[edited from a press release from the Virginia Wine Marketing Office, Feb. 9, 2018].   The Virginia Wineries Association Governor’s Cup® Virginia Wine Competition judging is final, and the list of golds are announced. Ninety-nine Virginia wines have been awarded gold medals in the 2018 Virginia wine competition. Now in its 36thyear, the competition 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 442 entries of both red and white wines, from 100 different Virginia wineries. Ninety-nine of the wines scored a 90 or higher on a 100-point score range. This is the highest number of gold medals ever received for this prestigious competition (a full list is included at the bottom of this release).
Patterns emerged with this year’s awards. Of the gold medal winning wines, strong categories for 2018 included:

  • 36 Bordeaux Blend wines
  • 11 Petit Verdots
  • 11 Viogniers
  • 8 Chardonnays
  • 5 Petit Mansengs
  • 3 Tannats and 3 red blends with Tannat
  • 4 dessert wines

Commenting on this year’s judging, Competition Chair Jay Youmans MW said, “There are several factors that contributed to this banner year for the Virginia Governor’s Cup. Several judges commented that the white wines really stood out this year. In addition, the overall caliber of wines were outstanding. The scores of wines that were sent to the final round of judging from the preliminary round were on average, two points higher than in previous years. This is a significant difference. Combined, the end result is an exceptional year for wines in this competition.”

Of the gold medal winning wines, twelve top scoring red and white wines will then comprise the Governor’s Cup Case® to showcase the state’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 by Governor Ralph Northam at the Virginia Governor’s Cup Gala on February 27, 2018; the other eleven wines that make the Governor’s Cup Case® will also be recognized.

Today, there are over 280 wineries in Virginia, and 300 vineyards that cultivate over 3,800 acres of grapes. Virginia wines have been gaining praise among wine critics for caliber of wines being produced and for the dramatic increases in wine quality in recent years.

Virginia Wine Person of the Year and Virginia Wine Lifetime Achievement Award

The Virginia Wineries Association also announces the 2018 Virginia Wine Person of the Year and the 2018 Virginia Wine Lifetime Achievement Award.
Frank Britt, a Lynchburg businessman and the original publisher of the online magazine and e-newsletter, Official Virginia Wine Lover, will be posthumously named Virginia Wine Person of the Year. His wife, June Britt, will be accepting the award on his behalf.

The Virginia Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to Lucie Morton, an internationally recognized author, viticulturist, ampelographer (discerning wine grape vines by the shape of their leaves), lecturer, consultant, and research collaborator. Based in Virginia, Morton has provided advice on viticulture to numerous national and international wineries. She received her higher education in viticulture in Europe, and most recently, Morton has been working with geologists to show the need for revising potassium recommendations based on soil analyses, as well as with plant pathologists to better understand how wood fungi impact developing fruit clusters.

Both Frank Britt and Lucie Morton will be honored at the Governor’s Cup® Gala on Tuesday, February 27th in Richmond, VA.

