If the Virginia wine industry is to grow, it needs to increase its brand recognition. One way to do that is for Virginia to showcase its wines at major wine competitions.
Wins at such competitions burnish their winery’s reputation, but it’s more than that. Honest critical feedback from judges (which isn’t a given in all events) help winemakers hone their craft. Win at major events also shine a light on the Virgina wine industry as a whole.
Claims that VA wine is excelling isn’t just local wineries boasting amongst themselves. When Wine Enthusiast reduced the number of wine regions it covers, it’s a tribute to local quality that Virginia coverage was retained (next to California, New York, Oregon, and Washington State) even as the publication dropped other emerging wine regions including Maryland, Michigan, and Texas.
Some of these award-winning wines can be found at the Virginia Governor’s Cup or smaller regional events, but not always. Low inventory and financial costs usually force winemakers to be choosy, limiting their ability to participate at multiple venues.
Even so, the prestige of participating in certain events sometimes makes the cost worth it. Ankida Ridge was the first Virginia winery to be invited to the International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC), while Chateau O’Brien is one of the few American attendees at the Concurso Internacional Tannat Al Mundo award, the premiere event for tannat wines.
This list is not meant to be all-inclusive but does list a fair number of national and international competitions Virginia wine has participated at during the most recent wine judging season. For brevity I only list wines that scored Best in Show, Best in Class, or Double Gold awarded since August 2022.
2022 American Wine Society Commercial Wine Competition
- Granite Heights 2017 Cabernet Franc (Double Gold/Best in Class)
- Three Creeks Winery 2021 Petit Manseng (Gold/Best in Class)
- Doukénie Winery 2019 Petit Verdot (Double Gold)
- Horton Vineyards Cotes d’Orange (Double Gold)
2022 Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association (ASWA)
- CrossKeys 2019 Blanc de Noirs (Best in Show)
2022 International Eastern Wine Competition
- Bluestone Vineyards 2019 Cabernet Franc (Double Gold)
- Bluestone Vineyards 2017 Blue Ice (Double Gold)
- CrossKeys Vineyards 2020 Joy White (Double Gold)
- Pearmund Cellars 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (Gold/Best in Class)
2022 International Women’s Wine Competition
- Grey Ghost Vineyards 2019 Reserve Chardonnay (Best in Class)
- Narmada Winery 2019 Cabernet Franc (Best in Class)
- Pearmund Cellars 2021 South River Vineyard Petit Manseng (Best in Class)
2023 San Francisco Chronical Wine Competition
- Muse Vineyards 2021 Roussanne (Best in Class, Roussanne)
- Trump Winery 2016 Brut Sparkling (Best in Class, Brute Sparkling)
2022 San Francisco International Wine Competition
- Barboursville Vineyards 2021 Reserve Fiano (Best Italian White)
- Bluestone Vineyards 2017 Blue Ice (Traminette) (Best In Class, Ice Wine)
- Barboursville Vineyards 2021 Sauvignon Blanc (Double Gold)
- Barrel Oak Vineyards 2021 Pinot Gris (Oregon fruit) (Double Gold)
- Bluemont Vineyards 2021 Signature Petit Manseng (Double Gold)
- Ingleside Vineyards 2019 Petit Verdot (Double Gold)
- Jefferson Vineyards 2019 Jefferson’s Own Estate Reserve White Wine (Double Gold)
- Maggie Malick Wine Caves 2020 Kaleidoscope (Double Gold)