Governor’s Cup

From the Press Release from The Virginia Wine Board: RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe tonight awarded the 2014 Virginia Wineries Association’s (VWA) Governor’s Cup to The Williamsburg Winery’s 2010 Adagio, a blended red wine. The Governor’s Cup was awarded Thursday evening, February 27 at the VWA’s Governor’s Cup Gala at the John Marshall Hotel.

AdagioSpeaking at the Governor’s Cup awards ceremony, Governor McAuliffe said, “I am honored to award the Governor’s Cup to The Williamsburg Winery, one of Virginia’s oldest and most prolific wineries. It is no secret the Commonwealth’s wine industry has experienced tremendous growth both in quantity and quality in recent years. Such growth has an enormous impact on Virginia in terms of economic development and job creation. The Virginia Governor’s Cup, now recognized as one of the nation’s most stringent competitions, helps to raise awareness of the world class wines grown and blended right here in the Commonwealth. My congratulations to The Williamsburg Winery for their long history of success and their most recent notable contribution to the Virginia wine industry.”

The Williamsburg Winery’s Adagio is a blend of 42% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot and 28% Petit Verdot. Aged in French, American and Hungarian Oak, the ratio is 43% new oak, 14% one year old oak; 29% two year old oak; and 14% three year old oak. The winemaker’s tasting notes are as follows: The 2010 Adagio is a very bold upfront wine with loads of jammy fruit. The blackberries and blueberry notes are accentuated with some elegant mature darker fruit such as figs, dates and prunes. There is a hint of spice (warm cinnamon) with molasses and soy. The earthy notes come across with a touch of nuttiness. The oak is very integrated into the weight of the wine and the tannins are smooth and graceful. The wine has a wonderful finish that lasts for quite awhile.
“It is very satisfying and very humbling to be with my peers and the others who have won the Governor’s Cup. The 2010 Adagio was unbelievable, exceeding all expectations for quality, and it was nice for Adagio to get that recognition,” said Matthew Meyer, vice president and winemaker of The Williamsburg Winery. “Adagio, from the Italian ad agio, or ‘at ease’, is a musical term indicating the tempo of a composition that is meant to be slow and stately, so named in honor of the extraordinary depth, elegance and grace of this wine.”
The 2014 Virginia Governor’s Cup Competition was conducted over three weeks of preliminary tastings, held at the Capital Wine School in Washington, D.C. The final round of tastings was held at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond in early February. The Governor’s Cup award winner was selected from the 2014 Governor’s Cup Case. The top 12 scoring wines of the competition, The Governor’s Cup Case, were selected from 410 entries of both red and white wines, from 96 wineries.

In addition to The Williamsburg Winery’s 2010 Adagio, the other 11 wines in the Governor’s Cup Case are:

Barboursville Vineyard – 2008 Malvaxia Passito
Barboursville Vineyard – 2010 Nebbiolo Reserve
Barboursville Vineyard – 2010 Octagon
Barren Ridge Vineyard – 2009 Meritage
Fabbioli Cellars – 2011 Tannat
Horton Vineyards – 2010 Tannat
King Family Vineyards – 2011 Meritage
North Gate Vineyard – 2011 Meritage
Rockbridge Vineyard – 2008 Meritage, DeChiel Reserve, unfiltered
Sunset Hills Vineyard – 2010 Mosaic
Two Twisted Post Winery – 2012 Chardonnay

The Governor’s Cup competition, revamped in 2011, is a result of a partnership among the gubernatorial-appointed Virginia Wine Board (VWB), the Virginia Vineyards Association (VVA), and the VWA, which owns and manages the competition. 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.

Wine included in the Governor’s Cup Case will be used by the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office for marketing purposes in Virginia, across the country, and around the world. A number of cases will be shipped to select wine media, promoting Virginia wines to a larger national and international audience. The award winning wines will be used for education purposes at Virginia winemaker roundtable discussions to improve overall quality of Virginia wines. Governor’s Cup Case wines will also be used by Governor McAuliffe on select domestic and international marketing missions and other events designed to promote Virginia wine and winery tourism.

