Have you ever driven by a historic site, a park, a small business, about 100 times, and thought each time, “Someday, I’m going to check that out.” Someday-ing is one of my bad habits. On Saturday, I was out and about with my camera to get shots for nonprofit PR in Dexter and then a potential article assignment back in Sangerville. On the way to Dexter, I passed that tiny little winery for the 100th or so time, thinking, “Someday.”
On the way back, however, since I had the camera and was already in information-gathering mode, I decided to stop. Anthony Lee’s Winery is located in a tiny building adjacent to the home occupied by Mark Libby and wife, Karen Walsh. It doesn’t look like it could be “much” from the road, but as the old adage goes, “Never judge a book by its cover.”
A cheerful greeting from Karen, behind the bar, goes a long way toward that good first impression. The charming interior decor, and the row of award-winning wines on display don’t hurt much, either. The bar can seat five or six patrons, and there’s a cozy table for two in one corner.
Anthony Lee’s produces several varieties of fruit and berry wines with locally grown produce from nearby farms, and from their own small vineyard. Free tastings are offered, and then patrons can select their favorite from the well-organized wine rack — if there’s any left! Created in small batches, the most popular wines disappear quickly. For example, those eager to taste the raspberry wine with hints of chocolate and brandy will have to wait until next May to do so.
I sampled an apple mead, an apple cranberry wine, and the pear wine — the latter was my favorite, for now. I will be waiting for that raspberry to be uncorked next spring! In the meantime, I purchased a bottle of the pear to share with friends, and I got Karen to sign my Maine Wine Trail Passport, so a road trip to sample more of what Maine’s vintners have to offer may be in order soon.
Anthony Lee’s Winery is open Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., and by appointment. Call 924-2209 or visit anthonyleeswinery.com for more information.