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Taste the Best of Virginia on the Gold Medal Wine Trail 

By:

Embark on an unforgettable journey through Virginia Wine Country with the 2024 Gold Medal Wine Trail. Highlighting the results of the 2024 Virginia Governor’s Cup, the free mobile passport offers Virginia Wine lovers exclusive access to the best of Virginia.  

Signing up also unlocks exclusive prizes, one-of-a-kind offers and seasonal raffles along the way. Select wineries are offering their own deals, too. From free tastings of gold medal-winning wines to discounts on bottle purchases, the trail opens the door to exclusive Virginia Wine experiences.  

Passholders who check in at participating locations will receive 100 points with each check-in to put towards Virginia Wine prizes. Cashing in offers and discounts will unlock extra points, and trail users can visit their favorite wineries monthly for even more points. Prizes up for grabs include Virginia Wine art prints, sweatshirts, blankets, aprons and seasonal giveaways.  

About the Virginia Governor’s Cup Competition  

After tasting over 750 entries, world-class judges, led by competition director Frank Morgan, awarded 138 gold medals to 79 wineries, cideries and meaderies across the Commonwealth. This year’s gold medalists serve as a testament to the remarkable diversity and range of wines emerging from Virginia’s terroir. 

The competition has a long-standing legacy of recognizing Virginia’s top wines, becoming a cornerstone of the state’s winemaking achievements. Each year, the results not only highlight outstanding wines but also narrate the evolving story of Virginia’s viticultural efforts and emerging wine trends. Every wine entered must be crafted from 100% Virginia-grown fruit, emphasizing a commitment to authenticity and the highest quality standards. 

Gold medals were awarded across seven regions, spanning seven vintages and twenty-six grape varieties, all grown in Virginia. Red blends emerged as frontrunners with an impressive tally of 31 gold medals, closely followed by Petit Verdot with 17 golds. Chardonnay stole the spotlight among white wines, securing 14 medals, while Albariño pleasantly surprised with 6 medals. Virginia’s cider industry also made a proud showing, securing eight gold medals. 

Leading the pack regionally was Central Virginia with a total of 66 gold medals. This year’s impressive medal count coincides with the area’s recognition in Wine Enthusiast’s 24th Annual Wine Star Awards. Charlottesville, Virginia and the Monticello AVA were named Wine Region of the Year, achieving global recognition in the world of winemaking. The award highlights the remarkable achievements in the wine industry and honors Charlottesville’s exceptional quality, innovation, and commitment to producing world-class wines. The area is home to over 20 percent of Virginia’s vineyard plantings and boasts over 40 wineries, many of which can be found in the Monticello AVA.  

Check out the full list of gold medalists here, or venture to taste the winners with the Gold Medal Wine Trail. Using the trail offers the chance to visit seven of Virginia’s winemaking regions, spanning from picturesque Shenandoah to the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, and everything in between. Whether you’re a seasoned wine enthusiast or a curious newcomer, there’s something for everyone on the trail.  

The Awards Reveal  

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 up the Governor’s Cup Case, with one earning Best in Show Cider and the highest-awarded wine taking home the Governor’s Cup itself.  

This year, Governor Glenn Youngkin took the stage and recognized the best of Virginia. The top-scoring wines that make up the 2024 Governor’s Case include:  

  • Afton Mountain Vineyards, 2019 T 
  • Barboursville Vineyards, 2019 Paxxito 
  • Bluestone Vineyard, 2017 Petit Verdot 
  • Breaux Vineyards, 2019 The Fog Nebbiolo Reserve 
  • Cave Ridge Vineyard, 2019 Fossil Hill Reserve 
  • Cross Keys Vineyards, Blanc De Noir 
  • Hark Vineyards, 2019 Spark 
  • King Family Vineyards, 2019 Meritage (Winner of the Virginia Governor’s Cup) 
  • Michael Shaps Wineworks, 2020 L.Scott 
  • Mountain and Vine Vineyards and Winery, 2022 Chardonnay 
  • October One Vineyard, 2022 Albariño 
  • Paradise Springs Winery, 2022 Petit Manseng 

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.  

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.  

Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, Matthew Lohr, also awarded the 2024 Best in Show Cider to Buskey Cider for their 2022 Ruby Red Crab Apple Cider.  

Ready to explore these winning wines and taste the best of Virginia? Follow the Gold Medal Wine Trail to discover the wines and ciders that embody the grace, grit and experimental spirit of Virginia! 

VisitVirginia
Author: VisitVirginia

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