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 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 maintained the highest level of professional evaluation. There were 30 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 http://www.virginiawine.org/governors-cup

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.
The Williamsburg Winery is located on Wessex Hundred, a 300-acre farm located in Virginia’s Historic Triangle. The winery has experienced continuous growth through an expanding portfolio of wines. The introduction of the 2007 Adagio was the culmination of a single-minded goal to produce the highest quality wines in the world. This is the second Governor’s Cup for Williamsburg Winery. The winery won in 1989 for its 1988 Chardonnay.

“Winning the Governor’s Cup is a testament to Matthew’s talent and to the dedication of our entire team, whose focus is on excellence in wines made 100% from Virginia grapes. Our goal is to grow as a leader in the industry, developing wines that reflect the character of our Commonwealth, neither Californian or European, but displaying elegance and interesting flavors,” said Patrick Duffeler, president and CEO, The Williamsburg Winery.

In addition to awarding Williamsburg Winery’s 2010 Adagio the 2014 Governor’s Cup, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore was named Wine Person of the Year for his contributions to this rapidly growing sector of the Commonwealth’s economy.

As Secretary, Haymore works closely with the Governor, General Assembly, and key stakeholders on numerous legislative and budgetary initiatives to integrate agriculture and forestry fully into Virginia’s overall economic development and jobs creation platform. A dedicated proponent of the Virginia wine industry, Secretary Haymore has worked in partnership with Virginia’s wineries and vineyards to proudly showcase Virginia wines during domestic and international trade missions. During his time as Secretary, Haymore has facilitated the first commercial shipment of Virginia Wine to China; helped to launch the Virginia Wine Summit, bringing national and international attention to Virginia wine; helped to almost triple the amount of funds placed in the Virginia Wine Promotion Fund for research, education and marketing; and worked with the General Assembly to establish a reimbursable tax credit program for the establishment or expansion of vineyards and wineries. His strategic focus has led to new sales and opportunities for Virginia wineries that will continue the industry’s growth in the years to come.

Sales of Virginia wine reached a record high in fiscal year 2013 with more than 511,000 cases, or more than 6.1 million bottles, sold. Virginia currently ranks fifth in the number of wineries in the nation with 250 wineries. Virginia is also tied with Texas as the nation’s fifth largest wine grape producing state. According to a recently released economic impact study, the Virginia wine industry employs more than 4,700 people and contributes almost $750 million to the Commonwealth’s economy on an annual basis.

For a complete list of previous Governor’s Cup winners and information about the Virginia wine industry, please visit the Virginia Wine Marketing Office http://www.virginiawine.org/governors-cup/awards/ or call 804-344-8200.

Blog Anniversary

Happy Blog Anniversary to us! Today is the 8th anniversary of us starting Virginia Wine Time. 8 years ago today we started sharing our Virginia winery experiences with you. Over the years we’ve visited 163 Virginia wineries, posted 815 times, had roughly 130,000 visits and received 536 comments on our posts. We have no plans on stopping anytime soon! We hope all our readers have enjoyed the blog and will continue to check back to read each post. Thank you for being loyal blog readers! We appreciate you visiting our site!
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Wine and Dine at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner

