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




  1. I thought the press release was phrased a little strange. Meritage is a red blend.

  2. Now that I have looked at this list for a bit I think the organizers have a real problem. Only one Virginia white wine won a gold medal in this competition? That is not my tasting experience across Virginia, nor do I think it is most folks’ experience either. Whether this situation is caused by entry timelines or something else, this list does not seem an authentic sampling of Virginia wine.

  3. Yeah, I am not sure why the entry date would have anything to do with it if so many of the winners were from 2009 and 2010. Seems like plenty of 2010 whites would be “ready” for the 2013 competition. I wonder if having to give up like 50 bottles of wine is just too much for some small wineries with limited production, and many of the 230+ wineries here are tiny.

  4. Richard Leahy /

    Hi guys,

    There’s a pretty simple explanation for the skew in the red vs. white wine awards this year:
    1) 2010 whites are mostly gone
    2) 2011 wines of all colors were pretty thin and high acid and not so fun to drink
    3) the best (late-released) reds from ’07-’10 were all in the running this year and based on 1 and 2 above, there were simply many more outstanding red entries than whites.
    4) The fact that the only two white/sparkling wines that won were not the current ’11 release is evidence of that. The Shaps chardonnay is always held back a year for bottle aging, and the ’08 Trump a k a Kluge sparkling would have been gone long ago had the latter not gone bankrupt and froze movement of the product line until new management arrived.


  5. You may be right Richard, although Linden routinely releases whites much later too. Hard to tell the entire story without seeing the whole list of Silver & Bronze medal wines

  6. I’ve had a number of good ’11 white wines, notably viognier, petit manseng, and SB. Many whites were harvested before the September rains and some before Irene in late August. Up to that point, it was a good vintage. Maybe yield was affected and kept wineries from dumping 50 bottles?…I don’t know…I just don’t buy #2.

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