FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 15, 2019
Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office
Contact: Annette Boyd Phone: 804-402-1896
Virginia Wineries Association Announces 2019 Governor’s Cup® Gold Medalists
Richmond, Va. (Feb. 15, 2019) – The Virginia Wineries Association Governor’s Cup® Wine Competition judging is complete, with 68 Virginia wines awarded gold medals in the 2019 Virginia wine competition. Held over a four-week period during late January and early February, the competition, now in its 37th year, 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 510 entries of both red and white wines, an increase of 15% from the number of 2018 entries. 102 different Virginia wineries submitted wines. Gold medal-winning wines scored a 90 or higher on a 100-point score range (a full list is included at the bottom of this release).
Gold medal winners come from across the state’s wine growing regions, underscoring the diverse landscapes and varied conditions that produce wines that embody the grace, grit and experimental spirit of Virginia Wine. Blue Ridge 1 Gold Central VA 40 Golds Eastern VA 4 Golds Northern VA 19 Golds Shenandoah Valley 3 Golds Southern VA 1 Gold In addition, 69% of 2019 gold medal winners are red wines, many of which are red blends. Bordeaux-Style red blends are well established and account for continuous high acclaim throughout the Commonwealth. While their blending percentages vary greatly across vineyards and vintages, the end products are lush and layered—built to age but ready-to-drink now.
The esteemed panel of judges was directed by Jay Youmans – one of only 51 Masters of Wine (MW) in the U.S. – who has overseen the competition for eight years. Commenting on this year’s entries, Jay Youmans said, “Every vintage is a new adventure, as shown in the overall quality of the wines, ciders, meads, and fruit wines. This year was perhaps the best ever. Not surprising were the over 100 outstanding red Bordeaux blends submitted. There was also a record of 50 Petit Verdots entered this year. Many of the judges commented on the high quality of the Cabernet Francs, Viogniers, Sparkling wines, dessert wines, Chardonnays and Petit Mansengs tasted.” Virginia’s vibrant wine industry – a 400-year-old “experiment” – has made it a significant agricultural sector in the state.
Today, there are nearly 300 wineries in Virginia that cultivate over 3,800 acres of grapes. Grape varieties like Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Petit Manseng and Petit Verdot—relative obscurities and bit-players in Old World wine traditions—are taking center stage in Virginia. Both the Governor’s Cup® Competition and the resulting Governor’s Cup Case® boost the visibility of the Virginia wine region through various marketing programs and exposure to top wine critics and tastemakers. Of the gold medal winning wines, 12 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 at the Virginia Governor’s Cup Gala on February 26, 2019; the other 11 wines that make the Governor’s Cup Case® will also be recognized. The gala is a private invitation-only event.
About the Governor’s Cup® Competition The judging panel ranks each wine based on a unified scoring system. Any wine made from 100% Virginia fruit is eligible for the Governor’s Cup Competition (ciders, fruit wines and meads) have their own categories). 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.
For interviews and photo requests, please contact Annette Boyd at 802.402.1896 or Annette.Boyd@Virginiawine.org. For more information about the Governor’s Cup or events, tours and tastings, please visit the Virginia Wine Marketing Office’s website at http://www.virginiawine.org/ or call 804-344-8200.