DrinkLocalWine’s 2013 Conference To Take Place in Baltimore, MD on 4/13

Feb 27

DrinkLocalWine will hold its fifth annual conference in less than two months in Baltimore, focusing on Maryland wine. The state’s industry is one of the fastest growing in the country, and its 61 wineries are almost 50 percent more than in 2010.

The state’s four growing regions allow it to produce a variety of wines, including the classic European varietals but also some that are distinctly New World in style. The Maryland Winery Association is the conference’s primary sponsor.

Panels of speakers will discuss the winemaking region’s history, challenges, trends and more in three (possibly four) morning seminars. Then an elegant lunch with local ingredients will be paired with select Maryland wines.

In the afternoon, we taste through the state’s portfolio of wines and report our findings to the world via the unique feature of DLW conferences, the Twitter Taste-Off. Over 20 of Maryland’s most award-winning wineries will be participating in the fifth annual Twitter Taste-off at The Warehouse at Camden Yards. This is your chance to sip, tweet, and tell the world your thoughts on Maryland wine. Participants will taste a wide variety of Maryland’s most desired wines, and report their experiences to the world.

The conference will take place on April 13th at the Tremont Suites Hotel in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. Tickets are now on sale for the conference; you may purchase them by visiting the DLW page on the Maryland Wine Association website.

Hotel Info

Join us at Baltimore’s Tremont Suites Hotel in the historic Mt. Vernon neighborhood. A few blocks from the Inner Harbor, and only 10 miles from Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI), the Tremont will be your home away from home during the conference. All rooms include complimentary wireless Internet, complimentary coffee (and, yes, complimentary bottled water). To book your room, visit the Tremont Suite Hotel’s site. Rooms start at just $115 a night. Click on reservations and enter the following group code for the discounted rate: localwine


Barboursville Octagon 2009 “12th Edition” Wins 2013 VA Governor’s Cup

Feb 22

February 22nd: Governor and Mrs. McDonnell last night announced the single gold medal-winning wine from the twelve best gold medal wines (the “Governor’s Case”) whose score was the highest in the 2013 Virginia Governor’s Cup, which was the Barboursville Vineyards’ Octagon 2009. Octagon is a meritage-style blend with 70% merlot in this vintage 15% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2009 wine is also labeled “edition twelve” of the proprietary blend.

In addition to Barboursville’s 2009 Octagon, the other 11 wines (along with varietal descriptions as appropriate) forming the Governor’s Cup Case include:

·         Cooper Vineyards – 2010 Petit Verdot Reserve
·         King Family Vineyards – 2010 Meritage
·         Lovingston Winery – 2009 Josie’s Knoll Estate Reserve (Meritage)
·         Philip Carter Winery – 2010 Cleve (Petite Verdot, Tannat)
·         Pollak Vineyards – 2009 Cabernet Franc Reserve
·         Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery – 2010 Richland Reserve Heritage (Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, Petit Verdot)
·         Rappahannock Cellars – 2010 Meritage
·         RdV Vineyards – 2010 Rendevous (Meritage)
·         RdV Vineyards – 2010 Lost Mountain (Meritage)
·         Sunset Hills Vineyard – 2010 Mosaic (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot)
·         Trump Winery – 2008 Sparkling Rose (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir)

By winning this year’s Governor’s Cup, Barboursville becomes the first Virginia winery to win the award four times. Barboursville also won in 1992 (1988 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve), 1999 (1997 Cabernet Franc), and 2007 (1998 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve). The Governor’s Cup award announcement was made Thursday evening at the Virginia Wineries Association’s Governor’s Cup Gala.

At least 10 cases of each wine included in the Governor’s Cup Case will be used by the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office for marketing purposes. A number of cases will be shipped to select wine media, promoting Virginia wines to a larger national and international audience. The award winning wines will be used for educational purposes at Virginia winemaker roundtable discussions to improve overall quality of Virginia wines. Governor’s Cup Case wines will also be used by Governor McDonnell on select domestic and international marketing missions and other events designed to promote Virginia wine and winery tourism.

