Breaux Bottles

Nine local wines from eight Loudoun County wineries secured gold medals in the annual Governor's Cup Virginia wine competition.

Breaux Vineyards, located just outside Hillsboro, produced two gold-winning wines -- its 2015 Nebbiolo and 2016 Merlot. The additional Loudoun County golds were:

-Greenhill Vineyards' 2016 Mythology

-Lost Creek Winery's 2017 Cabernet Franc

-Sunset Hills Vineyard's 2017 Mosaic

-The Barns at Hamilton Station's 2017 Meritage

-Winery 32's 2016 Thoroughbred Blend

-Zephaniah Farm Vineyard's 2017 Friendship

-868 Estate Vineyards' 2017 Vidal Blanc

Sixty-four Virginia wines from 40 wineries claimed gold medals. More than 530 wines were entered into the competition, now in its 38th year.

“Virginia wines continue to impress, year over year,” Jay Youmans, a master of wine and the competition's director, said in a prepared statement. “The overall quality continues to grow, and every vintage tells a fascinating story.”

Jen Breaux, vice president at Breaux Vineyards, said she “absolutely loved that their merlot received a gold.”

“It seems to be such an overlooked and underrated grape in Virginia. I'm really pleased that it stood out. This vintage is full of fruit with a nice kick of supple tannin and kiss of integrated oak,” Breaux told the Times-Mirror. “Nebbiolo, despite its lighter color – it's bold … This vintage has the classic aromas of nebbiolo – lots of anise and cherry and hints of rose, leather and clay. It's all topped with yummy caramelized notes. It's just so easy drinking … This grape is close to my heart and one that is not readily planted in Virginia, making for a unique contender.”

From the 64 gold-medal winners, the 12 highest-scoring wines will comprise the celebrated Governor's Case. The top-scoring wine will be honored with the Governor's Cup.

Both the cup and the case will be announced at a private ceremony in Richmond Feb. 25.

With more than 40 wineries in operation, Loudoun is home to more wineries than any other county in Virginia.

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This is a Times-Mirror news alert. Check back for updates and the full list of gold medal winners from across the commonwealth. Click here to learn more about the Governor's Cup.

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