RICHMOND, VA – Governor Glenn Youngkin awarded the 2023 Virginia Governor’s Cup® to Delfosse Vineyards and Winery for the 2021 Screaming Hawk Meritage— a signature estate red blend of 50% Petit Verdot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Malbec. The prestigious award was given during the annual Virginia Governor’s Cup® Gala held at Main Street Station on February 23. In its 41st year, the competition received 614 entries from over 115 Virginia wineries, cideries and meaderies.
“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.”
“Each year I see the advancement in the caliber of wines and ciders in this competition. With another record breaking year, 66 producers received a 90 point score or higher,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr. “As this industry grows, it continues to support and strengthen both the agricultural community in the Commonwealth and Virginia’s economy.”
Winemaker Andrew Bilenkij and owners Mike and Adrienne Albers accepted the Cup on behalf of Delfosse Vineyards and Winery.
“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.
“I have told my team every year throughout the grape growing season and winemaking process that we want to win the Governor’s Cup– it’s been our goal,” said Mike Albers.
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 esteemed 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.
The Virginia Governor’s Cup® Case includes a broad variety of 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.
About the Virginia Governor’s Cup® Competition
The Virginia Wineries Association’s Governor’s Cup® is held in partnership with the Virginia Wine Board.
All entries must be made from 100% Virginia-grown fruit to be eligible. Each wine is ranked based on a unified scoring system. For more information about the Virginia Governor’s Cup® Competition and a complete list of winners, visit: www.virginiawine.org/