The swirling, sipping, and savoring are over. Delfosse Vineyards and Winery, which is rebranding itself as Mountain & Vine Vineyards and Winery, won the prestigious 2023 Virginia Governor’s Cup for its 2021 Screaming Hawk Meritage. The wine from Faber, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a signature estate red blend of 50 percent petit verdot, 30 percent cabernet sauvignon, 10 percent cabernet franc, and 10 percent malbec.
A panel of wine experts sampled 614 wines from Virginia’s four leading wine-producing regions — Northern Virginia, Central Virginia, Eastern Virginia, and the Shenandoah Valley — in the 41st annual competition. The winners were announced in late February.
The judges evaluated the wines on a 100-point scale for appearance, aroma, flavor, commercial suitability, and overall quality. The scale is the same one used by Wine Spectator, The Wine Advocate, and Wine Enthusiast.
Eleven other wines joined the winner to become the Governor’s Cup Case.
One-third of the case is made up of Meritage (a Bordeaux-style blend), and petit verdot constitutes another third. Two petit mansengs, a vermentino, and a sparkling pinot noir round out the dozen.
Clifton’s Paradise Springs Winery had a 2021 petit verdot, and 50 West Vineyards of Middleburg had a 2020 petit manseng in the case. Sixty-six wineries received a total of 142 gold medals. Of those 142, wineries in Fairfax, Fauquier, and Loudoun counties accounted for 33 golds.
Paradise Springs picked up six gold medals, while Barrel Oak Winery in Delaplane earned two. Thirteen Loudoun wineries won 25 gold medals.
Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg, the 2022 Virginia Gold Cup winner, earned a gold for its 2021 petit manseng.
Judges tasted Virginia ciders for the third year. Albemarle CiderWorks in North Garden received the Best in Show award for its Orchard Bush cider.
Taking Home the Gold
These NoVA wineries won gold medals for their wines this year.
50 West Vineyards, Middleburg
Barrel Oak Winery, Delaplane
Breaux Vineyards, Purcellville
Cana Vineyards and Winery, Middleburg
Carriage House Wineworks, Waterford
Creek’s Edge Winery, Lovettsville
Doukénie Winery, Hillsboro
Endhardt Vineyards, Purcellville
Fabbioli Cellars, Leesburg
Paradise Springs Winery, Clifton
Sunset Hills Vineyard, Purcellville
The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards, Hamilton
The Vineyards & Winery at Lost Creek, Leesburg
Three Creeks Winery, Hamilton
Two Twisted Posts Winery, Purcellville
Walsh Family Wine, Purcellville
Williams Gap Vineyard, Round Hill
Zephaniah Farm Vineyard, Leesburg
Feature image courtesy of Virginia Wine
This story originally ran in Northern Virginia Magazine’s April issue. For more stories like this, subscribe to our monthly magazine.