Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: September 27, 2023
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Christian Martinez, |Office of the First Lady:

First Lady of Virginia and Cana Vineyards Unveil Cornus Virginicus Edition II Blend

Cornus Virginicus II: Special Wine Release Celebrates Virginia Agriculture


RICHMOND, VA – The second edition of the limited-release wine project, Cornus Virgincus, is now available. The First Lady of Virginia, Suzanne S. Youngkin partnered with Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg to craft a wine that celebrates Virginia's flourishing agriculture—especially its farmers, growers, and winemakers.

As part of the initiative, a donation is being made to Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom, a non-profit, statewide educational program providing resources, training and support to schools, educators and volunteers so that they can meaningfully connect children to agriculture. Since its beginning in 1987, Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) has served over 350,000 educators by providing professional development, school grants, and educational resources that increase children's knowledge and appreciation of agriculture. Further, over 3,500,000 children have been connected to agriculture through Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom programming. 

The First Lady of Virginia's financial support will enable AITC to continue to provide quality programs and to develop new and interesting resources that meet the needs of educators across Virginia and provide all services at no cost to teachers or school divisions.

The wine is being released just as Virginia Wine Month festivities are set to begin in October. This year marks the 35th year of commemorating Virginia’s wine industry with the Wine Month celebrations. It is the perfect time to experience wine country while raising a glass to Virginia’s burgeoning wine scene.

“Collaborating with Virginia’s leading wine makers is a true highlight and allows us to give back to the next generation of farmers,” said First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin. “It was especially inspirational working with a female winemaker — a reminder of the strength and spirit of Virginia’s women.” 

Melanie Natoli was selected as the winemaker for this edition after winning the 2022 Virginia Governor’s Cup for Cana Vineyard and Winery of Middbleburg’s 2019 Unité Reserve. This year’s blend was selected by a tasting panel including the First Lady of Virginia and is 67% Petit Verdot and 33% Merlot. A total of 144 cases of wine were produced.

Natoli noted, “Cornus Virginicus 2023 highlights the depth and elegance in Virginia wine. The blend brings together fruit from our estate vineyard in Loudoun County and Silver Creek Orchards in Nelson County; a harmonius representation of northern and central Virginia.”

Cornus Virginicus II is available for purchase online through Virginia ABC and Cana Vineyards. Purchasers can select to pick up the wine at a Virginia ABC location of their choice or at the winery. The wine can be shipped directly to their door through Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg as well. For more information, visit

Cornus Virginicus is Latin for “Flowering tree of Virginia” and pays tribute to the Commonwealth’s official state flower and tree— the Dogwood— and the First Lady of Virginia’s seal. Depicted on the front label, the Dogwood tree is symbolic of tradition, strength and beauty found throughout Virginia.

Follow the First Lady on Facebook and Instagram as she celebrates Virginians all across the Commonwealth.

# # #