12 Reasons to Celebrate the 2019 Governor’s Cup Gold Medalists

Big Wins for Governor’s Cup Gold Medalists 

Ready to taste some gold medal winning Virginia wine? So are we! And that’s good news. Here’s why.
The Virginia Wineries Association Governor’s Cup® Virginia Wine Competition celebrated its 37th year of winemaking competition. And what a competition it was!
Revamped in 2012, the Governor’s Cup® has become one of the most thorough and stringent competitions in the US. And Virginia winemakers were up for the challenge.
With 510 entries for both red and white wines from 102 Virginia wineries, 68 wines scored a 90 or higher on a 100-point range. An affidavit was included with each entry certifying that the wine was produced with 100% Virginia fruit and vineyard particulars.
Grower names and location, information on alcohol, acidity or basicity (pH), as well as residual sugar, were also required. Judges had to rank each wine based on a unified scoring system. Considering the competition, it was no easy task!
Top Winners and Governor’s Cup® Winner
Horton Vineyards won the Governor’s Cup this year for its 2016 Petit Manseng. There were 11 more wines included in the 2019 Governor’s Cup Case. They are:
  • Barboursville Vineyards 2017 Vermentino Reserve
  • Early Mountain Vineyards 2016 Eluvium
  • Glen Manor Vineyards 2015 Cabernet Franc
  • King Family Vineyards 2016 Mountain Plains
  • King Family Vineyards 2016 Meritage
  • Paradise Springs Winery 2015 Meritage
  • Virginia Wine Works 2016 Hamlet Vineyards Eltham
  • Virginia Wine Works 2016 Michael Shaps Petit Manseng
  • Virginia Wine Works 2016 Michael Shaps Raisin d’Etre White
  • Virginia Wine Works 2015 Michael Shaps Tannat
  • Virginia Wine Works 2014 Upper Shirley Zacharia

Get the full list of winners here.

Horton Vineyards

Horton Vineyards



The Governor’s Case represented all parts of the state this year, including, Southern, Eastern, Northern, and Central Virginia.

Such a broad geographical diversity highlights the state’s winemakers’ ability to navigate Virginia’s varied landscape, as well as its conditions. It also speaks to their ability to listen to the needs of their land, using that knowledge to produce some of the finest wine in the world!



That’s clear from the variety of wines in this year’s Governor’s Case:

  • 3 Petit Mansengs
  • 1 Tannat
  • 1 Cabernet Franc
  • 1 Vermentino
  • 6 red blends

Taste Virginia’s Best Wines While Visiting the Iris Inn

Afton Mountain Vineyards

Afton Mountain Vineyards



Virginia’s wine industry is one of the fastest growing agricultural sectors in the state. With over 280 wineries and 300 vineyards that cultivate over 3,800 acres of grapes, there are plenty of reasons to raise a glass!

When you visit the Iris Inn, you can do just that. With 8 of the gold medalists within an hour of the Inn, it’s an excellent way to spend the day.



Take a look at the list of top winning vineyards near us:

  1. Afton Mountain Vineyards
  2. Barboursville Vineyards
  3. Trump Winery
  4. Veritas Vineyards & Winery
  5. Early Mountain Vineyards
  6. Rockbridge Vineyards
  7. Horton Vineyards
  8. Keswick Vineyards
 If you needed a reason to get away, well, now you have one! Pack a bag and find out why Virginia’s wine industry is gaining high praise from around the country!
We’ll have a hearty breakfast waiting for you in the morning, along with a splendid mountain view.
Book your reservation here.