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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Octagon Is Top Dog in Governor's Cup Competition

Governor Bob McDonnell presents the 2013 Governor's Cup to Luca Paschina for Barboursville's 2009 Octagon
Richmond, Virginia

Virginia's vibrant wine industry celebrated its own as the results of the 2013 Governor's Cup competition were announced.  The night's big winners: Barboursville (Guv Cup), Mary Beth Williams (Wine Person of the Year), Willowcroft's Lew Parker (Lifetime Achievement), Del. Dave Albo (Legislator of the Year) + 12 Gold Medal Wines for Governor's Cup Case (a total of 20 wines were awarded gold).

Dr. Jeff Cooper (Cooper Vineyards) chaired the Governor's Cup Committee and served as the night's emcee.  "We wanted to create the premiere wine competition in the U.S.," he explained, going over the major changes adopted in 2011 that have made the Virginia's Governor's Cup competition one of the most stringent and comprehensive wine competitions in the United States.

Willowcroft Founder Lew Parker received the Gordon Murchie Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing the extensive time he has devoted as an active proponent of the growth and vitality of the Virginia wine industry. 

Mary Beth Williams, Virginia's "Wine Lawyer," was recognized as "Wine Person of the Year" for her contributions to the industry, helping wineries, vineyards, and future winery owners navigate the ABC and other laws.

"The world is your market," Governor Bob McDonnell told the winery representatives, adding that "The advancements in Virginia winemaking are on display in every bottle we have here tonight."  First Lady Maureen McDonnell (whose tireless efforts promoting the industry earned her the 2012 Wine Person of the Year honors) then revealed the 2013 Governor's Cup winner was Barboursville's 2009 Octagon. It is a record fourth time Barboursville has claimed the Governor's Cup.

Luca Paschina, Winemaker and General Manager of Barboursville, noted that 2009 was a fine vintage, calling the 2009 Octagon "probably one of the best wines I every made in my life" -- adding that he is 50 and has been making wine since he was 14.  The 2009 Octagon, which has also claimed a 90-point score from Wine Enthusiast, gold medals form the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago, and the Winemaker's Challenge and Critics Challenge in California, and the Platinum Medal of the Sommelier Challenge in California, will be released August 1.
This year's competition attracted 377 wines entered by 93 wineries.  The 12 highest ranking wines will be combined to comprise the Governor's Cup Case and used to showcase the best of Virginia wine - including the Governor's trip to California in April. 

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