VA Wine Governor's Cup Awards for 2017 Announced

Loudoun County Vineyard Brings Home the Trophy

By Susan Able

 Hundreds from the virginia wine industry gathered in richmond at the john marshall hotel on tuesday, feb. 21 for the VA Wine Association governor's cup gala and award ceremony, hosted by the Virginia Wine Board..

Hundreds from the virginia wine industry gathered in richmond at the john marshall hotel on tuesday, feb. 21 for the VA Wine Association governor's cup gala and award ceremony, hosted by the Virginia Wine Board..

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe was on hand to award Loudoun County's The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards the prestigious 2017 Governor's Cup for their 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon. The annual award is very competitive; 494 wines from 102 Virginia wineries submitted entries for this year's competition, only 23 earned gold medals. Of the winners, five were 2014 Virginia Petit Verdot, a varietal that has come into its own to shine as star in Virginia.

The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards is owned and farmed by Maryann and Anthony Fialdini; the winery is located on eleven acres on a former dairy farm. Their partnership with renowned winemaker Michael Shaps brought home a winner. The tasting notes for their winning wine: "The...Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied wine with well-balanced acidity. It is aged in French and American oak and expresses notes of dark cherry and coffee. It is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and is complemented by a soft tannic structure that is integrated with the fruit. Clove and tobacco notes add complexity and extend through the finish."

Governor McAuliffe congratulated the Fialdinis on their win saying, “I’m excited to see The Barns at Hamilton Station Cabernet Sauvignon win this year’s Governor’s Cup. Andrew and Maryann Fialdini are seeing the results of eight years of planning and hard work come to fruition. My congratulations to them on this outstanding wine and for their success with their winery.”

The Governor also touted the growth and economic impact of the Virginia wine industry. Last year Virginia winemakers produced 8.5 million bottles of Virginia grown wine with a $1.3B impact on the Virginia economy, an increase of 82 percent from the last economic impact study conducted in 2010. And Virginia wine tourism is also growing rapidly, up 39 percent since 2010.

 David King of King Vineyards and Emily Pelton of Veritas Vineyards, award winners at last night 2017 Governor's Cup Gala in Richmond.

David King of King Vineyards and Emily Pelton of Veritas Vineyards, award winners at last night 2017 Governor's Cup Gala in Richmond.

Virginia Wine Person of the Year Award went to Emily Pelton from Veritas Vineyards for her work as a winemaker and for her leadership with the VA Wine Research Exchange Project. David King from King Vineyards won the Gordon Murchie Lifetime Achievement Award for his over twenty years of leadership in the Virginia industry, including past president of the VA Wine Board.

 Virginia governor terry mc auliffe celebrated with the award winning winemakers at last nght's gala, here lifTing a glass with the team from  horton vineyards  who produced a gold medal winning vigonier.

Virginia governor terry mc auliffe celebrated with the award winning winemakers at last nght's gala, here lifTing a glass with the team from horton vineyards who produced a gold medal winning vigonier.

Each year the Virginia Wineries Association chooses a Governor's Cup Case, this year's 2017 Governor's Cup case features top ranking red and white wines from the competition. The awards and the Governor’s Cup Case were created to showcase the quality of the Virginia wine region through various marketing programs and exposure to top wine critics and tastemakers. This year's featured wines in the Governor's Cup Case are:

  • Barboursville Vineyards 2013 Paxxito
  • Breaux Vineyards 2012 Meritage
  • Horton Vineyards 2015 Viognier
  • Ingleside Vineyards, 2014 Petit Verdot
  • Jefferson Vineyards, 2014 Petit Verdot
  • King Family Vineyards, 2014 Loreley
  • King Family Vineyards, 2014 Petit Verdot
  • Michael Shaps Wineworks, 2014 Meritage
  • Valley Road Vineyards, 2014 Petit Verdot
  • Veritas Vineyard and Winery, 2014 Petit Manseng
  • Veritas Vineyard and Winery, 2014 Petit Verdot Paul Shaffer 6th Edition

For more information on Virginia wine, go to vawine.org.