Governor’s Cup Gold Medal Winners


Date: February 9, 2018

Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office

Contact: Annette Boyd

Phone: 804-402-1896


Virginia Wineries Association Announces

2018 Governor’s Cup® Gold Medalists, The Virginia Wine Person of the Year, & The Virginia Wine Lifetime Achievement Award

            Richmond, Va. (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, which was held over a four-week period during late January and early February. Now in its 36th year, 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

The esteemed panel of judges, directed by Jay Youmans – one of only 45 Masters of Wine (MW) in the U.S. – had the difficult task of ranking each wine based on a unified scoring system. Any wine made from 100% Virginia fruit is eligible for the Governor’s Cup Competition (ciders and fruit wines 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.

Commenting on this year’s judging, Jay Youmans 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. The gala is a private invitation only event.  

            The rapid growth of Virginia’s vibrant wine industry has made it one of the fastest growing agricultural sectors in the state. 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. 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.

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. Mr. Britt passed away in May 2017. Described as a “well-known pillar of the community,” he founded Britt Marketing & Public Relations in 1981, concentrating on clients in commerce and industry. Britt’s interest in wine and the Virginia wine industry began some ten years ago with a budding interest in visiting local wineries, resulting in many friendships with winery owners, winemakers, staff personnel, and others in the industry. Beginning in 2008, Britt dedicated himself to promoting the industry with the online publication, Official Virginia Wine Lover. He has served as consultant for a number of wine festivals around the state; in 2013, Britt initiated his own event in Lynchburg, the James River Wine & Music Festival. 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, 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, but her practical education began in Virginia – working as a vineyard manager on her family’s farm along the banks of the Potomac River. 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.

For interviews and photo requests, please contact Annette Boyd at 802.402.1896 or

For more information about the Governor’s Cup or events, tours and tastings, please visit the Virginia Wine Marketing Office’s website at or call 804‐344‐8200.

