Highway lights and the roaring railroad illuminated Richmond’s Main Street Station for the 36th annual Virginia Governor’s Cup. This yearly event hosted by the Virginia Wineries Association celebrates the greatest wines of the Commonwealth and their vintners’ dedication to using 100 percent Virginia-grown fruits.
For the 2019 competition, over 100 Virginia wineries submitted a total of 510 state-made blends. Sixty-eight varieties of Virginia sparklings, Cabernet Francs, Chardonnays, Petit Verdot and a plethora of other vintages were selected as gold medal wines.
During the February event in downtown Richmond, President of the Virginia Wineries Association Justin Rose also announced the Wine Person of the Year. Earning the prestigious title was Mitzi Batterson, owner of James River Cellars Winery in Glen Allen.
Announcing the recipient of this year’s Gordon Murchie Lifetime Achievement Award was Chair of the Virginia Wine Board, Kirk Wiles. Wiles awarded Jim Corcoran of Waterford’s Corcoran Vineyards & Cidery for his meritorious service to the state wine industry.
Up next was the announcement of the 2019 Governor’s Cup Case Wines. Cindi Causey of the Virginia Wineries Association Board recognized seven wineries whose red and white blends advanced to the ranks of 12 case winners. Leading wineries included Barboursville Vineyards, Early Mountain Vineyards, Glen Manor Vineyards, Horton Vineyards, King Family Vineyards, Paradise Springs Winery and Virginia Wineworks.
Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring offered brief remarks before inviting Gov. Ralph Northam to the stage to recognize the 2019 Governor’s Cup Winner.
Winning the hulking silver trophy was Gordonsville’s Horton Vineyards for its 2016 Petit Manseng. The crisp white breathes intense aromatic flavors and leaves an explosion of flavors and acidic touches on the palate.
The evening culminated with further tastings and a celebration of Virginia winemakers beneath city lights.