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“Terrific Up and Coming Virginia Winery” 4 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 #2 of 13 activities in Middleburg
Type: Wineries
Attraction Details
Chantilly, Virginia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Terrific Up and Coming Virginia Winery”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013 via mobile

I live nearby and my wife and I have really enjoyed the beautiful tasting room and view from the upper balcony. If you are in the area I would recommend a stop here.

Visited August 2013
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32 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Alexandria, Virginia
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
33 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Breathtaking views, but inconsistent wine”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

The view is lovely. You can sit on the veranda for hours and unwind with a glass of wine. But, at this point in time, get the wine elsewhere. The winery has to work out some kinks to produce more consistent products. It was better in the winter than now. I was a little embarrassed to have taken a friend there as a first impression of Virginia wine.

Visited July 2013
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Great views and setting but young winery has a way to go”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

The setting is truly beautiful and they did a great job with the building and places to sit outside but still get a breeze. But the tasting was barely a sip and the wines were below average. The tasting rep seemed to stick to a script and it wasn't really interactive or fun.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 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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Tucson, Arizona
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
17 helpful votes 17 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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