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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Making the Case for Virginia Wine (Wine Dogs Hint - Start with 12 Great Wines)

Representatives of the wineries producing the 12 highest ranking wines in the competition -- the Governor’s Cup Case.

Virginia Governor's Cup Gala
Richmond, Virginia

This year’s Virginia Governor’s Cup competition featured new rules and new honors. More than 400 wines competed;13 won gold. 

The 2012 Governor's Cup goes to the 2009 Hodder Hill meritage produced by Wine Dog Pal Jeff White, owner and winemaker at Glen Manor Vineyards in Front Royal. Jeff has two wine dogs of his own -- Chuck, a chocolate lab, and Sport, and American brit.
Winemaker Jeff White pours the 2012 Governor's Cup winner, Glen Manor Vineyard's 2009 Hodder Hill Meritage.
The Hodder Hill, along with the next 11 highest ranking wines in the competition will be combined in the Governor's Cup Case (actually 10 cases of each wine will be available).  These award-winning wines will be used to showcase the best of Virginia's vines and vintners, including use by Governor Bob McDonnell on international marketing missions and other events to promote Virginia wine and winery tourism.

The Wine Dogs salute Glen Manor and the other case members:

Lee Hartman of Bluestone Vineyard with his Gold Medal 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon. This new winery opened only 13 months ago and is off to a great start with a wine in the Governor's Cup Case.

Delfosse Vineyards winemaker Paul Mierzejewski produced a Gold Medalist with the 2007 Meritage Blend.

Ben and Chris show off Jefferson Vineyards' Gold Medalist, the 2010 Cabernet Franc. Known for creative blending, winemaker Andy Reagan added 10% tannat and 6% Lemberger to this Virginia classic with outstanding results.

Owner Cindy Schornberg was doing double time with Keswick Vineyards' two gold medalists -- the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and the 2010 Merlot. These yet-to-be released wines, both 100% varietals, are already proving their pedigree.

David King proudly displays King Family Vineyards Meritage, a Gold Medalist in the 2012 competition. The 2007 Meritage claimed the Governor's Cup in the 2010. The Wine Dogs made their television debut when they visited the King Family Winery in 2010.

Winemaker Simone Bergese produced Potomac Point Winery's Gold Medalist -- the 2009 Heritage Reserve. The Wine Dogs look forward to visiting this impressive, dog-friendly winery.

Winemaker Jordan Harris produced Tarara's 2010 Honah Lee - a Gold Medalist that will be part of the 2012 Governor's Cup Case. A blend of Viognier, Petit Manseng, and Roussanne, this is a white red wine drikers will enjoy; warms you from the inside out.

Patricia Kluge adds class to the Gala with an apertif, the Kluge Estates Cru. She is the founder of the winery that produced the 2008 Kluge SP Blanc de Blanc, a 2012 Gold Medalist and part of the Governor's Cup Case.   Kluge Estates is now Trump Winery.

Winemaker Emily Pelton produced a Gold Medalist at her family winery with the Veritas 2010 Vintner's Reserve, a meritage blend.

Lisa Champ, whose famly started White Hall Vineyards 18 years ago, displays the Gold Medal winning 2010 Gewurtzraminer, one of only two whites to make the 2012 Governor's Cup Case.

Wine Dogs Recap Governor's Cup Awards

Jeff White of Glen Manor Vineyards Receives Governor's Cup (read about the Wine Dogs' visit to Glen Manor)

Richmond, Virginia

It was an evening of celebration as the results of the 2012 Governor's Cup competition were announced.  The night's big winners: Glen Manor (Guv Cup), 1st Lady Maureen McDonnell (Wine Person of the Year), Lake Anna's Ann Heidig (Lifetime Achievement), Del. Scott Garrett (Legislator of the Year) + 12 Gold Medal Wines for Governor's Cup Case.

Dr. Jeff Cooper (Cooper Vineyards) chaired the Governor's Cup Committee and served as the night's emcee.  Virginia's Governor's Cup competition has been revamped and is now one of the most stringent and thorough wine competitions in the United States.

Lake Anna Winery Founder (and Spottsylvania County Supervisor) Ann Heidig received Gordon Murchie Lifetime Achievement Award for her many years of exceptional service to the Virginia Wine Industry. 
First Lady Maureen McDonnell was recognized as the Virginia Wine Person of the Year.  As First Lady, she has been a tireless promoter of Virginia Wine.

VA Secretary of Agriculture Todd Haymore reads the proclamation declaring March "Virginia Wine and Dine" Month (so successful it's expanded from a week... mirroring the success and expansion of the Virginia Wine industry).

Governor Bob McDonnell says one of the easiest parts of his job is promoting Virginia wines, which he has featured on international trade missions. "Just as Virginia wines have been gaining acclaim here and abroad, we have raised the bar on the competition," the Governor explained, including a requirement that all entries to be made 100% from Virginia-grown grapes.

More than 400 Virginia wines were entered into the competition.  Governor McDonnell presented the Governor's Cup to Jeff White, owner and winemaker of Glen Manor Vineyards, for the 2009 Hodder Hill, a meritage blend which the Governor called "“a stunning representation of the best in Virginia wines."

Winemakers representing the 12 highest ranking wines in the competition out of 400 entries. These wines will be combined in the Governor's Cup Case and used to showcase the best of Virginia wine.

Wine Dogs Salute Virginia’s First Lady and Wine Person of the Year

Richmond, Virginia

At the Governor’s Cup Gala on Thursday night, the Virginia Wineries Association recognized First Lady Maureen McDonnell as the Virginia Wine Person of the Year. 

She was introduced by Ann Heidig of Lake Anna Winery, who was recognized as the Gordon Murchie Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

As First Lady of Virginia, Maureen McDonnell has been a tireless champion of Virginia wine, promoting. Her First Lady’s Initiatives Team Effort (FLITE) trips have brought press, restaurateurs and wine shop owners on tours of Virginia’s wineries and serves Virginia wines when she entertains.

Governor Bob McDonnell, who was at the Gala to present the 2012 Governor's Cup, looked on proudly as his wife received this unexpected but well deserved honor.

Last year, the First Lady planted 12 vines at the Executive Mansion in recognition of the 1619 12th Act of the Virginia House of Burgess, requiring every landowner in the Virginia Colony to plant and maintain at least 10 vines. She announced will be bottling Mansion Wine for the upcoming 200th Anniversary of the historic home of Virginia's governors.

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