Since the late 1970’s, Virginia Wine has been carving its rightful place in the wine world. Drawing from early discoveries and constantly evolving through experimentation, winemakers across the Commonwealth showcase their top wines by entering in the Virginia Governor’s Cup competition year after year.
After hundreds of entries, world-class judges award the best wineries in Virginia with medals and special honors. The competition culminates with a celebration and, for the second year, Virginia Wine fans from all over are invited to enjoy award-winning sips and savors in one grandiose evening.
Learn more about the 2023 Virginia Governor’s Cup Gala on February 23 at Richmond’s premier event space, Main Street Station, and there’s no doubt that you’ll want to taste the best of Virginia.
1. Enjoy unlimited pours of Virginia’s top wines.
Your ticket to the Virginia Governor’s Cup Gala grants entry to a 3-hour walkaround tasting like no other. All the gold medalists from this year’s Governor’s Cup competition are invited to celebrate the hard work that goes into each bottle and share their top-awarded wines with #vawine supporters from all over.
Judging is concluding for this year’s competition but, you can expect a night filled with award-winning wines from start to finish. Last year, 127 gold medals were awarded to 65 Virginia wineries, cideries and meaderies. Which means, with 100+ different Virginia wines to sample, you’re sure to taste familiar favorites, find new, go-to glasses and try something uniquely Virginia that you’ve never had before.
You won’t find a better representation of Virginia’s flourishing wine industry.
2. See Virginia’s best and brightest talent in attendance.
In Virginia, the wine industry is made up of a community of resilient farmers. They listen to their land to draw out the story in every vine and every vintage and craft wines that embody the grace, grit and experimental spirit of Virginia. This artistry speaks volumes in the bottle, but attendees can learn more about everything from the grapes to how they get to your glass straight from the source.
Attendees will have the distinct opportunity to meet the winemakers as they pour the best of this year’s Governor’s Cup competition. From the pioneers who have been building the Virginia Wine industry vintage by vintage to a new wave of viticulturists and winemakers who are experimenting into the new era, the Virginia Governor’s Cup Gala will be a star-studded event for Virginia Wine fans.
In addition to Virginia’s top winemakers, the local chef scene will be in full force to complement the evening’s winners.
3. Find culinary offerings at every turn.
With stations spread across Main Street Station, attendees will be met with local fares crafted by award-winning chefs from across Virginia. From Rappahannock Oyster Co’s raw bar to Gearhart’s live chocolate demo and other creative creations, prepare to be dazzled with dishes that are as unique and expressive as the wine in your glass.
There’s no better way to enjoy the best wines of Virginia than with locally crafted bites.
4. Sit front row for the big reveal.
In early February, you’ll learn which wineries, cideries and meaderies were awarded a gold medal in this year’s Governor’s Cup competition. While you’ll get a chance to see who will be in attendance and plot out your grand-tasting stops, you won’t know the competition’s biggest winners until the special unveiling.
With a glass in hand, ticket holders will discover the Governor’s Cup Case, which includes the competition’s top 12 wines, Best in Show Cider and the coveted Virginia Governor’s Cup. After the reveal, there will still be time to hunt down the evening’s finest and sample them for yourself.
What’s more, the best seats in the house are reserved for you with the purchase of a VIP ticket.
5. Wine and dine like a VIP.
If all of the above isn’t convincing enough, you can make your experience that much more special with a VIP ticket. Here’s just a sneak peek into what special treatment awaits—
- Earn special access to the event beginning at 5 p.m.
- Access the exclusive VIP tasting lounge throughout the night featuring:
- Specialty pairing bites to accompany Governor’s Cup® Case winning wines prepared by MannyEats
- Local cheese and charcuterie prepared by Sara Adduci of Belmont Butchery
- Hand-crafted dessert pairings by Hummingbird Dessert Boutique
- Pours of rare wines from case-winning wineries
- Led by VIP Host, Lance Lemon, RichWine & Penny’s Wine Shop
- Take home a souvenir Virginia Governor’s Cup Riedel wine glass.
- An award-winning winery passport that includes elevated tastings for ticket holders and a guest at each of the Virginia Governor’s Cup® Case-winning wineries.
6. Bid on one-of-a-kind #vawine items.
On top of the access your ticket to the Gala unlocks, you’ll also be able to bid on unique Virginia wine items and experiences through the V Foundation’s silent auction. The best part? Proceeds go to cancer research.
Attendees will have exclusive access to auction items like a Virginia Governor’s Cup Case, which have never been available for purchase before. Ticket holders can also make the evening sparkle by making a donation at the Bubbly Bar which will come with a glass of sparkling wine and an entry to win a bracelet from local jeweler Lustre.