First Lady of Virginia Collaborates on the Second Edition of a Special Virginia Wine Project in Middleburg


Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, Matthew Lohr (left) First Lady of Virginia, Suzanne Youngkin (center) and Melanie Natoli, winemaker at Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg (right)

In a delightful blend of viticulture and state pride, Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg recently unveiled its second edition of the much-anticipated Cornus Virginicus wine. This unique venture, brewed in the heart of our local soils, features a collaboration with none other than Suzanne S. Youngkin, the First Lady of Virginia, reflecting a mutual dedication to nurturing and celebrating Virginia’s abundant agricultural heritage.

This exclusive wine edition emerges on the scene just as we approach the 35th annual Virginia Wine Month this October. It’s a period dedicated to honoring Virginia’s extensive wine industry, a crown jewel of our local economy, boasting over 300 wineries spread across 5,000 acres of picturesque vineyards. It’s more than a tourist attraction; it’s a billion-dollar industry, providing over 10,000 jobs and pouring $1.73 billion into our economy.

The First Lady herself, speaking at the release event, shared heartfelt words about this collaborative project: “With this second edition of Cornus Virginicus, we toast Virginia’s stand-out wine, winemakers, and agriculture. Partnering with the Virginia Wine Board, our Secretary of Agriculture, and a female winemaker for this project has been an honor. It’s a fantastic way to showcase award-winning wine and support educational initiatives dedicated to inspiring the next generation about Virginia’s agricultural importance.”

The spotlight is also shining on Melanie Natoli, the craftswoman behind the wine. After clinching the 2022 Virginia Governor’s Cup with Cana Vineyard and Winery of Middleburg’s 2019 Unité Reserve, Natoli was the natural choice for this venture. This year’s exquisite blend, chosen by a select tasting panel, including the First Lady, marries 67% Petit Verdot and 33% Merlot. It’s a limited release, with only 144 cases available for the discerning palate.

Natoli herself expressed excitement about the new wine: “This second edition of Cornus Virginicus underscores the sophistication present in Virginia wine. Our blend unites fruit from our estate vineyard in Loudoun County with that of Silver Creek Orchards in Nelson County, presenting a unified taste of northern and central Virginia.”

This local treasure, Cornus Virginicus Edition II, is up for grabs online via Virginia ABC and directly from Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg. Customers have the flexible option of picking up their bottles at their preferred Virginia ABC location or directly at the winery. Convenient door-to-door shipping is also available.

For those not in the know, ‘Cornus Virginicus’ is a nod to Virginia’s natural beauty, translating to “Flowering tree of Virginia.” It’s a tribute to our official state flower and tree, the Dogwood, represented on the front label and emblematic of the enduring tradition, strength, and charm inherent to Virginia. For more details on how to secure a bottle of this local legacy, interested parties can visit

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