It’s the last day of summer. I’m not really a summer person (summer is just an invitation for sunburns), so I’m pretty excited. Graham’s the opposite. He loves summer (side effect of growing up at the beach, I suspect), and late summer is his favorite part of the year. My point is, either way you look at it, we should be drinking wine tonight – me, to celebrate, and Graham, to say goodbye – and so we are. And to welcome the harvest season, we’re drinking apple wine.
Let’s get one thing out of the way, before I go any further: I don’t like fruit wines. I do like ciders, but not fruit wines. I do like this one.
Moving on, I can’t tell you how many times we’ve passed right by Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg. A couple of weeks ago, we finally stopped for a tasting.
Cana has a nice tasting bar and a large seating area, as well as a commanding view of the mountains (really, the best part). They’ve built an inviting facility that’s perfect for events, and the day we stopped in they were closing early for a wedding. We walked in about thirty minutes before closing time as they were starting to set up, and were impressed with the courteous, friendly service we received. We weren’t rushed, and we even got a glimpse of the barrel room while we chatted with one of their employees about Virginia wines. The whole experience couldn’t have been more pleasant, and Cana would be a comfortable place to relax for an afternoon. Since we couldn’t do that, we walked out with a few bottles.
The apples for this wine are sourced from Winchester, VA, only about 45 minutes away from Middleburg, which is so famous for its apples that it holds an apple festival every year. I was expecting this wine to be sweet, since fruit wines usually are (which is why I don’t usually like them). This one, though, is dry and crisp – a slightly floral nose of apples and honey, a little bit of citrus and almost an effervescent flavor mid-palate, and a finish with just a hint of black pepper. It’s refreshing and light, and the flavor profile is definitely different than wine made from grapes. But it’s got the complexity and subtlety that you’d expect from a good Virginia wine.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m so looking forward to cooler days and changing leaves. Fall is my favorite season not just for the weather and the scenery, but also for the food and festivities. Who doesn’t love pumpkin pie and hayrides? But I will say, to all my pumpkin spice loving friends (of which I have a fair number), if you get tired of all pumpkin all the time, maybe give something apple a try. I mean, you know what they say about apples and doctors, and I’m sure that still counts for apple wine, right? Right??
P.S. – If you’d like to check out Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg, here’s their Facebook page: Cana Facebook Page.
P.P.S. – Apple cider is superior to pumpkin spice lattes. There. I said it.