Jay Youmans, competition director, is one of only of 30 Masters of Wine (MW) in the U.S. There were 45 judges in the preliminary round and 15 judges in the final round. A list of the judges along with their bios can be found at http://www.virginiawine.org/governors-cupThe Governor’s Cup award winner was selected from the 2013 Governor’s Cup Case, the top 12 scoring wines of the competition, which were selected from 377 entries of both red and white wines, from 93 wineries.

One of the most important aspects of the revised competition is the educational component of the judging. After the competition, regional forums for the winemakers will be held with the judging director. Notes with the judges’ blind comments will be shared with individual winemakers, so that they will get direct feedback on how their wines were received.

Barboursville Vineyards is located in the Monticello American Viticulture Area of Central Virginia, in and around the Charlottesville region. The historic Virginia winery is located on the estate of James Barbour, former Governor of Virginia, in Barboursville. The winery was founded in 1976 by Gianni Zonin, a prominent Italian winemaker whose family has roots in Italian viticulture going back to 1821. The Zonin Group is based in Vicenza, Italy. Barboursville is Zonin’s sole American venture.

Other Awards

The Virginia Wineries Association also gave awards to individuals who have helped the Virginia wine industry.

  •  Wine Person of the Year:

is Mary Beth Williams, an attorney, who specializes in regulatory compliance services for Virginia wineries.

  • the Gordon Murchie Lifetime Achievement award:

is Lew Parker, proprietor of Willowcroft Vineyards. He has addressed legislative issues, such as direct shipping; and provided leadership on many levels, serving as a past president and treasurer of the Virginia Wineries Association, a member of the Virginia Winegrowers Advisory Board, and founding member of the Loudoun Wineries Association.

  •  Legislator of the Year award: 

Del. Dave Albo served as the champion for the original land use bill.  This session he is carrying a bill to address contract wine making, an issue which needs to be resolved to enable wineries to continue to grow and expand.

Sales of Virginia wine reached a record high in fiscal year 2012 with more than 485,000 cases, or more than 5.8 million bottles, sold. Virginia currently ranks fifth in the number of wineries in the nation with 230. Virginia is also the nation’s fifth largest wine grape producer. According to a recently released economic impact study, the Virginia wine industry employs more than 4,700 and contributes almost $750 million to the Virginia economy on an annual basis.

For a complete list of previous Governor’s Cup winners and further information about the Virginia wine industry, events, tours and tastings, please visit the Virginia Wine Marketing Office http://www.virginiawine.org/ or call 804-344-8200.



VWA Announces 20 Gold Medalists in 2013 Governor’s Cup®

Feb 14

Red wine blends dominate

           (this press release courtesy of the Virginia Wine Marketing Office)  Richmond, Va. (Feb. 14, 2013) - Twenty Virginia wines have been awarded gold medals in the Virginia Wineries Association’s 2013 Governor’s Cup® Virginia Wine competition, which was held over a four week period.  2013 marks the 31st year of the competition, though it was revamped in 2012 to become one of the most stringent and thorough wine competitions in the country. 

             The gold medalists from this year’s Governor’s Cup were selected from 377 entries of both red and white wines, from 93 wineries.  The top 12 scoring wines, which comprise the Governor’s Cup Case, showcases the state’s top wines. The top scoring wine of the competition is awarded the Governor’s Cup. 

            The Governor’s Cup Case boosts the visibility of the state’s highest-scoring wines by inviting judges with national and even international stature. This year’s esteemed panel of judges had the difficult task of ranking each wine based on a unified scoring system.

            Of the 20 gold medals, 18 were awarded to red wines and one was awarded to a white wine and one to a sparkling wine.

            There are several theories as to why the red wines dominated the competition. One theory is because of the timing of the competition, when few whites are available. Red blends dominated the field with ten gold medals, followed by eight Meritages, five Cabernet Francs, two Petit Verdots, and one Cabernet Sauvignon.  The remaining two gold medals were awarded to a Chardonnay and a sparkling wine. See the table below for complete details.

