Winemaker Andrew Bilenkij and the DelFosse Vineyards team brought the Virginia Governor’s Cup back to the Monticello AVA last night in front of hundreds of Virginia wine fans at the glam Governor's Cup Gala in Richmond.
Their Cup-winning 2021 Screaming Hawk Meritage is a signature estate red blend of 50% Petit Verdot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Malbec. The addition of Malbec is what makes the blend sing, according to winery owner Mike Albers.
“It is an honor to present this year’s Virginia Governor's Cup to the team at Delfosse Vineyards and Winery,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Delfosse is adding an exciting new chapter to its venerable history and we look forward to all they do next as Mountain and Vine Vineyards and Winery.”
Winemaker Andrew Bilenkij and owners Mike and Adrienne Albers accepted the Cup on behalf of Delfosse Vineyards and Winery. The vineyard manager for the vintage was Wes Franklin, supported by the Albers' son Grant.
“Since coming to Delfosse in 2019, this is one of my first vintages to see from vineyard to bottle. I’m excited and proud to see it recognized by the Virginia Governor’s Cup judges,” said Andrew Bilenkij.
Located in Faber, Virginia, Delfosse will soon be undergoing a rebrand to Mountain and Vine Vineyards and Winery, a reflection of their appreciation for the beautiful features of the vineyard property. Owners Michael and Adrienne Albers purchased the property in 2016 with the ambition to produce award winning wines using 100% estate grown fruit.
The 2021 Screaming Hawk earned the highest average score from a panel of judges who evaluated the wines based on appearance, aroma, flavor, commercial suitability and overall quality. The wine will be featured alongside 11 other wines in the Virginia Governor's Cup Case, a collection of the competition’s 12 highest scoring wines.
This year's Governors Cup Case includes:
Governors Cup Winner: Delfosse Vineyards and Winery, 2021 Screaming Hawk Meritage
Winemaker: Andrew Bilenkij; Vineyard Manager: Wes Franklin
50 West Vineyards, 2020 Petit Manseng
Winemaker: Jason Burris; Vineyard Manager Corrigan Herbert
Barboursville Vineyards, 2021 Vermentino Reserve
Winemaker: Luca Paschina/Daniele Tessaro; Vineyard Manager: Fernando Franco
Barren Ridge Vineyards, 2019 Petit Verdot
Winemaker: Jessi Gatewood; Vineyard Manager (for this vintage): Mark McCune
Jefferson Vineyards, 2021 Petit Manseng
Jefferson Vineyards, 2019 Meritage
Winemaker: Chris Ritzcovan
Mountain Run Winery, 2021 Petit Verdot
Winemaker: Eric Schenkel; Vineyard Manager: Kevin Trent
Paradise Springs Winery, 2021 Petit Verdot
Winemaker: Rob Cox; Vineyard Manager/Owner: Steven Brown
Pollak Vineyards, 2017 Meritage
Winemaker: Benoit Pineau; Vineyard Manager: Jack Pepper
The Williamsburg Winery, 2019 Petit Verdot
Winemaker: Matthew Meyer; Vineyard Manager: Eli Ramos
Trump Winery, 2016 Blanc de Noir
Trump Winery, 2019 New World Reserve
Winemaker: Jonathan Wheeler; Vineyard Manager: Nick Hillman
In its 41st year, the competition received 614 entries from over 115 Virginia wineries, cideries and meaderies. The Virginia Governor's Cup Case includes a broad variety of 100% Virginia-grown wines and represents four leading wine regions across the Commonwealth including Central Virginia, Northern Virginia, Shenandoah Valley, and Eastern Virginia. One third of the wines in the case are Meritage, Bordeaux-style blends, with another third being Petit Verdots. Elegant, expressive white varietals also add to the story of outstanding wines in this year’s competition with two Petit Mansengs, a Vermentino and a sparkling Pinot Noir rounding out the case.
For the third consecutive year, Virginia cider was judged in its own category with the highest scoring cider awarded as Best in Show. Earning two gold medals in this year’s competition, Albemarle CiderWorks received the Best in Show Cider recognition for its Orchard Blush. Virginia’s Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, Parker Slaybaugh, presented this top cider award to cidermaker Chuck Shelton and the rest of the Albemarle CiderWorks team.
See the complete list of 2023 medal winners.
Sign up for the Gold Medal Trail Passport here to collect prizes when you visit award-winning wineries this year.