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Charlottesville-area wineries win big at Virginia Governor’s Cup Competition

Central Virginia wines, specifically those from the Monticello region surrounding Charlottesville, will once again carry home the most medals of any region from the commonwealth’s prestigious Governor’s Cup Competition.

Out of 614 entries from across the state and 66 medal winners, the Central Virginia winemakers secured 72 medals in this year’s competition, more than double last year’s 29 and the largest share of this year’s 142 gold medal winners. The Monticello area secured 58 of those gold medals.

The top honor, the Virginia Governor’s Cup itself, will be awarded in Richmond later this month.

Michael Shaps Wineworks near Keene secured the most gold medals of any winery with eight. In a close second, King Family Vineyards of Crozet won seven. Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards of North Garden won six. All three are members of the Monticello viticultural area.

Red wines were the big winner this year, according to the Virginia Wineries Association, which puts on the competition.

“The overall quality of the wines was the highest we have seen,” competition director Jay Youmans said in a statement. “Leading the way are the red blends, many of which are produced in a Meritage style, Petit Verdot, Petit Manseng and Cabernet Franc.”

Red wines won more than half of this year’s medals. There were 28 red blends, 24 Petit Verdots, 16 Cabernet Francs and 11 Petit Mansengs that took home gold.

“The Virginia Wineries Association is thrilled to announce this incredible number of gold medal winning-wines,” association President George Hodson said in a statement. “The gold medals span eight regions and are crafted with over 20 grape varieties all grown in Virginia, producing quality wines expressive of their farms and the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Hodson is also the general manager of Veritas Vineyard and Winery in Afton, which won three gold medals.

The Governor’s Cup Competition also awarded nine ciders with gold medals in a standalone category first introduced in 2021. Four Central Virginia ciders were recognized: the 2021 Orchard Blush and 2021 Wickson from Albemarle CiderWorks of North Garden and the 2020 Orchard Select and 2021 Serendipity from Castle Hill Cider of Keswick.

The Virginia Wine Board will host a gala at Richmond’s Main Street Station on Feb. 23 to unveil the competition’s three top prizes: the Governor’s Cup Case comprising the 12 highest-scoring red and white wines, the best-in-show cider and the Governor’s Cup itself.

Last year’s Governor’s Cup winner was Cana Vineyards of Middleburg. Winemaker Melanie Natoli accepted the prize, becoming the first woman in the competition’s 40-year history to receive the award.

Tickets for the gala are on sale now. General admission costs $250. VIP admission costs $650 and provides early access to the event, preferred seating, souvenirs and a “passport” providing tastings for each ticketholder and a guest at each of the Virginia Governor’s Cup Case-winning wineries through Dec. 31.

Starting March 1, Virginia wine enthusiasts looking to taste the winning wines can sign up for the Gold Medal Wine Trail, a mobile passport that features the 66 gold medalists. Users can check in at participating venues and unlock access to exclusive prizes and offers. For more information or to preregister for the Gold Medal Wine Trail, visit:

The gold medal-winning wineries from the Monticello area this year include:

Afton Mountain Vineyards: 2021 Albariño.Barboursville Vineyards: 2021 Fiano.Barboursville Vineyards: 2021 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve.Barboursville Vineyards: 2021 Vermentino Reserve.Chestnut Oak Vineyard: 2019 Nebbiolo.Chestnut Oak Vineyard: 2019 Petit Verdot.Cunningham Creek Winery: 2019 Rivanna Red.Delfosse Vineyards and Winery: 2020 Petit Verdot Reserve.Delfosse Vineyards and Winery: 2021 Go-Go Girl.Delfosse Vineyards and Winery: 2021 Screaming Hawk.Eastwood Farm and Winery: Petit Manseng.Eastwood Farm and Winery: 2021 Chardonnay.Grace Estate Winery: 2021 First Baron Sauvignon Blanc.Hark Vineyards: 2019 Petit Manseng.Hark Vineyards: 2021 Petit Manseng.Jefferson Vineyards: 2019 Meritage.Jefferson Vineyards: 2019 Petit Verdot Reserve.Jefferson Vineyards: 2019 Petit Verdot Reserve Upper Vineyard.

Jefferson Vineyards: 2021 Petit Manseng.

Keswick Vineyards: 2021 Cabernet Franc.Keswick Vineyards: 2021 Trevillian Red.King Family Vineyards: 2017 Meritage.King Family Vineyards: 2019 Brut Rosé.King Family Vineyards: 2019 Meritage.King Family Vineyards: 2019 Petit Verdot.King Family Vineyards: 2019 Small Batch Viognier.King Family Vineyards: 2021 Mountain Plains Rosé.King Family Vineyards: 2021 Viognier.Michael Shaps Wineworks: 2019 Chardonnay.Michael Shaps Wineworks: 2019 Petit Manseng.Michael Shaps Wineworks: 2019 Petit Verdot.Michael Shaps Wineworks: 2020 Cabernet Franc.Michael Shaps Wineworks: 2020 Meritage.Michael Shaps Wineworks: 2020 Petit Verdot.Michael Shaps Wineworks: 2020 Roussanne.Michael Shaps Wineworks: 2020 Tannat.Moss Vineyards: 2021 Moss Cider.Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards: 2017 Wild Acre Reserve.Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards: 2019 Petit Verdot.Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards: 2021 Cabernet Franc.Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards: 2021 Chardonnay.Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards: 2021 Petit Manseng.Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards: 2021 Sauvignon Blanc.Pollak Vineyards: 2017 Meritage.Pollak Vineyards: 2019 Meritage.Pollak Vineyards: 2019 Merlot Reserve.Pollak Vineyards: 2019 Petit Verdot.Pollak Vineyards: 2021 Sauvignon Blanc.Stinson Vineyards: 2019 Meritage.Trump Winery: 2016 Blanc de Noir.Trump Winery: 2016 Brut Reserve.Trump Winery: 2017 Blanc de Blanc.Trump Winery: 2019 New World Reserve.Trump Winery: 2021 Sauvignon Blanc.Veritas Winery: Scintilla.Veritas Winery: 2019 Petit Verdot.Veritas Winery: 2019 Veritas Reserve.Wisdom Oak Winery: 2019 Chambourcin.


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