2018 Governor’s Cup Gold Medalists

WineryVintageWine TypeYear
868 Estate VineyardsCabernet Franc ReserveCabernet Franc2015
868 Estate VineyardsMeritage ReserveMeritage2015
Afton Mountain VineyardsChardonnay Estate ReserveChardonnay2016
Afton Mountain VineyardsTraditionMeritage2016
Barboursville VineyardsOctagonMeritage2012
Barboursville VineyardsPaxxitoDessert2013
Barboursville VineyardsPaxxitoDessert2014
Barboursville VineyardsOctagonMeritage2014
Barboursville VineyardsOctagonMeritage2015
Barboursville VineyardsVermentino ReserveVermentino2016
Bluestone Vineyard, Inc.CadenzaMeritage2014
Bluestone Vineyard, Inc.Petit MansengPetit Manseng2016
Bold Rock Hard CiderCrimson Red Vintage DryCiderNV
Bozzo Family Vineyards LLC2nd ActMeritage2016
Breaux VineyardsMeritageMeritage2015
Breaux VineyardsNebbioloNebbiolo2015
Casanel Vineyards & WineryPetit VerdotPetit Verdot2015
Castle Hill CiderSerendipityCider2016
Chateau Morrisette2015 Petit VerdotPetit Verdot2015
Chisholm Vineyards at Adventure FarmsViognier2016Viognier2016
Cooper Vineyards53rd Winery and Vineyard Petit VerdotPetit Verdot2015
CrossKeys VineyardsAli d’OroDessert2015
Doukenie WineryPetit VerdotPetit Verdot2015
Doukenie WineryVintner’s ReserveMeritage2015
Doukenie WineryCabernet FrancCabernet Franc2015
Ducard VineyardsPetit VerdotPetit Verdot2014
Ducard VineyardsSignature ViognierViognier2016
Early Mountain VineyardsEluvium 2014Meritage2014
Early Mountain VineyardsEluvium 2015Meritage2015
Early Mountain VineyardsQuaker Run Chardonnay 2016Chardonnay2015
Early Mountain VineyardsChardonnay 2016Chardonnay2016
Early Mountain VineyardsNovum 2015Meritage2015
Effingham Manor & WineryTannatTannat2014
Flying Fox VineyardTrioMeritage2015
Flying Fox VineyardViognierViognier2016
Fox Meadow WineryLe Renard RougeMeritage2015
Glen Manor VineyardsHodder HillMeritage2013
Glen Manor VineyardsHodder HillMeritage2014
Glen Manor VineyardsHodder HillMeritage2015
Granite Heights WineryLomax ReserveMeritage2012
Ingleside VineyardsVirginia GoldMeritage2014
Ingleside VineyardsLeft BankMeritage2014
Jefferson Vineyards, LPMeritageMeritage2014
Jefferson Vineyards, LPViognierViognier2015
Jefferson Vineyards, LPViognierViognier2016
Keswick VineyardsCabernet Franc Estate ReserveCabernet Franc2016
King Family VineyardsMeritageMeritage2014
King Family VineyardsMountain PlainsMeritage2015
King Family VineyardsLoreleyDessert2015
King Family VineyardsViognier (Small Batch Series)Viognier2016
King Family VineyardsChardonnayChardonnay2016
Lost Creek WineryReserve ChardonnayChardonnay2015
Michael Shaps WineworksMichael Shaps L. ScottTannat blend2013
Michael Shaps WineworksMichael Shaps MeritageMeritage2014
Michael Shaps WineworksMichael Shaps Petit VerdotPetit Verdot2015
Michael Shaps WineworksMichael Shaps L. ScottTannat blend2015
Michael Shaps WineworksMichael Shaps Petit MansengPetit Manseng2015
Michael Shaps WineworksMichael Shaps ChardonnayChardonnay2015
Michael Shaps WineworksMichael Shaps MeritageMeritage2015
Michael Shaps WineworksMichael Shaps Cabernet FrancCabernet Franc2015
Michael Shaps WineworksMichael Shaps Petit MansengPetit Manseng2016
Mountain and Vine Vineyards and Winery, dba Delfosse Vineyards and WineryGrand Cru ReserveMeritage2016
Muse VineyardsThaliaMarsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier2016
Naked Mountain VineyardTannatTannat2016
Narmada WineryYash VirMeritage2014
North Gate VineyardPetit VerdotPetit Verdot2015
Paradise Springs WineryPVTTannat blend2013
Paradise Springs WineryMeritageMeritage2015
Paradise Springs WineryCabernet FrancCabernet Franc2015
Paradise Springs WineryPetit MansengPetit Manseng2016
Paradise Springs WineryChardonnayChardonnay2016
Pearmund CellarsAmeritage ReserveMeritage2015
Pearmund CellarsPetit MansengPetit Manseng2016
Pippin Hill Farm & VineyardsVintner’s Meritage ReserveMeritage2013
Pippin Hill Farm & VineyardsCabernet SauvignonCabernet Sauvignon2015
Pippin Hill Farm & VineyardsMerlot ReserveMerlot2015
Pippin Hill Farm & VineyardsViognierViognier2016
Pollak VineyardsMeritageMeritage2013
Pollak VineyardsMeritageMeritage2014
Pollak VineyardsCabernet Franc ReserveCabernet Franc2015
Potomac Point WineryCabernet FrancCabernet Franc2016
Stinson VineyardsChardonnayChardonnay2015
Tarara WineryNevaeh RedMerlot/Syrah Blend2015
Thistle Gate Vineyard LLCPetit VerdotPetit Verdot2015
Trump WinerySparkling Blanc de Noir 2012Sparkling2012
Two Twisted Posts Winery LLCThomas GreatMeritage2014
Upper Shirley CellarsUpper Shirley TannatTannat2015
Valley Road Vineyards, LCViognierViognier2015
Veritas Vineyards & WineryPetit VerdotPetit Verdot2015
Veritas Vineyards & WineryVintner’s ReserveMeritage2015
Veritas Vineyards & WineryViognierViognier2016
Veritas Vineyards & WinerySauvignon BlancSauvignon Blanc2016
Virginia CellarsThe Barns at Hamilton Station Petit VerdotPetit Verdot2015
Virginia CellarsThe Barns at Hamilton Station MeritageMeritage2015
Virginia CellarsHamlet Vineyards Petit VerdotPetit Verdot2015
Virginia CellarsBrix & Columns Vineyards ViognierViognier2016
Virginia CellarsNicewonder Vineyards ViognierViognier2016
Whitebarrel WineryFig WineFruit WineNV
Willowcroft Farm VineyardsWillowcroft Assemblage SelectMeritage2015