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!
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