March 12, 2024

The 2024 Governor’s Cup goes to…

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2024 Reveal

After receiving 752 entries, judges awarded 138 gold medals to 79 wineries, cideries and meaderies located across the Commonwealth. Central Virginia wineries earned the highest number of gold medals, claiming an impressive 48% of the awards. Virginia red wines took the lead, winning over 55% of the total gold medals. Within this category, Red blends rose to the top, securing 19% of total gold medals, making it the most awarded category, followed by Petit Verdot at 13%. White wines followed suit, earning a substantial portion at a little over 31%, with Virginia Chardonnay earning 14 gold medals. Varieties with growing popularity in Virginia like Petit Manseng, Albariño and Sauvignon Blanc were also awarded golds by the judges. 

Just a few weeks after the gold medal announcement, #vawine lovers from all over gathered at the Virginia Governor’s Cup Gala to celebrate and taste the top award winners. Out of all the gold medalists in attendance, twelve make the Governor’s Cup Case, one earns Best in Show Cider and the highest-awarded wine takes home the Cup. The big reveal comes courtesy of special guests and the Governor of Virginia. 

This year, Governor Glenn Youngkin took the stage and recognized the best of Virginia: 

Matthieu Finot accepted the Governor’s Cup for King Family Vineyards 2019 Meritage. Located in Crozet, King Family Vineyards has been producing Virginia wines for more than two decades. Winemaker Matthieu Finot joined the team in 2007 and has been focused on producing quality wines expressive of the Monticello AVA, which was recently named the Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast. 

This year marks the fourth time the award has been given to King Family Vineyards, claiming the top-honor in 2004, 2010 and 2018. To receive the Cup, the 2019 Meritage earned the highest average score from a panel of esteemed judges who evaluated the wines based on appearance, aroma, flavor, commercial suitability and overall quality. 

Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, Matthew Lohr, revealed the 2024 Best in Show Cider:

To round out an evening of reveals and gold medal-winning wines, guests also enjoyed specially prepared small bites and snacks made for pairing. See the full menu below: 

If that weren’t enough, gala attendees were able to support a good cause throughout the evening.  An auction was held with money raised going toward the Winemakers Research Exchange. Exclusive items included former Virginia Governor’s Cup cases and signed Cornus Virginicus bottles were available.

From countless sips of Virginia wine and culinary delights, to award announcements and a chance to support local winery research, the 2024 Virginia Governor’s Cup Gala was truly an evening to remember. 

Curious to explore the best of the Governor’s Cup? Venture into wine country with the Gold Medal Wine Trail, a free mobile passport highlighting the gold medalists with exclusive offers and prizes along the way.

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