2013 Governor’s Cup Wines

This past week, the final tasting of the 2013 Governor’s Cup Wines was held in Charlottesville, VA.  It was a chance for people within the wine industry to taste the wines that were selected as the “best of the best” in 2013.  The next Governor’s Cup wines will be selected and presented at the end of February and they will begin their journey to tastings at various wineries throughout the state.  Events such as these are excellent opportunities for vintners, winery personnel, viticulture students, and others to ask questions and discuss, in more detail, the intricacies of creating such hallowed vintages.


For someone like me, it was a chance to see how these events are organized and have the opportunity to taste these wines without purchasing everything on my own.  Some of the wines were priced at almost $100/bottle, so this sort of event is really fun to attend.  While I didn’t attend the event on Thursday, a few of my coworkers were in attendance and shared their photos with me, so I could share them with you.

There were 11 wines (4 bottles of each) that were represented in the photos.  In  order, they were as follows:

  1. 2008 Trump Winery – Sparkling Rose (not pictured, as they had to keep the bottles cold until the very last moment before pouring)
  2. 2009 Pollak Vineyards – Cabernet Franc Reserve
  3. 2009 Lovingston Winery – Josie’s Knoll Estate Reserve
  4. 2010 King Family Vineyards – Meritage (Do you remember how to pronounce this word?  It does NOT rhyme with “garage”)
  5. 2010 RdV Vineyards – Rendezvous
  6. 2010 Philip Carter Winery – Cleve
  7. 2010 Rappahannock Cellars – Meritage
  8. 2010 Sunset Hills Vineyard – Mosaic
  9. 2010 Potomac Point – Richland Reserve Heritage
  10. 2010 Cooper Vineyards – Petit Verdot Reserve
  11. 2010 RdV Vineyards – Lost Mountain
  12. 2009 Barbousville Vineyards – Octagon 12th Edition

I had the pleasure of helping work a VWA event last spring and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  I remain excited about the wines that were chosen… they are wines that will mellow over time and continue to delight and surprise wine lovers as the wines are opened and savored.  For those in the industry, I do believe that the seminars throughout the spring are well worth any travel involved.  For the general public,  I would highly recommend any of these wines for personal purchase.  They are really great and worth the money (IMHO).




I got to help work a VWA event!

Yesterday, my friend Lynne and I were  privileged to attend a VWA (Virginia Wineries Association) Governor’s Cup Seminar at Chateau Morrisette in Floyd, VA.  This seminar is, from what I understand, organized as a way for wine industry people around the state to experience and learn about the wines that won high honors in the Governor’s Cup competition.  There are a number of these seminars that are organized by the VWA… what a fabulous experience for someone who loves wine as much as I do!

ChateauMorrisette VWA event

Chateau Morrisette was the host for this specific event on April 23, 2013.  Sally, the vivacious woman who runs their events and festivals, couldn’t have been more hospitable or gracious.  Since we had a few unforeseeable snafus, we could have all been on edge and anxious about the event, but having someone so capable and generous with the resources of her facility made things flow effortlessly.

Jay Youmans of The Capital Wine School  was the host and did an amazing job of explaining the background of the competition, the particulars of these events, and even stepping in to discuss his own findings on each wine if there was no one there to represent a specific winery or vineyard.  I had the pleasure of listening to him discuss the 2012 Governor’s Cup wines a few months ago and learning about this new case of stellar wines was again a treat.  He is the consummate professional but has a great sense of humor… if you ever have a chance to take a class from him at his wine school in Bethesda, I would highly recommend the experience.

The challenge for Lynne and me came when we found out that the Executive Director of the VWA wasn’t going to be able to make it to the event… she had a flat tire and couldn’t possibly make the four hour drive in time for the Seminar’s 1PM start. Once we knew that she was okay and got all the informational emails about setting up the event, we set off for Chateau Morrisette.  Thankfully, we were already in the area (with two cases of the Governor’s Cup wines), having taken the opportunity to drive out and visit another winery on our way, so we were able to head over to the winery early to start setting up.

These seminars are pretty amazing.  Each place setting has twelve wine glasses set, one for a taste of each of the twelve wines in the Governor’s Case.  Since the other glitch resulted in our needing to use the winery’s glasses, Lynne set about placing Chateau Morrisette’s glasses on each individual’s placemats (1-6, then 7-12) while I opened the wines that we brought with us.  The concerted effort of Sally (pulled into service to find the 348 needed glasses for the 24 registered attendees + her 5 staff members), Lynne (getting mats, glasses, water bottles, spit buckets, and napkins for each place setting), Jay (setting up all his AV equipment and quality-testing/smelling each wine to make sure nothing was corked or undrinkable), and myself (opening bottles and then pouring the individual tastes of wine with Jay’s help), we were able to help host a relaxed, enjoyable, and informative afternoon for all who attended.

I had a wonderful time at this VWA Governor’s Cup Seminar and am so glad I was able to attend.  If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of these events, please take the time to do so.  It is educational and fun – well worth the time to learn more about the amazing wines that part of each year’s Governor’s Cup Case of wines.  For more information on the Virginia Governor’s Cup Wine Competition, check out: Governor’s Cup 2013

Here are the wines we tasted, in order of offering:

2008 Trump Winery – Sparkling Rose

2009 Pollak Vineyards – Cabernet Franc Reserve

2009 Lovingston Winery – Josies Knoll Estate Reserve

2010 King Family Vineyards – Meritage

2010 RdV Vineyards – Rendezvous

2010 Philip Carter Winery – Cleve

2010 Rappahannock Cellars – Meritage

2010 Sunset Hills Vineyard – Mosaic

2010 Potomac Point – Richland Reserve Heritage

2010 Cooper Vineyards – Petit Verdot Reserve

2010 RdV Vineyards – Lost Mountain

2009 Barboursville Vineyard – Octagon 12th edition (Governor’s Cup Winner)

If you have a chance to visit one of these fine wineries or taste any of these tremendous wines, I would heartily suggest you do so… they’re outstanding!