Any wine made from 100% Virginia fruit is eligible for the Governor’s Cup Competition. (Ciders and fruit wines have their own category and medals.) 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.

             The rapid growth of Virginia’s vibrant wine industry has made it one of the fastest growing agricultural sectors in the state.  In 1979, there were only six wineries in Virginia. Today, there are over 230 wineries in Virginia, and 380 vineyards that cultivate over 3,000 acres of grapes. The state’s wine industry’s growth is escalating as fast as the state’s advancements in wine quality and reputation. 

The winner of the 2013 Virginia Governor’s Cup will be announced in a week at the start of the Virginia Wine Expo on Thursday, 2/21. For more information and a complete list of awards, visit the Virginia Wine Marketing Office’s website at http://www.virginiawine.org/ or call 1‐804‐344‐8200.

2013 Virginia Governor’s Cup Gold Medal Winners


Vintage Varietal Description  Title of Wine
Barboursville Vineyards


Meritage Octagon
Bluemont Vineyard


 Cabernet Franc The Horse
Cooper Vineyards


Petit Verdot Reserve
 Glen Manor Vineyards


Meritage  Glen Manor Hodder Hill
Keswick Winery


 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve
 King Family Vineyards


Meritage unfiltered
Lovingston Winery


Meritage  Josie’s Knoll, Estate Reserve
Philip Carter Winery


 Petit Verdot, Tannat Cleve
Pollak Vineyards


 Cabernet Franc Reserve
Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery



Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannant, Petit Verdot

Richland Reserve Heritage
 Rappahannock Cellars


RdV Vineyards 2010 Meritage  Rendezvous
RdV Vineyards


Meritage Lost Mountain


Shenandoah Vineyards


 Cabernet Franc  
Shenandoah Vineyards



Chambourcin, Cabernet Sauv, Cabernet Franc

Rhapsody in Red
Sunset Hills Vineyard



Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot


Trump Winery


Chardonnay, Pinot Noir Sparkling Rose
Virginia Wineworks


Chardonnay Michael Shaps, Wild Meadow Vineyard
 Virginia Wineworks


 Cabernet Franc  

Michael Shaps, Carter’s Mountain Vineyard

 Virginia Wineworks


 Cabernet Franc Red Hill Reserve



Barrel Oak Winery Takes Gold, Silver Awards in SF Chronicle Wine Competition

Feb 04

Barrel Oak Winery in Delaplane has won gold medals for its 2010 Cabernet Franc and Petit Manseng, as well as silver in Chardonnay & Cabernet Sauvignon, at the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Lenn Thompson, Dr. Bruce Zoecklein Honored at Annual VVA Meeting

Feb 01

During the annual meeting of the Virginia Vineyards Association Friday 2/1 at the Charlottesville Omni, the Grower of the Year award was announced and presented to Lenn Thompson of Amhert Vineyards by VVA Secretary Tom Kelly. Kelly cited Thompson’s service over the years to the VVA, with two terms each as Secretary, Vice President, Treasurer and being “one of the most visible, active members of VVA.” Thompson owns and farms Amherst Vineyards with his wife Kay, another highly active and visible member of the VVA. Amherst Vineyards has grown grapes whose wines have won many awards, noted Kelly.

Thompson received the award to a standing ovation, giving credit to Kay for her part in the operation. Saying he was quoting member Andrew Hodson, he quipped that “For every man that gets an award here, there’s a woman rolling here eyes,” to audience laughter.

Due to his upcoming retirement in June, the VVA made a point of giving a Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Bruce Zoecklein, enologist at Virginia Tech since 1985. Tributes were given by long-time industry grower and consutant Chris Hill and Veritas winemaker and former student of Zoecklein’s, Emily Pelton.  “He has a reputation as a hard worker, and if you’re one of his students, you’ll find he expects the same of  you,” she said.

Zoecklein received a standing ovation following his acceptance of the award.