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Area wineries win big in Governor's Cup competition

Seven wines from the Monticello American Viticultural Area were among the dozen Virginia products named to the Governor’s Cup Case at the Virginia Wineries Association’s 2020 Governor’s Cup competition, Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Tuesday.

Wines from Afton Mountain Vineyards, Barboursville Vineyards, Michael Shaps Wineworks, Pippin Hill Vineyards and Pollak Vineyards were named among the state’s top wines for 2020.

Barboursville and Pollak vineyards both had two wines earn the honor.

The wines joined Governor’s Cup winner 868 Estate Vineyards 2017 Vidal Blanc Passito. The top sip is made entirely from Loudoun County fruit utilizing the appassimento technique to concentrate flavor and retain natural sugars.

All wines in the Governor’s Cup competition must be made from 100% Virginia fruit.

Monticello AVA winners include Barboursville Vineyards Octagon, 2014 and Barboursville Vineyards Vermentino Reserve, 2018; Pollak Vineyards Cabernet Franc Reserve, 2017 and Pollak Vineyards Smuggler, 2017; Afton Mountain Vineyards Tradition, 2017; Michael Shaps Wineworks Meritage, 2016; and Pippin Hill Vineyards Petit Verdot, 2017.

The other wines making the case cut were Delaplane Cellars Williams Gap, 2017; Lake Anna Winery Tannat, 2017; Rockbridge Vineyard V d’Or, 2017; and Shenandoah Vineyards Shenandoah Reserve Red, 2017.

The wines beat out more than 530 that were submitted to the competition. A panel of 19 judges sampled the wines over a four-week period and awarded gold medals to those scoring 90 points or higher.

The Virginia Wineries Association also announced its Industry Awards, which are presented to industry members who show excellence in their craft and act as advocates for Virginia Wine.

George Hodson, president of the Monticello Wine Trail who is with Veritas Vineyards and Winery and Flying Fox Vineyards, both located in the Monticello AVA, won the association’s David King Advocate of the Year.

Virginia Wine Person of the Year: Justin Rose of Rosemont Winery, who helped establish and now operates the 27-acre vineyard and its 6,000 annual case production.

The Gordon Murchie Lifetime Achievement Award went to Randy Phillips, general manager of Cave Ridge Vineyard and Winery in the Shenandoah Valley.

The competition is organized by the Virginia Wine Board, the Virginia Vineyards Association and the Virginia Wineries Association.


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