Breaux, Sunset Hills and The Barns at Hamilton Station take gold in Governor’s Cup wine competition
Announced Wednesday by the Virginia Wine marketing office, Breaux Vineyards' 2012 and 2014 meritages, The Barns at Hamilton Station's 2014 Meritage and 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon and Sunset Hills Vineyard's 2012 Mosaic, a Bordeaux-style blend, took gold in this year's contest, which saw 494 entries from 102 of the commonwealth's wineries.
Nate Walsh was the winemaker of Sunset Hills' Mosaic, while The Barns at Hamilton Station wine is crafted by Charlottesville-based vintner Michael Shaps, a luminary in the Virginia wine industry. Heather Munden, who recently relocated to Napa Valley, served as the winemaker for Breaux's award-winners.
Jen Breaux of Breaux Vineyards said “we are amongst so many quality wine producers in Virginia, and this acknowledgment is quite an honor for us and a tip of the hat for Loudoun County terroir.”
Mike Canney, the owner of Sunset Hills, said "Mosaic represents our best efforts at grape growing and winemaking in Virginia."
"There are a lot of good wines and wineries on the list, I am excited to see who will win," he said.
Sales of Virginia wine hit a record high in fiscal 2016 with more than 556,700 cases, or 6.6 million bottles, sold.
Of the 23 gold medal honorees – 18 red wines and 5 whites – 12 will be selected for the prestigious Governor's Case, which will be announced at a gala in Richmond Feb. 21. The overall top-scoring wine will be decorated with the Governor's Cup. A Loudoun County wine has never secured the top honor in the competition.
Governor's Cup entries must consist of 100 percent Virginia fruit and include an affidavit with a certification of 100 percent state fruit and wine specifics, including the grape grower's name, grape location, alcohol, acidity or basicity and residual sugar.
Currently in its 35th year, the competition was restructured in 2012 "to become one of the most stringent and thorough wine competitions in the country," according to the Virginia Wine office.
This year's gold medal winners are:
-Barboursville Vineyards 2013 Paxxito
-Barboursville Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Franc
-Breaux Vineyards Ltd. 2012 Meritage
-Breaux Vineyards Ltd. 2014 Meritage
-Cardinal Point Winery 2014 Union
-CrossKeys Vineyards 2015 Cabernet Franc
-Horton Vineyards 2015 Viognier
-Ingleside Vineyards 2014 Petit Verdot
-Jefferson Vineyards 2012 Meritage
-Jefferson Vineyards 2014 Petit Verdot
-King Family Vineyards Brut
-King Family Vineyards 2014 Loreley
-King Family Vineyards 2014 Petit Verdot
-Michael Shaps 2014 Meritage
-Michael Shaps 2014 Cabernet Franc
-Pollak Vineyards 2013 Cabernet Franc Reserve
-Sunset Hills Vineyard 2012 Mosaic
-The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
-The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards 2014 Meritage
-Upper Shirley Vineyards 2014 Zachariah
-Valley Road Vineyards 2014 Petit Verdot
-Veritas Vineyards & Winery 2014 Petit Manseng
-Veritas Vineyards & Winery 2014 Petit Verdot Paul Shaffer 6th Edit
Correction: A previous version of this story listed Nate Walsh as the winemaker at Sunset Hills. While Walsh served as the previous winemaker, including for the winery's gold medal-winning wine, he is not the current Sunset Hills vintner.
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