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“Exceeded Expectations” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cana Vineyards and Winery

Cana Vineyards and Winery
38600 John Mosby Highway, Middleburg, VA 20117
(703) 348-2458
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Ranked #3 of 13 Activities in Middleburg
Type: Wineries, Food & Drink
Attraction details
Virginia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Exceeded Expectations”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

This was our first trip to Cana Vineyards and we've been following them since they had their first barrels fermenting in the Chrysalis Vineyards (one of our favorites!) barrel room several years ago. Yes, we are VERY observant and also big-time supporters of Virginia wineries. They've been open since September but we waited to let them shake things out and get into a groove. They really seem to have done that. The staff were all extremely pleasant and helpful. We were greeted immediately and sent upstairs to do our tasting outside on the deck. Even though it was a hot day (95) the location makes it easily seem 10 degrees cooler and there is a lovely breeze through the mountains that we really enjoyed. There were 3 whites, 2 reds, and 2 dessert wines. Overall the tasting was very nice and our tasting person was extremely knowledgeable and thorough in explaining the wines, wine-making process used, history of the facility/owners. They have at least 5 varietals of grapes planted and are looking great! Most of their vines were planted 1.5 years ago (more than I can say for many wineries who just build a winery with no plans or land for vines).
The only thing I would change is the lineup of the whites. With their Rkatsiteli first, it diminished our palate from getting the nuances of the next two whites (Traminette and Viognier). I would move the Rkats to the end of the whites and I think it would be better.
After our tasting we hung out with our friends on the deck for a few hours. Their facility is absolutely gorgeous and they've really thought of everything. The bathrooms are beautiful and very clean. And only adults are allowed on the second floor (hooray!).
I would highly recommend their Rkatsiteli, Viognier, Le Mariage, and the 2 dessert wines (Apple and Raspberry Apple). Even though they're still young, they are making better wines than other local wineries who have recently opened. I've been to or tasted wines from nearly half of Virginia's wineries and while most newbies take years to get established, I think we will continue to see great things from Cana. They care a lot about the guest's experience and they obviously take great care to make the best wine they can, not just cranking it out so they have something to sell. This is definitely one to watch...and I for one will be watching from the deck of this beautiful gem of a winery/vineyard!

Visited June 2013
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44 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Tucson, Arizona
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Money for Nothing”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

We entered the grounds of Cana with high hopes, but ultimately we left disappointed. A few words about our view on wine tasking are in order. We – my wife and I – are not wine snobs. I don’t care if it cost $1.99, if it I like it, it’s a good wine in my view. However, in the course of the last decade or so, my wife and I have visited upwards of 70 or more of Virginia’s now over 230 wineries and vineyards. We have visited many more in Germany, California, Maryland and Arizona.

We found all but one of the wines at Cana substandard (not a wine tasting term, of course) and by that I mean they were not enjoyable. They there thin, weak, lacked body – I think the term is they “finished” poorly. So, counter to our usual practice, we did not buy any. I cannot recommend any of them. The first wine we tasted was a chardonnay, I think. It was interesting – but not that interesting. Indeed it did not taste anything like a chardonnay, which is why I guess it raised an eyebrow. Maybe it was something else - the whole tasting was rushed.

Of course, its hard to say given the thimble size tasting pour. I think a tasting should come in a quantity to actually taste it. This was comical! And, in our case the poor woman (ha ha no pun) who was pouring had a stopped-up pour control spout. So, before each pour the poor woman slammed the bottle down on the table to dislodge “the ball bearings” (I had no idea) in the pour control top. These tops are made for distilled spirits of course, not wine. Anyway, later in the day at another vineyard we told a fellow we know in the wine community of our Cana experience and he asked us, without our prompting, how we liked the microscopic tasting pour there. It is so small that the residual wine left after you taste is about half the tasting amount. Terrible.

Anyway, the Cana folks apparently sunk more into building their lovely facility – the big two story house on the hill with a tasting room and room enough for banquets and weddings – than they did on producing a quality wine of any variety. This place is right outside the very upscale horse-country village of Middleburg, VA and my bet is that the Cana business model is to suck in the casual weekend visitor from the Washington DC area and clean up on the wedding and event business among the well-heeled hunt country crowd.

We were greeted like cattle, to begin with. Some guy at the counter barked out the bill of fare - $10 per tasting with a “complimentary” glass with their logo on it. He then directed us to “the white tasting table” outside in a manner that made me think of being ushered to the next station in Army basic training. My wife said, “Oh, I have to use the restroom first (thinking we were already at the tasting bar) and this guy says, “Well, I am sure this gentleman here can take your glass out with him.” Amazed, I said, “I am her husband.” He walks off without a word and tells some woman on the staff that she has people at the white tasking station. Unbelievable. So for all its new splendiferousness and new growth vines out front (I think for show – I saw no other vines), Cana is just another place the wedding singers well come to know well.

This is Virginia’s problem. They have some truly great wineries interspersed with these tourist traps and wedding halls masquerading as true vineyards focused on the wine. I say build it and they will come. Make good wine and you will build a solid business. These folks want to have it all up front and have sacrificed quality for a quick turn on the investment.

Take our favorite winery, Hiddlecroft, north of Purcerville. They started in their house and focused on making excellent wine. Today, maybe a decade or so later, they have the facilities to rival Cana and the wine to rival any other in the state. That’s the way you do it. You don’t get “money for nothing” in the super critical VA wine market – not long term..

Visited May 2013
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Aldie, Virginia
1 review
“great new winery”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

Great new winery in Loudoun with gorgeous views. The tasting room is beautiful with plenty of outdoor seating on the deck and on their huge patio. Love that they allow dogs, although haven't brought ours yet. Convenient location (right on rt.50) but so quiet and serene. Most important, the three wines we've tried so far were delicious. Haven't done a tasting because their $10 tasting fee is a bit high. Highly recommend their apple raspberry wine for summer. Been to quite a few wineries in Loudoun and this one is a definite favorite.

Visited April 2013
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Fairfax, Virginia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Enjoying the blessings of Cana”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

We love the wines and especially the Apple wine . . . great for a non wine drinker to try. We have found the scenery beautiful, the staff friendly and helpful, the wines very good and the owners delightful. We love that Cana is named after Cana in Israel and have been there so this place brings memories of an amazing trip to mind. This place is a relatively close respite for us on a Friday evening to escape Fairfax within about 35 min drive. It is a blessing!!

Visited April 2013
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Charlotte, North Carolina
Top Contributor
220 reviews 220 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Fifteen Minutes Was About Long Enough”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

Pulled into the parking lot of this winery with no idea where the parking was nor the entrance of the tasting room was. Just parked near a set of stairs. Followed them to the top and found a door leading to a tasting room. Some kind of a sign would have been appreciated. The employee who helped us was friendly, but the owner/manager who was doing paperwork at the counter was anything but friendly. We had others stop in for a tasting while we were there as should be expected. But one of them had been there 2 days before and wanted to recreate some special moment he felt with a different person who did his tasting and really was quite annoying. Still the management person said nothing. The wines may improve with age but for now we took nothing home with us. I am sure that money is not an issue because of what the place looked like, really very nice. Again the rapid fire tasting of the wines was appreciated as fifteen minutes was long enough for us to be there.

Visited April 2013
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