Central Virginia sweeps Virginia wine awards

WASHINGTON — The Virginia Wineries Association Governor’s Cup Wine Competition awarded its highest honor Gold medals to 68 Virginia wines.

Gold medal winners now go on to compete for inclusion in the 2019 Governor’s Case.

The association said this was the most competitive competition in its 37-year history with a total of 510 entries submitted by 102 different Virginia wineries, which is an increase of 15 percent from the number of 2018 entries.

Central Virginia wineries were awarded a total of 40 gold medals. Wineries in Northern Virginia claimed 19 golds this year.

Gold medals are awarded to wines that score 90 or higher on the judging panel’s scoring system, which includes appearance, aroma, flavor, overall quality and commercial suitability.

This year, 69 percent of gold medal winners are red wines, many of them blends. Bordeaux-style red blends are well established throughout Virginia. More than 100 red Bordeaux blends were submitted this year.

There was also a record 50 Petit Verdots entered this year, along with Cabernet Francs, Viogniers, sparking wines, dessert wines, Chardonnays and Petite Mansengs.

“Every vintage is a new adventure, as shown in the overall quality of the wines, ciders, meads and fruit wines. This year was perhaps the best ever,” said Jay Yuma’s, one of only 51 Masters of Wine in the U.S., who has overseen the competition for eight years.

Of the gold winners, 12 top scoring red and white wines will comprise the Governor’s Cup Case, showcasing the state’s top wines. The highest scoring wine will be awarded the grand prize of the Governor’s Cup itself, to be announced at the Virginia Governor’s Cup Gala Feb. 26.

The actual points awarded to Gold Medal-winning wines won’t be revealed until the event.

Here are the Gold Medal winners from Northern Virginia:

  • 50 West Vineyards
  • Barns at Hamilton Station
  • Boxwood Winery
  • Brix & Columns Winery
  • Creeks Edge Winery
  • Doukenie Vineyards
  • Fabbioli Cellars
  • Gadino Cellars
  • Granite Heights Vineayrds
  • Gray Ghost Vineyards
  • Greenhill Vineyards & Winery
  • Paradise Springs Vineyards
  • Potomac Point Vineyards
  • Sunset Hills Vineyards
  • Winery At Bull Run

Last year’s Governor’s Cup winner was King Family Vineyards in Crozet, Virginia, the third tine King Family Vineyards has won the Governors Cup.

The Governor’s Case wines get a lot of exposure. The Governor’s Cup Case is used by the Virginia Wine Board for marketing across the country and around the world. It is used by the governor on domestic and international marketing missions and other events.

There are nearly 300 wineries in Virginia now, cultivating more than 3,800 acres of grapes. The Virginia wine industry employs more than 8,200 people. Virginia is also now one of the top five states in number of wineries and grape production.

A full list of this year’s Gold, Silver and Bronze medal winners is posted on the Virginia Wineries Association’s website.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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