Governor’s Cup Winner

From the press release:

Governor McDonnell Announces Glen Manor Vineyards Awarded 2012 Virginia Governor’s Cup
~New Judging Standards Make Event One of the Preeminent Wine Competitions in the Nation~

RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell, who championed major changes to the Virginia Governor’s Cup competition last year that made the event one of the most stringent and thorough wine competitions in the United States, has awarded the 2012 Virginia Governor’s Cup to Glen Manor Vineyards 2009 Hodder Hill Meritage. The announcement of the Governor’s Cup award winner was made Thursday in conjunction with the Virginia Wine Expo, which runs February 24-26, 2012 in Richmond.

“I raise my glass to Glen Manor Vineyards, whose 2009 Hodder Hill Meritage is a stunning representation of the best in Virginia Wines,” said Governor McDonnell. “Glen Manor’s Meritage and the other 11 wines that make up the Governor’s Cup Case will make a fine addition to wine cellars everywhere, further enhancing the growing reputation of Virginia wines. Just as Virginia wines have been gaining acclaim here and abroad, we have raised the bar on the competition. I believe that having a top notch competition to showcase our best wines is essential to maintaining and growing the national and international notoriety that our wines have been receiving.”

Glen Manor’s award winning wine is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 6% Pertit Verdot. The tasting notes for the 2009 Hodder Hill Meritage describe the blended red wine as “a complex wine with ever-evolving aromas of dark red berries, eucalyptus, licorice, tea leaf, cassis and fresh ground coffee beans. On the palate, it is a highly structured wine of dark and refined flavors, with mouth-coating tannins, refreshed by brightness of acidity and finishing long and expressive. The complexity of this wine allows pairing with a wide variety of foods and cooking styles, from aged gouda and earthy sheep cheese to a rustic bowl of onion soup to rich meats, duck, game or lamb.”

“On behalf of my family, we are humbled by this award and honored to help represent Virginia in the first ever Governor’s Cup Case,” said Glen Manor Vineyards winemaker and winery owner, Jeff White. White, fourth generation farmer who established Glen Manor Vineyards in 2005 after growing grapes on the estate since the mid-1990s, studied under acclaimed winemaker Jim Law of Linden Vineyards.

The 2012 Virginia Governor’s Cup Competition was conducted in two stages: the preliminary round took place in mid-January in Alexandria. The final round was judged in late January in Richmond. The Governor’s Cup award winner was selected from the 2012 Governor’s Cup Case, the top 12 scoring wines of the competition, which were selected from more than 400 entries.

In addition the Glen Manor’s 2009 Hodder Hill Meritage, the other 11 wines that form the Governor’s Cup Case include:

· Bluestone Vineyard 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
· Delfosse Vineyards & Winery 2007 Meritage Blend
· Jefferson Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Franc
· Keswick Vineyards 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
· Keswick Vineyards 2010 Merlot
· King Family Vineyards 2008 Meritage Blend
· Potomac Point Winery 2009 Heritage Reserve Meritage Blend
· Tarara Winery 2010 Honah Lee White Vinifera Blend
· Trump Winery 2008 Kluge SP Blanc de Blanc Sparkling
· Veritas 2010 Vintner’s Reserve Meritage Blend
· White Hall Vineyards 2010 Gewurztraminer

At least 10 cases of each wine included in the Governor’s Cup Case will be used by the Virginia Wine Marketing Office for promotional uses. A number of cases will be shipped to select wine media as part of a new effort to promote Virginia wines to a larger national and international audience. The award winning wines will be used for educational purposes at Virginia winemaker roundtable discussions as part of an effort to improve overall quality of Virginia wines. And, Governor’s Cup Case wines will be used by Governor McDonnell on domestic and international marketing missions and other events designed to promote Virginia wine and winery tourism.

The Governor’s Cup competition, which was revamped in 2011 at the request of Governor McDonnell, is a result of a partnership among the gubernatorial-appointed Virginia Wine Board (VWB), the Virginia Wineries Association (VWA), which owns and manages the competition, and the Virginia Vineyards Association (VVA). Virginia Wine Board grants from the Virginia Wine Promotion Fund funded the enhanced competition.

As part of the enhancement, the Governor’s Cup competition is once again a single event for all Virginia wines after being split into two separate competitions, one for red wines and one for white wines, during the last few years. Any wine made from 100% Virginia fruit was eligible for the competition, while ciders and fruit wines had their own category and medalists. All entries included an affidavit with a certification of 100% Virginia fruit and vineyard particulars, including grower names and location, as well as information on alcohol, acidity or basicity (pH), and residual sugar.

Jay Youmans, one of only of 31 Masters of Wine (MW) in the U.S., directed the competition. Youmans, who is also a Certified Wine Educator (CWE) and the owner and educational director of the Capital Wine School in Washington, DC, recruited the wine judges from the professional wine buying and wine media community. The judges were compensated for their time for a rigorous schedule of judging to ensure the competition has the highest level of professional evaluation of the wines. There were 28 judges in the preliminary round and 15 judges in the final round. A list of the judges along with their bios can be found at

One of the most important aspects of the revised competition is the educational component of the judging. After the competition, regional forums for the winemakers will be held with the judging director. Notes with the judges’ blind comments will be shared with individual winemakers, so that they will get direct feedback on how their wines were received.

Glen Manor Vineyards is located in Front Royal, Virginia, approximately 70 miles west of Washington D.C. Situated on a western flank of the Blue Ridge Mountains and near the north entrance to Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive, nearby mountains, ranging between 1400 and 3400 feet in elevation, surround the vineyards forming a “Glen.” The vines grow high on steep mountain slopes, in very deep and well drained rocky soils. For more information, visit

Sales of Virginia wine reached a record high in fiscal year 2011 with more than 462,000 cases, or more than 5.5 million bottles, sold. This volume marks a sales increase of more than 11 percent over the previous fiscal year. Virginia currently ranks fifth in the number of wineries in the nation with 210. Virginia is also the nation’s fifth largest wine grape producer. According to a recently released economic impact study, the Virginia wine industry employs more than 4,700 and contributes almost $750 million to the Virginia economy on an annual basis. For a complete list of previous Governor’s Cup winners and further information about the Virginia wine industry, events, tours and tastings, please visit the Virginia Wine Marketing Office’s website at or call 804‐344‐8200.

Jeff White
Owner and Winemaker
Glen Manor Vineyards

Jeff White, vigneron, fourth generation farmer and together with his family, owner of Glen Manor Vineyards, entered the wine industry in 1993 upon accepting a summertime position at the Virginia Tech Fruit Research Station near Stephens City, Virginia. There he worked with the State Viticulturist, Dr. Tony K. Wolf in his experimental winegrape vineyard.

At summer’s end Jeff joined Linden Vineyards to help work the 1993 harvest and crush. It was during this time that Jeff decided to establish his own six acre vineyard on his family’s Virginia Century Farm. He planted his first vineyard in 1995 and in 1996 harvested his first grapes. Jeff sold his fruit to and continued working for and learning from Jim Law of Linden Vineyards for the next ten years.

In 2005 Jeff established Glen Manor Vineyards winery, beginning construction and producing his first wines in 2007. He also established a new 8.5 acre high mountainside vineyard on his farm in 2008. Jeff and his wife Kelly, enjoy travelling in winter with their Chocolate Lab, Huck and American Brit, Sport.