At a ceremony on Feb. 21 at the John Marshall Ballroom in Richmond, Gov. Terry McAuliffe presented the 2017 Governor’s Cup to Andrew and Maryann Fialdini, owners of The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards, for their 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon.

“I’m excited to see The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards’ Cabernet Sauvignon win this year’s Governor’s Cup,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Andrew and Maryann Fialdini are seeing the results of eight years of planning and hard work come to fruition. My congratulations to them on this outstanding wine.”

The Barns’ 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon bested more than 490 other Virginia wines to win the 2017 Governor’s Cup. This year’s competition included 494 wines (up from 432 in the 2016 competition) submitted from 102 wineries (up from 95 last year). Twenty-three wines earned a gold medal in this year’s competition.

The 2017 competition marks the first Governor’s Cup win for a Loudoun County-based winery.

Situated on 11 acres in the town of Hamilton, about 10 minutes northwest of Leesburg, the Fialdinis founded The Barns at Hamilton Station in 2010 and planted three acres of grapevines on the property in 2011.

Noted Charlottesville-based winemaker and viticultural consultant Michael Shaps serves as The Barns’ winemaker. Shaps sourced the fruit for the 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon from Carter’s Mountain Vineyard in Charlottesville and Mount Juliet Vineyard in White Hall.

The Barns’ 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon was aged in French and American oak and offers notes of cassis, espresso and dark berries. Just 124 cases were produced, and it’s only available for purchase at the winery tasting room. The retail price of the wine is $35.

Two other awards were presented during the gala. Emily Pelton, winemaker at Veritas Vineyard & Winery in Afton, was named Virginia Wine Person of the Year, and David King, founder of King Family Vineyards in Crozet, was presented with the Gordon W. Murchie Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Governor’s Cup competition is sponsored by the Virginia Wineries Association, in partnership with the gubernatorial-appointed Virginia Wine Board and the Virginia Vineyards Association. The 2017 competition marks the 35th Virginia Governor’s Cup and the sixth year of the revamped format under the leadership of head judge Jay Youmans.

The 2017 Virginia Governor’s Case

Joining the Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards’ 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, 11 other Virginian wines are included in the 2017 Governor’s Cup Case:
Barboursville Vineyards 2013 Paxxito
Breaux Vineyards 2012 Meritage
Horton Vineyards 2015 Viognier
Ingleside Vineyards, 2014 Petit Verdot
Jefferson Vineyards, 2014 Petit Verdot
King Family Vineyards, 2014 Loreley
King Family Vineyards, 2014 Petit Verdot
Michael Shaps Wineworks, 2014 Meritage
Valley Road Vineyards, 2014 Petit Verdot
Veritas Vineyard and Winery, 2014 Petit Manseng
Veritas Vineyard and Winery, 2014 Petit Verdot Paul Shaffer 6th Edition

Written By

Frank Morgan