The 2018 Virginia Governor’s Cup

The Competition.

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In 2018, over forty world-class judges sampled just over 440 of the best Virginia Wines from 100 Virginia Wineries across the state. The highest 12 ranking red & white wines were selected as part of the Governor’s Case and were highlighted along with all gold medalists at the Virginia Governor’s Cup Gala on Tuesday, February 27th, 2018. Wines were scored on the 100-point Wine Spectator scale, with judges looking at the following characteristics:

  • Appearance: clear or dull, color, intensity, other visual observations
  • Aroma: descriptors as to clean or faulty aromatics, fruit, floral, vegetal, spice, oak, chemical, animal, and intensity
  • Flavor: dry, off dry, etc. RS, character of the alcohol, acidity, body, tannin, oak, fruit, floral, vegetal, spice, oak, chemical, animal, and intensity
  • Overall Quality
  • Commercial Suitability

Overalls scores were used to determine the top 12 and medal status– Gold (90-100 points), Silver (85-89 points), or Bronze (80-84 points).

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The Case.

While in 2017 it seemed that nearly every other wine in the case was a Petit Verdot (no argument here), the 2018 case is quite unique, illustrating the ever-changing and creative industry of Virginia Wine. The 2018 case is filled with some of the classic high performing varietals with three PV’s, three Meritage’s (Bordeaux-style blends), two Cabernet Francs and two Viognier’s. But, and somewhat surprisingly, the case also contains one ice wine and one dessert wine.


Each year, the top honor goes to the highest scoring individual wine. This year it was the 2014 Meritage from King Family Vineyards in Crozet, VA, one our favorite Central Virginia wineries. King Family Vineyards is in good company this year with many of our favorite #drinklocal spots making the cut! The other case members are:

  • 2015 Petit Verdot from The Barns at Hamilton Station
  • 2016 Cabernet Franc from Potomac Point Winery
  • 2015 Ali d’Oro from Cross Keys Vineyard
  • 2015 Petit Verdot from Veritas Vineyards & Winery
  • 2015 Petit Verdot from Northgate Vineyard
  • 2014 Paxxito from Barboursville Vineyards
  • 2014 Meritage from King Family Vineyards
  • 2015 Meritage from The Barns at Hamilton Station
  • 2015 Viognier from Jefferson Vineyards
  • 2016 Cabernet Franc Estate Reserve from Keswick Vineyards
  • 2015 Eluvium from Early Mountain Vineyards
  • 2014 Viognier from Jefferson Vineyards

We haven’t yet tasted all of these varietals, but with our past experience with each of these labels we know we can expect great things! Cheers to another great year of Virginia wine and the 2018 champ, King Family Vineyards!

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