For anyone looking for a unique food and wine experience, look no further than The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner.  We spent this past weekend participating in a cooking class hosed by executive chef Matthew Morrison, chatted about wine with heralded sommelier Vincent Feraud, and then had dinner paired with Virginia wines in the elegant yet unpretentious Entyse Wine Bar & Lounge. We felt very spoiled and pampered, and our only regret was that we could not stay longer.
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Our day at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner began with a cooking class given by chef Matthew Morrison.  The class was actually part of the Fall Epicurean Series, a weekly series of cooking demonstrations held at the hotel each week in October.  The particular session was called Thanksgiving 101; Morrison and his talented culinary team guided participants through lessons on how to create a delicious Thanksgiving meal.  The menu included brined turkey (including a unique tip on how to bake the bird in separate pieces), apple raisin stuffing with seasonal herbs, cranberry orange chutney (say good-bye to the gelled canned stuff), and a lush black pepper panna cotta for dessert.  Mixologist Narath crafted signature cocktails to pair with each course.  For starters, a crisp French 75 made with Champagne and a splash of gin and lemon made for a lemony aperitif.  With the main meal, a French Martini was served and featured Chambord, pineapple juice, grand marnier, and vanilla vodka.  Sommelier Vincent Feraud offered a wine alternative and poured a divine Stolpman Syrah 2009.  Finally a decadent pumpkin spice martini made with pumpkin spice liquer and Godiva chocolate syrup was finished with a dollop of whipped cream, and this was served with the panna cotta.  Rich textures, chocolate highlights, and fall spices played delightfully well with each other.  The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner has many Fall/Winter events lined up. Check out the events calendar and find one that interests you.
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We walked away from the cooking class with tips to make our Thanksgiving meal even more memorable.  We were also quite satisfied from Chef Morrison’s sample servings from the demonstration.  However, we knew that more culinary treats were on the way, and we decided to rest for a bit in The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner Club Room which offers guests a panoramic view of the Tysons area including the emerging fall colors from trees that are just now putting on quite a colorful show.  Shima, the Club’s concierge, warmly greeted us and offered to pour for us a glass of wine, and offerings included the Barboursville Pinot Grigio.  How could we resist?  Lovely views of the Virginia landscape were appreciated from the Club Room while enjoying a glass of Virginia wine from Barboursville to continue our celebration of Virginia Wine Month. 
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We finished our evening at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner with dinner at Entyse Wine Bar & Lounge.  Here we were greeted by sommelier Vincent Feraud who poured for us the Trump 2008 Blanc de Blanc.  Vincent Feraud was the sommelier that helped to conduct the Judgment of Paris held in 2009; this contest featured a showdown between the best Virginia wines and wines from France, Chile and Austria.  The outcome? Virginia wines either bested or equaled their foreign competitors.  Vincent was more than willing to chat with us about Virginia wines, wines from around the world, and yes, custom motorcycles.  If readers ever see us pull up at a winery on motorcycles, it was Vincent Feraud who influenced us!  Anyway, we ordered dinner with a promise from Vincent that he would return with a Virginia wine to pair with our meal.  Paul ordered roasted chicken with mashed potatoes; I could not resist the filet mignon with rosemary potatoes.  And the wine?  Vincent poured for us the 2009 Cabernet Merlot from Lovingston Vineyards.  It was a “wow” experience.  Our meal was perfectly prepared, and the Virginia wine selection proved to be the perfect match.  I must add that our waiter, Simon, was very attentive and personable.  After we finished our meal, we lingered for a while to finish our wine; as we did so, the Christopher Linman Jazz Ensemble entertained lounge guests with classics from such greats as Miles Davis and Duke Ellington.
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Needless to say, our appetites were more than satisfied.  We retired to our room where chocolate squares rested atop pulled down sheets.  We had no trouble falling asleep!  After a breakfast of French toast and fresh coffee, we took one final glance at the elegant lobby with its bouquet of fresh flowers and glittering chandeliers.  We enjoyed our stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner.  Great food, wonderful wines, and superb amenities await guests who will be pampered by a dedicated team that offers excellent service.  We plan to visit The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner again, and we recommend that readers do so too.  Please mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.
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(A very special thank you to Chef Matthew and his talented culinary team, and Narath, Vincent, Shima, and Simon for making our stay super fantastic!)
 
We were invited to participate in The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner: Stay, Play and Write Campaign. All opinions are our own.