During the 2018 Virginia Governor’s Cup, Governor Northam recognized the best wines in Virginia. While it is perfectly fine to look for these winning wines at your local grocery store, the fact is that many Virginia wines are only available at the wineries and a few select shops. Get the full experience when you visit these gorgeous wineries and taste their award-winning vintages.
—BEST IN SHOW—
In its 36th year, the Governor’s Cup has become one of the most rigorous and well respected wine competitions in the country. The highest rated wine out of over 440 entries is chosen after three days of tasting and deliberation as the Governor’s Cup Winner.
King Family Vineyards—Crozet
Governor’s Cup Winner: 2014 Meritage
Judges rated the 2014 Meritage as the overall winner for the 2018 Governor’s Cup. This is the third win for the King Family Vineyard who also took the prize in 2010, 2007 and 2004. The wine was aged 18 months in French oak and has notes of red fruit and dried rose petals. Be sure to visit the tasting room on Sundays between Memorial Day and mid-October to catch a Polo match and enjoy some wine field-side.
—GOVERNOR’S CASE WINNERS—
A panel of 40 wine experts from around the world judged 102 Virginia wines in this year’s Governor’s Cup Case, choosing the 12 best red and white wines as Governor’s Case winners.
Governor’s Case Winner: 2014 Paxxito
The 18th century estate at Barboursville Vineyards is surrounded by rolling hills blanketed in vines. Sit on the stone wall outside the tasting room on a nice day or take a seat at the patio area off the parking lot. During the week, taste the wines available at Library 1821, or on weekends, the larger Tuscan Tasting Room provides distinct tasting stations where you can try all of the 20+ wines available. In addition to the tasting rooms, Barboursville Vineyards also has a restaurant and inn on-site. And don’t miss the Barboursville Ruins just across the street from the winery, one of Jefferson’s impressive architectural endeavors.
CrossKeys Vineyard—Mt Crawford
Governor’s Case Winner: 2015 Ali d’Oro
CrossKeys Vineyards is a beautiful 150 acre vineyard located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. With gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains the tasting room is the perfect place to spend the afternoon tasting their 12 varietals.
Veritas Vineyard and Winery—Afton
Governor’s Case Winners: 2015 Petit Verdot
Veritas Vineyard and Winery is one of the most stunning wineries in Virginia, with a front-row view of the famous Blue Ridge Mountains from the back lawn. The winery has a barn-style tasting room that lends a cozy vibe, complete with a stone fireplace surrounded by couches that invites you to get comfortable as you sip on some of the finest wines in Virginia. From spring to fall, the vineyards often books wedding parties on the weekends that wish to say “I Do” in an unforgettably romantic location.
North Gate Vineyard—Purcellville
Governor’s Case Winner: 2015 Petit Verdot
Nestled on 26 acres, this environmentally friendly tasting room is LEED certified and 100% solar powered. If that isn’t impressive enough their wines have been nationally and internationally recognized with over 50 medals.
Potomac Point Winery—Stafford
Governor’s Case Winner: 2016 Cabernet Franc
Feel like visiting the Virginia version of Tuscany? We’ve found it here at Potomac Point’s tasting room. Sample their award winning wines while ordering from their Mediterranean inspired bistro menu, you won’t be disappointed. Then walk it off with a quick shopping trip in their gift shop.
The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards—Hamilton
Governor’s Case Winner: 2015 Petit Verdot & 2015 Meritage
Get cozy in the tasting room at ‘The Barns’, located in a one hundred year old barn just ten minutes outside of Leesburg. One of Virginia’s most well-known winemakers, Michael Shaps is the man behind the award winning varietals. With gorgeous views and an inviting atmosphere you’re sure to enjoy your time at The Barns.
Governor’s Case Winner: 2015 & 2016 Viognier
Stop by Jefferson Vineyards for a tasting and grab a spot on the spacious lawn, perfect for setting up a picnic to go along with your refreshing wine selection. On the hottest days, the venue’s shady deck area provides a cooler spot to sip. The winery sits at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is about a mile away from historic destinations like Monticello and Ash Lawn Highland. Sandwiches from the winery’s neighbor, SALT, pair well with the wines, or pick from the winery’s lighter fare like the locally sourced chocolates and charcuterie items sold inside the tasting room.
Early Mountain Vineyards—Madison
Governor’s Case Winner: 2015 Eluvium
Located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Early Mountain Vineyards is run by a husband and wife team who strive to craft high quality wines that reflect Virginia by paying close attention to vines, soil and climate. Visit their award winning tasting room, sip wines on the cozy outdoor patio, or stay the night in their charming guest cottage.
Governor’s Case Winner: 2016 Cabernet Franc Estate Reserve
Located just east of Charlottesville, Keswick Vineyards offers visitors the chance to see winemaking first hand from their tasting room. Sample their award winning wines in the courtyard while listening to local musicians or bring your four-legged friend to run off-leash in their fenced in dog park.
Looking for more prize-winning Virginia wines? Check out the full list of gold, silver, and bronze winners in this year’s Governor’s Cup Awards, as well as winners from previous years.