AWG Correspondent

Richard Rynders

Casanel Vineyards Photos

Casanel Vineyards Review

Regions: Middleburg Virginia AVA, Virginia

Reviewed: January 23, 2015 by Richard Rynders
Published: March 11, 2015

Recommended to me by a "competing" tasting room host, I ventured to Casanel Vineyards & Winery in anticipation. Not hard to find on the outskirts of Leesburg in Loudoun county in Virginia's Middleburg AVA, the driveway to the tasting room takes you past several dwellings, some owned by the winery, some not, until you reach your destination at the top of the hill.

A family-owned winery operating since 2008, the name Casanel is a combination of the names of the owners Casey and Nelson. Wine tastings are offered in an updated stone building with tasting rooms on two separate floors. The winery also has an appealing yellow barn that is used for weddings, large events and "overflow" on busy tasting days. There is also a large outdoor patio with fans (in the summer) and heat lamps (for cooler weather) and lovely views of the property's vineyards. People who are planning on lingering to enjoy the surroundings are encouraged to bring their own food, as there is very little offered for sale by the winery. Dogs are welcomed, but not in the tasting rooms.

An $8 fee allows you to try the full gamut of their tasting menu. Whites, roses, reds, and dessert wines are featured. Although I was originally the only one tasting this afternoon, the hostess was not too informative about the wines. Fortunately, the tasting room manager was on-hand to answer most questions.

The two white wines offered, a Chardonnay and "Don Lorenzo's White," were rather light for my taste. Crisp citrus flavors were complimented by a slight vanilla note on the 100% estate-grown Chardonnay. The Lorenzo (named after the vineyard's original vineyard manager) is a blend of Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Off-dry wine with prominent tart green apple flavors, the Lorenzo joins the Chardonnay as solid "porcher" wines to enjoy during Virginia's hot summers.

The winery boasts their "Civil War Norton Rose" as their "claim to fame and signature house wine!" With 100% Norton grapes (with half of the harvest purchased from another Loudoun County vineyard, Chrysalis) this one is darker in color than one would expect from a rose. Nonetheless, it was light in flavor as it was made like a white and meant to be served chilled.

The red list featured a Petit Verdot, Merlot Batucada, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Although I was not necessarily a fan of the first two, the Cab Sav was full-bodied and quite drinkable.

Surprisingly, my favorite wine Casanel offered was their Dulce Dessert wine that is a blend of their estate grapes and has 6% residual sugar. They call it an "apple orchard in a bottle," and I found it to be a very nice wine to enjoy at dessert or any time of the day.

Casanel offers a 10% discount to all current and former military personnel, firefighters, cops, & EMT's, thanking you for your service. That, in its own, deserves our support.

Address & Contact Information: 17952 Canby Rd Leesburg, Virginia 20175. Telephone: 540-751-1776, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Jan 17-Dec 15: Thurs 2:00-6:00, Fri-Mon 11:00-6:00.

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