40 Virginia Wineries Win Gold Medals in 2020 Governor's Cup Competition

Virginia Wineries Association Announces 2020 Governor's Cup® Gold Medalists

The Virginia Wineries Association Governor’s Cup® Wine Competition judging is complete, and 64 Virginia wines from 40 different wineries have been awarded gold medals. The competition, now in its 38th year, was held over a four-week period during late January and early February. During that time, 19 judges sampled over 530 Virginia wines to choose gold, silver and bronze medals in one of the most stringent and thorough wine competitions in the country.

Gold medal-winning wines scored a 90 or higher on a 100-point score range and come from across the Commonwealth’s winegrowing regions.

Blends dominated the gold medals, while Cabernet Franc, a grape that grows very well in Virginia, dominated the single varietals. 

 

Approximately two-thirds of the gold medals went to wines from the 2017 vintage, which most consider one of top vintages of the decade. 




Central Virginia wineries continued to score the most golds overall, and Shenandoah Valley doubled their golds from three in 2019 to six in 2020. Southern Virginia, which had no golds in 2019, scored two golds this year, from Rosemont Vineyards and Hamlet Vineyards. 

 

 

Results from the 2020 competition also showed an increase in hybrid varietals, a nod to sustainable practices in Virginia vineyards, as hybrid grapes require less intervention in the vineyards.

The esteemed panel of judges was directed by Jay Youmans – one of only 51 Masters of Wine (MW) in the U.S. – who has overseen the competition for nine years. Commenting on this year’s entries, Jay Youmans said, “Virginia wines continue to impress, year over year. The overall quality continues to grow, and every vintage tells a fascinating story. Anecdotally, in the blended wine category, the judges tasted an impressive number of quality Tannat-driven wines that demonstrate the diversity of varieties that are seeing success in Virginia.”

Virginia’s vibrant wine industry – a 400-year-old “experiment” – is a significant agricultural sector in the state. Today, over 300 wineries in Virginia cultivate over 3,800 acres of grapes, making it the sixth-largest wine region in the US. Grape varieties like Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Petit Manseng and Petit Verdot—relative obscurities in Old World wine traditions—are taking center stage in Virginia. Both the Governor’s Cup Competition and the resulting Governor’s Cup Case® boost the visibility of the Virginia wine region through various marketing programs and exposure to top wine critics and tastemakers.

Of the gold medal winning wines, 12 top-scoring red and white wines will then comprise the Governor’s Cup Case to showcase the commonwealth’s top wines. The highest scoring wine of the competition will be awarded the grand prize of the Governor’s Cup itself. The winner of the Governor’s Cup will be announced at the Virginia Governor’s Cup Celebration on February 25, 2020; the other 11 wines that make the Governor’s Cup Case will also be recognized. The celebration is a private invitation-only event.  

About the Governor’s Cup Competition

The judging panel ranks each wine based on a unified scoring system. Any wine made from 100% Virginia fruit is eligible for the Governor’s Cup Competition.  Ciders, fruit wines and meads have their own categories. Entries must include an affidavit with a certification of 100% Virginia fruit and vineyard particulars, including grower names and location, as well as information on alcohol, acidity or basicity (pH) and residual sugar.

 

2020 Governor’s Cup Gold Medalists

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

 



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