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Governor's Cup 2018 Accepting Entries
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Governor's Cup 2018 Accepting Entries

Governor's Cup 2018 Entries will be entered through this site during November 27 to December 8, 2017.

11/27/2017 to 12/8/2017
When: Nov. 27 - Dec. 8, 2017
Where: SHIP WINE to: 2018 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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Dear Virginia Wineries,

Virginia Wineries Association’s is proud to launch its 2018 Governor’s Cup® Competition. With the support of the Virginia Wine Board for the 6th year in a row, Master of Wines Jay Youmans, will be coordinating the judging for the competition. He is organizing several changes this year as he works to compile a group of elite judges for the competition.

One of the most valuable and unique aspects of the Governor’s Cup® Competition is the tasting notes. After the competition concludes, tasting notes for each wine entered will be provided to the wineries some of these may look slightly different to allow more comment to be made in the initial round. Fewer educational forums will be conducted this year and all will occur in the spring. Mr. Youmans will lead these regional educational forums with the winemakers and vineyard managers of the Governor’s Cup® case wines, sharing their expertise in making the award winning wine.

Last year was a record year for entries into the competition. There is no limit to the number of 100% Virginia Fruit wines, vintage 2011 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.

We continue to encourage wineries to enter your wines online. The VWA Governor’s Cup® Competition is utilizing a new online system through the VWA website. By entering your wine online, you will save $5 per wine. If you choose to mail in your entry, please visit the Governor's Cup on the VWA website at for an entry form. The entry fee for all wines submitted by Silver & Gold members will be $80 per wine entered online and $95 for all other member wines entered online. Your membership level will be known when entered and you will be charged accordingly. For paper entries the fees are $85 per entry for Silver and Gold members sent through the mail and $100 for all other member entries.

Wines must be received between November 27 and December 8, 2017. Our preferred shipping partner is FedEx. In the past, there have been issues with UPS dropping the wines off curbside and not delivering them into the Capital Wine School. If FedEx is not already your preferred shipper, we have included information about the FedEx PartnerShip program offered to VWA members. The PartnerShip program offers savings on every size shipment. 

Further changes to Governor’s Cup Case®, the 12 top-scoring wines, have been made. Please note the changes in the rules below. The primary change made in mid-2016 for the 2018 competition is that primary fermentation needs to take place onsite of the submitting winery to be eligible for the case and cup. Continuing this year, in an attempt to making 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 Wednesday, February, 28 to see the Governor’s Cup® be awarded to the winning winery. All Gold medal winners will be notified by the first week of February, please have the point of contact you provide with your entry to available between the 1st and the 8th of February to discuss the requirements and information needed for the Gala just weeks later.

Please notes there are changes in the rules and guidelines below. 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 Board of Directors

Here are a few rules and reminders:

1.      When entering online, log in. You will be able to begin entering the data for the wines you will be submitting. Wines will be accepted November 27 – December 8, 2017. All online entries, payment and wine must be received by December 8, 2017. Any entry that is received after December 8, 2017 will be rejected. Entries that are entered online will be $80 per entry for Gold & Silver members and $95 for all other members; entries whose paperwork and payment are mailed to our offices in N. Chesterfield will be $85 per entry for Gold and Silver and $100 for all other members.

2.     Wines and ciders submitted to the competition must be made with 100% Virginia fruit.  You will attest to this when you enter your wine, certifying your entries meet this criterion.

3.    NEW Wines produced with primary fermentation being done on the licensed premises are eligible for the Governor’s Cup Case. All other wines are eligible for every level medal, but will not be considered eligible for the Governor’s Cup Case and therefore not eligible for the Governor’s Cup.

4.      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.

 5.     NEW - To increase diversity of the Governor's Cup Case no more than 2 dessert and 1 sparkling wine in the case.

6.     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 2018). 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.

7.     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.

8.      The winners of the Governor’s Cup Case agree to pour the award winning wine during the Gala Event in February 2018.

9.     All vintage wines submitted must be vintage year 2011 or younger.

10.     Any submitted wine that receives an award must be released to the public by February 2018.

11.  Send wines with a copy of the packing slip you will receive in email. Mark boxes “For Analysis Only – Not for Resale”.  Detailed mailing information is at the bottom of the attached form.

12.   We prefer you ship Fed Ex for ease of delivery to Jay.

13.   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.

14.   Source of grapes will be collected – please include Vineyard name and location and contact information for each varietal in the wine blend.

15.   VWA is permitted to use and collect the data provided on the entry form.

16.   Wineries may enter as many wines as you wish.

17.   Make sure to enter sugar as a percentage. 

18.   Wines sent to the Capital Wine School cannot be returned for any reason. 

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