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Casanel, Ingleside, Horton take gold in Virginia State Fair Wine Competition

Katie DeSouza is vineyard manager and winemaker at Casanel winery several miles west of downtown Leesburg. Facebook Photo
Casanel Vineyards and Winery in western Leesburg once again finds itself listed among perennial Virginia wine powerhouses like Barboursville and Horton vineyards following the 2017 Virginia State Fair Wine Competition.

Casanel's 2014 Petit Verdot is among 20 Virginia wines from 12 wineries that earned gold in this year's contest.

Barboursville Vineyards (Monticello AVA) took gold for its ever-popular Octagon red blend -- the 2014 edition -- and Horton Vineyards (Monticello AVA) claimed three golds for its 2014 Petit Reserve, 2014 Tannat and 2016 Viognier.

“Any time a Loudoun County winery is mentioned or medals alongside wineries of such note, the press that comes from it helps not only that winery, but also the county as a whole,” said Katie DeSouza, vineyard manager and winemaker at Casanel. “We proudly bring home the gold for our county for the second year in a row, which further helps us to represent and promote our mission to grow and craft high-quality wine produced right here in Loudoun.”

Ingleside Plantation Vineyards (Westmoreland County), among the oldest wineries in Virginia, claimed the most gold medals in this year's fair contest with five.

Here's the full list of gold medal honorees:

-Barboursville Vineyards – Octagon 2014
-Casanel Vineyards – Petit Verdot 2014
-Chateau MerrillAnne LLC – Petit Verdot 2015
-Chateau Morrisette – Archival II 2013
-Cunningham CreekWinery – Petit Manseng 2015
-Generals Ridge Vineyard – Petit Manseng 2015
-Generals Ridge Vineyard – Petit Verdot 2014
-Horton Vineyards – Petit Reserve 2014
-Horton Vineyards – Tannat 2014
-Horton Vineyards – Viognier 2016
-Ingleside Plantation Vineyards – Albariño 2016
-Ingleside Plantation Vineyards – Right Bank 2014
-Ingleside Plantation Vineyards – Left Bank 2014
-Ingleside Plantation Vineyards – Virginia Gold 2014
-Ingleside Plantation Vineyards – Petit Verdot 2014
-Mountain Run Winery – Chardonnay 2015
-Naked Mountain Vineyard – Cabernet Franc 2015
-Slater Run Vineyards – Roots 2014
-Vint Hill Craft Winery – Covert Wineworks Bebe Le Franc 2015
-Vint Hill Craft Winery – Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

More than 110 wines from nearly 25 wineries and meaderies partook in the competition. A panel of 10 wine experts rated each wine on a 100-point scale at The Meadow Event Park in Doswell last month. Gold and silver medals were given to the highest-scoring wines in the upper 33rd percent of entries.

"The quality of the reds -- deep and rich -- really impressed me this year, especially the petit verdot and Meritage blends.” said Patrick Getlein, a Richmond-based wine guru who has judged the competition for 14 years. "What I really like about judging the fair is I get to sample over 100 wines blind, and there are always ones I've never heard of that really impress me. It's a good reminder to try new things."

The Best in Show white and red wines will be announced Sept. 28 at the fair’s benefit gala, Black Tie & Boots, in Caroline County.

The Best in Show rosé was announced along with the gold and silver medal winners. Nearby Slater Run Vineyards in Fauquier County claimed that distinction for its 2016 Rosé, a blend of 76 percent cabernet franc and 24 percent cabernet sauvignon.

Spearheaded by Virginia wine pros Richard Carew and George Davis, who have long-served as judges for the contest, the State Fair's wine competition is in its 24th year.

The state fair will run from Sept. 29-Oct. 8 at The Meadow Event Park in Doswell, just north of Richmond. Visit http://www.StateFairVa.org for more information.


Editor's note: Times-Mirror Managing Editor Trevor Baratko, the author of this story, served as a judge of the 2017 State Fair Wine Competition. Contact him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or on Twitter at @TrevorBaratko.

Times-Mirror Managing Editor Trevor Baratko, left, tastes wine at the State Fair of Virginia Wine Competition next to William Booth Hardy, the owner and operator of Barrel Thief Wine Shop & Cafe in Richmond. Courtesy Photo/Patrick Getlein


Congrats Katie! Quite an honor for you, Casanel, Loudoun wines, and “women in wine”!

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