Situated just outside Leesburg, Virginia, Casanel Vineyards is easy to reach, yet far enough from the highways to be quiet and peaceful. Dan and I learned about this winery from our friends and fellow wine bloggers, Fred and Allison, who invited us out to visit one weekend. (You can view Fred's wine reviews at This Is Wine.)
Walking up to the tasting room, I instantly fell in love with the beautiful, stone building. Originally used as a barn, the owners transformed the rustic 1800s structure into a very cozy tasting room, complete with scattered high-top metal tables and chairs.
At one such table, Dan, myself, and my dad (who’d been able to join us) sat down and Fred gave us a tasting of the Casanel wines. They had a nice mix of reds, whites, and a rose. Some of our favorites were the Viognier, the Batucada Merlot, and Dulce. Fred did a fantastic job with the tasting, and we had a lot of fun asking questions and bantering. Fred also introduced us to the owner, Nelson, who was very sweet and told us lots of great stories about Brazil and Portugal.
With glasses of wine in hand, we made our way outside to the covered patio and ordered some gourmet pizzas from a chef who was working at the vineyard for the day. The winery has lots of great outdoor seating if the tasting room starts to get crowded. The owners are also working on an additional tasting room that will provide even more room for guests.
As the winery received more and more customers, Fred went back to help with wine tastings, and we wandered the grounds with Allison.
Pictures from the grounds:
Our visit to Casanel was fun and relaxing. We took an extra bottle of Merlot home to share on another night, and we are looking forward to hiding a geocache on our next visit. :)