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2020 Governors Cup Entries & Wines Being Accepted
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2020 Governors Cup Entries & Wines Being Accepted

Governor's Cup 2019 Entries are now being accepted through December 4, 2018. Wine shipments will be accepted November 19 - December 4, 2018.

12/3/2019 to 12/13/2019
When: Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Where: SHIP (4 750ml or 5 375's) WINE to: 2020 VWA Governor's Cup
Jay Youmans c/o Capital Wine School
5207 Wisconsin Ave. Suite 7
Washington, District of Columbia  20015
United States
Contact: Laurie Aldrich

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Calling all Virginia Winemakers!

The Virginia Wineries Association is excited to announce the dates for the 2020 Governor’s Cup® Competition. Entry dates are December 3rd – December 13th. Wines must be input online, paid for and received by end of business on December 13th to be eligible. Now in its 37th year, Master of Wines Jay Youmans is coordinating the judging for the competition. Steven Spurrier is returning to judge this year along with other elite judges. We are grateful for the continued partial support from the Virginia Wine Board to make this a premier, one-of-a-kind competition.

One of the most valuable and unique aspects of the Governor’s Cup® Competition is the education and feedback through tasting notes and forums. One or two educational seminars will be live streamed to multiple pre-determined regional locations across the Commonwealth. Mr. Youmans will lead this regional educational forum with the winemakers and vineyard managers of the Governor’s Cup® case wines, sharing their expertise in making the award winning wine. The wineries holding the viewing party will be provided with the case wine so attendees can taste the case while viewing the live stream.

There is no limit to the number of 100% Virginia wines (meaning fruit, wine, concentrates and fortifiers must be 100% Virginian grown), vintage 2013 or younger you may enter. Entering a wine into Governor’s Cup® can be a great marketing tool, as 80% of the wines the Virginia Wine Marketing Office uses for promotional events come from the Governor’s Cup® medal list. Winning a medal, being in the Case, and being awarded the Governor’s Cup® are all validation for the hard work you do throughout the year.

As voted on by the membership in 2018, wineries must be a 2019 Gold, Silver or Bronze member of the Virginia Wineries Association to be eligible to participate in the 2020 Governor’s Cup Competition. We continue to encourage wineries to enter your wines online. By entering your wine online, you will save $5 per wine. If you choose to mail in your entry, please visit for an entry form. The entry fee for all wines submitted online is $80 per wine or $85 for paper entries. Wines must be received between December 3, 2019 and December 13, 2019. Our preferred shipping partner is FedEx. If FedEx is not already your preferred shipper, visit our website for more information about the FedEx PartnerShip program offered to VWA members. The PartnerShip program offers savings on every size shipment.  

As the Virginia wine industry grows, so must the guidelines of this competition. The fermentation rule, after significant and thoughtful debate, was eliminated. For transparency, marketing and promotional purposes, when entering your wine, you must supply the Brand Name (winery produced for), Wine Name, and Producer (producing winery- no labeling DBA’s please).
Continuing this year, in an attempt to make the case more representative of all Virginia wines if the case does not include 1/3 of the minority wine (red/white), then the case will be made to have 4 wines or 1/3 of the minority wine (red/white). The wine with the highest overall score will be the Governor’s Cup® Winner. As always, we will not disclose scores or ranking of wines, so only medals awarded and case winners will be disclosed.

Plan to be at the Governor’s Cup Gala with your award winning wine February 25, 2020 to witness the announcement of the Governor’s Cup® and Governor’s Cup Case. All Gold medal winners will be notified by the week of February 5th, please have the point of contact you provide with your entry available between the 3rd and 10th of February to discuss the requirements and information needed for the Gala less than 3 weeks later.

Please note the rules and guidelines enclosed. Please feel free to contact the VWA office if you have any questions. We look forward to your participation this year.  

Best of Luck to all!
Virginia Wineries Association

Entry Rules & Reminders:
1.    Delivery of wines will be accepted between December 3 and December 13, 2019. All online entries, payment and wine must be received by December 13, 2019. Any entry that is received after December 13, 2019 will be rejected.
2.    Wineries participating in the 2020 Governor’s Cup Competition, wineries must be 2019 Gold, Silver, or Bronze VWA members in good standing by October 31st. To enter online and pay by credit card or e-check, visit our website at and sign into your profile. You will be able to begin entering the data for the wines you will be submitting.  Wines that are entered online will be $80 per entry; entries whose paperwork and payment are mailed to our offices in N. Chesterfield will be $85 per entry Do NOT send payment with your wine.
3.    Wines and ciders submitted to the competition must be made with 100% Virginia fruit, juice, wine, concentrate and fortifiers.  You will attest to this when you enter your wine, certifying your entries meet this criterion.
4.    Wineries may enter as many wines as you wish.
5.    Be prepared with grape sources. This information will be collected – please include Vineyard name and location and contact information for each varietal in the wine blend.
6.    Make sure residual sugar is entered as a percentage.
7.    All vintage wines submitted must be vintage year 2013 or younger. Check your vintages when entering to be sure the vintage you ship matches the vintage you entered online!
8.    There is a 50 case minimum to enter the Governor’s Cup.  This means that the winery must have 50 cases of the wine available for retail sales at the time of award (February 25, 2020). The competition and Governor’s Cup Case winners will be promoted to the public. This case minimum was set to ensure that consumers will have a chance to purchase these wines.
9.    Send wines with a copy of the online receipt sent as a confirmation from online entry. Please not this will display only the first wine entered and the number of wines as attendees. Mark boxes “For Analysis Only – Not for Resale”.  Detailed mailing information is at the bottom of the enclosed form.
10.    We prefer you ship Fed Ex for ease of delivery to the Capital Wine School, but UPS is acceptable. Hand delivery may be possible and must be pre-arranged with the Capital Wine School.
11.    Any wine that is delivered to the competition without a full and proper label will be disqualified from the judging. Please do not send wines with laboratory, temporary, photocopied or altered labels.
12.    For transparency, marketing, and promotional purposes, you must supply the Brand Name (winery produced for), Wine Name, and Producer (producing winery, no labeling DBA’S please) when entering wines.

Governor’s Cup Case Rules & Reminders:
13.    Fruit wines & ciders may be entered in the Governor’s Cup competition; however, they are not eligible to be included in the Governor’s Cup Case.
14.    To increase diversity of the Governor’s Cup Case no more than 2 dessert and 1 sparkling wine in the Case.
15.    All wineries that produce a wine that makes the Governor’s Cup Case, the top 12 wines, will agree to sell 10 cases of that wine at $200 per case to be used for marketing purposes.
16.    The winners of the Governor’s Cup Case agree to pour the award winning wine during the Gala Event on February 25, 2020 at the Main Street Station.  
17.    Cases winners are required to have a representative, preferably the winemaker, at the educational forum.
18.    Any submitted wine that receives an award must be released to the public by February 25, 2020.

VWA is permitted to use and collect the data provided on the entry form (both electronic & mailed).


1025 Boulders Parkway, Suite 110
N. Chesterfield, VA 23225