Central Virginia wineries dominate Governor’s Cup gold medals

Virginia is now the sixth-largest wine producing region in the country. (WTOP/Mark Lewis)

Virginia is now the sixth-largest wine producing region in the country.

Every year, 12 of those wines produced are selected to boost visibility of the Virginia wine region across the country and around the world.

The 38th-annual Virginia Wineries Association Governor’s Cup wine competition has awarded a total of 64 gold medals to Virginia wines from 40 different wineries this year, and blended varieties ruled.

Wineries in Central Virginia were awarded the majority of the gold medals — 41 of them. Wineries in Northern Virginia won 15 golds; wineries in the Shenandoah Valley claimed six golds; and two wineries in Southern Virginia were awarded gold medals.

Gold medal winners now go on to compete for inclusion in the 2020 Governor’s Case.

This year there were 530 entries.

Wines were judged by 19 world-class judges, led by Jay Youmans, one of only 51 Masters of Wine in the U.S., who has overseen the competition for nine years. The Governor’s Cup is considered one of the most stringent and thorough wine competitions in the country.

“Virginia wines continue to impress, year over year,” Youmans said. “The overall quality continues to grow and every vintage tells a fascinating story.”

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

Blends accounted for 40.1% of this year’s gold medal winners, followed by Cabernet Franc, with 15.6% of golds.

Other gold medal varieties this year included petit Verdot, petit Manseng, and cabernet sauvignon.

The 2017 vintage accounted for 42 or the 64 gold medal winners this year.

Gold medal winners now compete to be part of the Governor’s Cup Case, that will showcase Virginia wines through various marketing programs and exposure to wine critics.

The 12 top-scoring wines will be announced Feb. 25, with one of the 12 awarded the top prize of the Governor’s Cup itself. The actual points awarded to gold medal-winning wines won’t be revealed until the event.

There are now over 300 wineries in Virginia cultivating more than 3,800 acres of grapes.

Here are this year’s Governor’s Cup gold medal winners:

Winery Wine Year
868 Estate Vineyards — Vidal Blanc (2017)
Afton Mountain Vineyards — Tradition (2017)
Barboursville Vineyards — Octagon (2014)
Barboursville Vineyards — Vermentino Reserve (2018)
Barboursville Vineyards — Octagon (2017)
Bluestone Vineyard — Blue Ice (2015)
Breaux Vineyards — Nebbiolo (2015)
Breaux Vineyards — Merlot (2016)
Cardinal Point Winery — Clay Hill Cabernet Franc (2017)
Chester Gap Cellars — Cabernet Franc (2017)
Chisholm Vineyards — Cabernet Sauvignon (2016)
Chestnut Oak Vineyard — Chestnut One (2017)
CrossKeys Vineyards — Ali d’Oro (2016)
Cunningham Creek Winery — Herd Dog Red (2017)
Delaplane Cellars — Williams Gap (2017)
Delaplane Cellars — Rusticity (2017)
DuCard Vineyards — Petit Verdot (2017)
DuCard Vineyards — C’est Trop (2017)
Early Mountain — Petit Manseng (2018)
Early Mountain — Shenandoah Springs Cabernet Franc (2017)
Fifty-Third Winery and Vineyard — Viognier, Monticello AVA (2018)
Glen Manor Vineyards — Hodder Hill (2015)
Greenhill Vineyards — Mythology (2016)
Hamlet Vineyards — Eltham (2017)
Hark Vineyards — Merlot (2017)
Honah Lee Vineyard — Petit Manseng (2017)
Jefferson Vineyards — Meritage (2017)
Jefferson Vineyards — Jefferson’s Own Estate Reserve Red Wine (2017)
Keswick Vineyards — Les Vents d’Anges (2018)
Keswick Vineyards — Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve (2016)
King Family Vineyards — Loreley (2017)
King Family Vineyards — Mountain Plains Red (2017)
Lake Anna Winery — Tannat (2017)
Lake Anna Winery — Chardonnay (2018)
Lake Anna Winery — Petit Verdot (2017)
Lost Creek Winery — Cabernet Franc (2017)
Michael Shaps — Meritage (2016)
Michael Shaps — L. Scott (2017)
Michael Shaps — Petit Verdot (2017)
Michael Shaps — Cabernet Franc (2017)
Michael Shaps — Raisin d’Etre Blanc (2016)
Michael Shaps — Meritage (2017)
Michael Shaps — Petit Manseng (2018)
Muse Vineyards — Cabernet Franc (2015)
Narmada Winery — Chardonel Reserve (2017)
Paradise Springs Winery — The Moment (2016)
Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards — Petit Verdot (2017)
Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards — Wild Common Reserve (2017)
Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards — Easton Blue (2016)
Pollak Vineyards — Cabernet Franc Reserve (2017)
Pollak Vineyards — Smuggler (2017)
Pollak Vineyards — Cabernet Franc (2017)
Pollak Vineyards — Cabernet Sauvignon (2017)
Pollak Vineyards — Meritage (2017)
Potomac Point winery — Petit Verdot (2017)
Rockbridge Vineyard — V d’Or (2017)
Rosemont Vineyards — Cabernet Franc (2017)
Shenandoah Vineyards — Shenandoah Reserve Red (2017)
Sunset Hills Vineyard — Mosaic (2017)
The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards — Meritage (2017)
Trump Winery — Blanc de Blanc (2014)
Trump Winery — Cabernet Sauvignon (2017)
Winery 32 — Thoroughbred Blend (2016)
Zephaniah Farm Vineyard — Friendship (2017)

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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