Merchants Square Wine Bar and Tasting Room an Extension of the Warmth Found at Wessex Hundred
Visitors to Wessex Hundred can savor their Williamsburg Winery flight at multiple spots on the farm — the Gabriel Archer Tavern, the 1619 Pavilion and the Duck Pond to name a few.
They are far removed from the daily buzz found at a commercial area.
Counter that with a stop at The Williamsburg Winery Tasting Room and Wine Bar at Merchants Square – which is equally as pleasant in its own way.
The 18th-century style retail village located adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg, features more than 40 shops, and it bustles. Specialty stores invite browsing, and on a seasonal day, the brick-lined widened walkway swells with people of all ages enjoying the historic district.
You’ll find The Williamsburg Winery’s bar and tasting room at 427 Duke of Gloucester St., tucked between The Precious Gem and R. Bryant, Ltd menswear shop. The satellite location opened in 2017.
“There are easily a million people a year walking down Duke of Gloucester Street,” said Patrick Duffeler, founder of The Williamsburg Winery.
That’s a captive audience, many of whom haven’t discovered the charms of Wessex Hundred. A visit to the wine bar ideally encourages them to check it out firsthand. But for those who have eaten at Gabriel Archer Tavern or stayed at Wedmore Place, the hotel on the grounds of the farm, the wine bar is a pleasing reminder of the larger operation.
Wine Club members receive 20% off of every flight.
“I want to be cordial. I want to be hospitable,” Duffeler said. “I want to extend those relationships we’ve already made.”
Sharing conversation over wine connects people and nurtures friendships; the Merchants Square location offers opportunity for both.
Albeit a mere 1,300 square feet, the wine bar offers a deceiving amount of spots for the casual enjoyment of a glass or flight of wine. A small plates menu of local cheese and charcuterie refreshes any weary visitor.
Step through the brick-lined archway, climb the winding sets of stairs, and immediately, you’re whisked into a quaint setting with ample options for sitting or standing, as many prefer. Comfy spaces with pillows beckon as do the various types of tables. Longer rectangular ones can accommodate a group. Smaller circular tables lend themselves to more intimate chatter. Additional crevices with window views relax the solo wine drinker.
Outdoor seating is hard to resist when the weather is right.
The hard part is selecting a flight. The options are a Wessex Hundred Flight, a Virginia Sweets Flight and a Sparking Flight along with flights of all reds or whites and even a Cider Flight. Of course, bottles are available to share on the premises or to take home for another occasion.
Wine-inspired décor and fixtures add to the ambiance as does background classical music. A chalkboard featuring simplistic but precise drawings of vines adds a touch of whimsy to the space.
Duffeler repeats one of his favorite mottos etched on the east end wall of Wessex Hall when asked about the success of the tasting room and wine bar.
Do things right and let people talk.
No doubt, they’ll have plenty of good things to say.