Hush, Listen and Discover the Magic Alongside The Williamsburg Winery Duck Pond
The Williamsburg Winery founder Patrick Duffeler makes no secret of how frequently nature inspires him. He favors the tranquility and restorative qualities even a simple walk outside can provide. No wonder he recollects with vigor his endeavor to clear the overgrowth surrounding an underused pond.
Today The Williamsburg Winery Duck Pond is another spot on the 300-acre Wessex Hundred farm to casually enjoy wine.
Just a few paces away from the raised lawn behind the winery, the Duck Pond is something of a hidden gem, a place to “relax or propose!” Patrick’s wife, Francoise, remarks with a glimmer in her eyes.
Both have been done alongside the elongated pond that includes its own small island.
The Duck Pond dates to the effort to modernize the roadways for easier access to the winery in the 1990s. Back then, the pines that now stand 45 feet tall were only seedlings.
At one point, Duffeler surrounded the water with a split-rail oak fence that later eroded and was torn down.
“The ducks loved it more than the geese,” he says. “It wasn’t large enough for the geese.”
For years, the pond was ignored, “even by myself,” Duffeler admits.
That changed last winter after a conversation to bring in heavy equipment to remove the thicket. That idea didn’t sit well with the elder Duffeler, particular about every aspect of The Williamsburg Winery.
“I’ll do it,” he announced. “It was a jungle. There were wild grapevines. I’m not fond of wild grapevines.”
Duffeler swapped his business suit for fatigues every Sunday and joined four from the winery’s viticultural crew to clear the space.
To reiterate, his role wasn’t a supervisory one.
“We were working together as five equals,” he says.
As taxing as taming the neglected vines proved, the results rewarded the labor.
Now complete, the Duck Pond offers another place to pause, whether you’re walking with a wine glass in hand or are on bended knee for a significant request.
Visitors are encouraged to spread out a blanket or enjoy one of the recently added white picnic tables.
Expect daffodils to color the banks again this spring. Trees and plants, selected by Duffeler, accentuate this peaceful space. Excess algae in the water has been removed along with any remnants of those dastardly wild grapevines and other parasites such as poison ivy, poison oak, and others.
As marvelous of a retreat as it is for visitors, the pond that is 6 to 8 feet deep in spots is home to flocks of ducks and other species. They live carelessly here.
A duck in descent produces another of nature’s most exquisite sounds. Listen closely to the chatter of waterfowl that is a harmonious conversation all by itself, and all of life’s other noises fade into the background.