2018 Governor’s Cup Gold Medalists

Winery                        Wine Type              Vintage
868 Estate Vineyards Cabernet Franc Reserve 2015
868 Estate Vineyards Meritage Reserve 2015
Afton Mountain Vineyards Chardonnay Estate Reserve 2016
Afton Mountain Vineyards Tradition 2016
Barboursville Vineyards Octagon 2012
Barboursville Vineyards Paxxito 2013
Barboursville Vineyards Paxxito 2014
Barboursville Vineyards Octagon 2014
Barboursville Vineyards Octagon 2015
Barboursville Vineyards Vermentino Reserve 2016
Bluestone Vineyard, Inc. Cadenza 2014
Bluestone Vineyard, Inc. Petit Manseng 2016
Bold Rock Hard Cider Crimson Red “Vintage Dry”
Bozzo Family Vineyards  2nd Act 2016
Breaux Vineyards Meritage 2015
Breaux Vineyards Nebbiolo 2015
Casanel Vineyards & Winery Petit Verdot 2015
Castle Hill Cider Serendipity 2016
Chateau Morrisette  Petit Verdot 2015
Chisholm Vineyards at Adventure Farms Viognier 2016
Cooper Vineyards Winery and Vineyard Petit Verdot 2015
Cross Keys Vineyards Ali d’Oro 2015
Doukenie Winery Petit Verdot 2015
Doukenie Winery Vintner’s Reserve 2015
Doukenie Winery Cabernet Franc 2015
Ducard Vineyards Petit Verdot 2014
Ducard Vineyards Signature Viognier 2016
Early Mountain Vineyards Eluvium 2014
Early Mountain Vineyards Eluvium 2015
Early Mountain Vineyards Quaker Run Chardonnay 2015
Early Mountain Vineyards Chardonnay 2016
Early Mountain Vineyards Novum 2015 2015
Effingham Manor & Winery Tannat 2014
Flying Fox Vineyard Trio 2015
Flying Fox Vineyard Viognier 2016
Fox Meadow Winery Le Renard Rouge 2015
Glen Manor Vineyards Hodder Hill 2013
Glen Manor Vineyards Hodder Hill 2014
Glen Manor Vineyards Hodder Hill 2015
Granite Heights Winery Lomax Reserve 2012
Ingleside Vineyards Virginia Gold 2014
Ingleside Vineyards Left Bank 2014
Jefferson Vineyards Meritage 2014
Jefferson Vineyards Viognier 2015
Jefferson Vineyards Viognier 2016
Keswick Vineyards Cabernet Franc Estate Reserve 2016
King Family Vineyards Meritage 2014
King Family Vineyards Mountain Plains 2015
King Family Vineyards Loreley 2015
King Family Vineyards Viognier (Small Batch Series) 2016
King Family Vineyards Chardonnay 2016
Lost Creek Winery Reserve Chardonnay 2015
Michael Shaps Wineworks  L. Scott 2013
Michael Shaps Wineworks  Meritage 2014
Michael Shaps Wineworks  Petit Verdot 2015
Michael Shaps Wineworks  L. Scott 2015
Michael Shaps Wineworks  Petit Manseng 2015
Michael Shaps Wineworks  Chardonnay 2015
Michael Shaps Wineworks  Meritage 2015
Michael Shaps Wineworks Cabernet Franc 2015
Michael Shaps Wineworks  Petit Manseng 2016
Mountain and Vine Vineyards and Winery, dba Delfosse Vineyards and Winery Grand Cru Reserve 2016
Muse Vineyards Thalia 2016
Naked Mountain Vineyard Tannat 2016
Narmada Winery Yash Vir  2014
North Gate Vineyard Petit Verdot 2015
Paradise Springs Winery PVT 2013
Paradise Springs Winery Meritage 2015
Paradise Springs Winery Cabernet Franc 2015
Paradise Springs Winery Petit Manseng 2016
Paradise Springs Winery Chardonnay 2016
Pearmund Cellars Ameritage Reserve 2015
Pearmund Cellars Petit Manseng 2016
Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards Vintner’s Meritage Reserve 2013
Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards Merlot Reserve 2015
Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards Viognier 2016
Pollak Vineyards Meritage 2013
Pollak Vineyards Meritage 2014
Pollak Vineyards Cabernet Franc Reserve 2015
Potomac Point Winery Cabernet Franc 2016
Stinson Vineyards Chardonnay 2015
Tarara Winery Nevaeh Red 2015
Thistle Gate Vineyard Petit Verdot 2015
Trump Winery Sparkling Blanc de Noir 2012
Two Twisted Posts Winery Thomas Great 2014
Upper Shirley Cellars Upper Shirley Tannat 2015
Valley Road Vineyards Viognier 2015
Veritas Vineyards & Winery Petit Verdot 2015
Veritas Vineyards & Winery Vintner’s Reserve 2015
Veritas Vineyards & Winery Viognier 2016
Veritas Vineyards & Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Virginia Cellars/The Barns at Hamilton Station Petit Verdot 2015
Virginia Cellars/The Barns at Hamilton Station Meritage 2015
Virginia Cellars/Hamlet Vineyards Petit Verdot 2015
Virginia Cellars/Brix & Columns Vineyards Viognier 2016
Virginia Cellars/Nicewonder Vineyards Viognier 2016
Whitebarrel Winery Fig Wine NV
Willowcroft Farm Vineyards Willowcroft Assemblage Select 2015