun than learning, drinking good wine, eating fabulous food, making new friends and savoring the serenity of Meander.

The “Dean” of our new Wine Academy is Warren Dunn. Warren brings extensive wine knowledge and teaching experience to our new school. Our thanks to Warren for all the excellent work he has done.

For us, this is a culmination of a wine journey we started 16 years ago when we first moved to Virginia and started The Inn. Soon after planting our roots in the Piedmont of Virginia, often compared to the Piedmont of Italy, we were surprised to learn of the state’s fledging wine industry. As we developed The Inn and its philosophy, we made a conscious and strong commitment to use local products and support the local economy.

Virginia wines were at the top of the list. We knew we wanted to offer wine to our guests, and we decided in the wide universe of wines, we could at least get our minds around, and become somewhat knowledge, of the world of Virginia wines. Thus was born our commitment to serve only Virginia wines, a decision we have never regretted and, which in fact, has come to be a point of great pride!

Admittedly, back then the selections were limited. There were about 40 wineries and, quite frankly, some not-so-good wines. But fortune brought a wonderful couple, Diane and Steve Eisenach from Virginia Beach, to our door. True “pioneers” in the appreciation of Virginia wines and visionaries of the shining future viticulture had in the state, Diane and Steve were extremely knowledgeable about the wines that were out there.

So we asked Diane and Steve to help us develop our first wine list … which consisted of about 12 wines. We were on our way! We started visiting wineries and finding more wines we liked. We started meeting and making friends in the Virginia wine industry, and they recommended wines from their peers. Other guests started mentioning wines they liked.

And our list kept growing, as did the number of wineries, until today we offer more than 100 different wines from about 20 different wineries. (And, yes, we have sampled every one of them … it’s a hard job, but someone has to do it!) Our wine list is an ever-changing entity, as we continually seek out the state’s finest to share with our guests, often introducing them to Virginia wines.

With the Virginia Wine Academy we want to take that a step further and offer not just a greater appreciation of Virginia wines but a learning experience that can be fun and life enhancing. We are looking forward to learning more ourselves! We hope you’ll join us as we take the next lap on our wine journey!

Check our website to see complete Wine Academy details and upcoming dates.

Suzanne Thomas
Suzie Blanchard