The Virginia Governor’s Cup winners were just decided but before we dive into that, I thought I would take a look at the Grand Harvest Awards. It is an award I have seen mentioned at quite a few wineries but I didn’t know much else about it.
What’s different about the Grand Harvest Awards from the Virginia Governor’s Cup is that it is actually a national competition. But even then, it’s not quite that. The Grand Harvest Awards assess wines based on terroir (the complete natural environment in which a wine is produced such as soil, topography and climate), making it the only of its kind. The wines are judged against those from the same region with the same appellation. In a way that my uneducated mind understands it, it is set up sort of like a dog show. The wines are in different classes (based on region, etc.) and then are judged against one another. The wines may then be placed, receiving medals: bronze, silver, gold, and double gold. (Double Gold is only awarded when all judges agree that the wine should receive the gold medal without any follow-on discussions during the first round.) There may also be those that are awarded best in show or in this case, best of class. The medals serve as a good way to assess wines against one another but also allow those that may not be best in class to still get recognition (and therefore potentially help sales).
As someone who almost exclusively drinks Virginia wine, I think this type of award is awesome. The judges really focus on terroir and judge the wines against those that had to deal with the same type of ground, weather, and other conditions. Not to say that Virginia wines can’t or haven’t been successful when in competition with other regions, it is nice to see them looked at against one another.
The 2015 awards were judged in November, but let’s give a hearty congratulations to these Virginia wineries (and one cider company!) for doing so well! In particular, The Winery at Bull Run (Manassas) received the highest award, as its 2014 Norton won Double Gold, Best in Class, and Best in Virginia! Narmada Winery (Amissville) also received a Best in Class distinction for its 2013 Reflection.
868 Estate Vineyards, Purcellville) (2014 Cabernet Franc, 2014 Chardonnay, 2014 Meritage)
Casanel Vineyards & Winery, Leesburg (2014 Chardonnay)
Chateau Morrisette, Floyd (2014 Chardonnay, 2014 Vin Gris, 2013 Nouveau Chien)
Gray Ghost Vineyards, Amissville (2014 Chardonnay)
Greenhill Winery and Vineyards, Middleburg (2014 Viognier, 2013 Philosophy)
Hickory Hill Vineyards, Moneta (2011 Chardonnay, 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon)
Narmada Winery, Amissville (2011 Malbec, 2012 Yash-Vir)
Pollack Vineyards, Greenwood (2014 Viognier)
Rosemont Vineyards, La Crosse (2013 Kilravock)
Williamsburg Winery, Williamsburg (2013 Trianon, 2014 Chardonnay)
Bold Rock Hard Cider, Nellysford (Vintage Dry, Vat #1, Pear)
Chateau Morrisette, Floyd (2012 Archival I, 2012 Chambourcin Reserve, 2014 Our Dog Blue)
Gadino Cellars, Washington (2013 Petit Manseng, 2012 Chardonnay)
Gray Ghost Vineyards, Amissville (2014 Chardonnay, 2013 Petit Verdot, 2014 Vidal Blanc)
Greenhill Winery and Vineyards, Middleburg (NV Superstition, 2014 Ontology, 2014 Chardonnay, 2014 Riesling)
Hampton Roads Winery, Hampton Roads (2014 Cabernet Franc)
Hickory Hill Vineyards, Moneta (NV Chardonnay)
Pearmund Cellars, Broad Run (2013 Old Vine Chardonnay)
Pollack Vineyards, Greenwood (2012 Peitit Verdot, 2013 Chardonnay)
Potomac Point Vineyard & Winery, Stafford (2014 Viognier Reserve, 2014 Cabernet Franc)
Rosemont Vineyards, La Crosse (2013 Merlot, 2014 Virginia White, 2013 Syrah, 2013 Cabernet Franc)
The Winery at Bull Run, Mansassas (2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 Petit Manseng)
Williamsburg Winery, Williamsburg (2013 Barrel Aged Claret, 2013 Petit Verdot)
Casanel Vineyards & Winery, Leesburg (2013 Petit Verdot, 2013 Carmenere)
Chateau Morrisette, Floyd (2013 Chardonnay Reserve)
Gadino Cellars, Washington (2010 Nebbiolo)
Greenhill Winery and Vineyards, Middleburg (2014 Seyval Blanc)
Narmada Winery, Amissville (2013 Reflection) *Best of Class
Pollack Vineyards, Greenwood (2012 Meritage, 2013 Cabernet Franc)
The Winery at Bull Run, Manassas (2013 Reconciliation, 2014 Viognier)
Williamsburg Winery, Williamsburg (2013 Gabriel Archer Reserve, 2013 Adagio)
Bold Rock Hard Cider, Nellysford (Virginia Draft)
Gray Ghost Vineyards, Amissville (2014 Adieu)
Pearmund Cellars, Broad Run (2013 Ameritage Reserve)
Rosemont Vineyards, La Crosse (NV Virginia Red)
The Winery at Bull Run, Manassas (2014 Norton) *Best of Class and Best of Virginia
Have you tasted any of these wines? Which ones do you think you’ll try now?