Owner(s): Mike and Diane Canney
Winemaker: Corry Craighill
Open to Public
Fri 4-8; Sat, Sun 12-6:30
39060 John Mosby Hwy; Middleburg, Virginia 20177
50 West Vineyards Profile
Written by Brian—Sep 9, 2015
Just outside the village of Aldie, on the hillside north of Route 50, you will find perhaps the best view in Loudoun County, Virginia. Looking south at the Bull Run Mountains, it is difficult to imagine a better spot. It is on the crest of this slope that you will find 50 West Vineyards. The south-facing aspect is ideal for grape cultivation and for sitting outside the newly renovated tasting room with a glass of wine.
This location was previously home to Leaves of Grass Vineyards until the owners put it on the market. The property began to lapse into decline before it was purchased by Mike and Diane Canney of Sunset Hills. It is our good fortune that the lot found owners interested in keeping it part of the wine space. It was rescued from development and remains a part of the local cluster of wineries. So the tasting room and its gorgeous view will remain a winery stop for visitors to the area. That works for me.
On the property is also a home that a belonged to the previous owners. This mid-century modern structure will be converted into a club and event space. It does not look like much right now, but after the space is remodeled and opened up, the large south-facing windows may offer the best view on the property. Significant work has already been done to clean up the exterior landscaping and the pool has been restored. This has taken place over only a few short weeks. It will be very interesting to see how this structure evolves in the coming months.
Diane Canney was in the tasting room when I visited and she took some time to answer questions, show me around and talk about future plans. The tasting room is currently pouring Sunset Hills wines, but a line of unique 50 West wines will begin to make its way onto the menu. The first will be released as early as October, which gives me an excuse for another road trip. After Diane and Mike took over, only minor cosmetic upgrades were necessary in the tasting room. The upstairs, however, will be renovated and used for seating and tasting space.
Of course the the property contains multiple sites for vineyard expansion, which will bring the Sunset Hills total to somewhere between 80 and 100 acres. The 1.5 acre plot not the south side of the tasting room has already been replanted. The Canney’s just don’t waste any time. I am certain that next year will see more planting on the property.
I am both impressed and excited by the developments at 50 West Vineyards. On top of all the renovations and upgrades, the owners have installed a trained, professional staff. This is a winery that complement the other five wineries in the local cluster and add to the local wine tasting experience. Stay tuned over the next year or so and I will keep you up to date on developments. In the mean time, if you make it out there, let me know what you think.