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Virginia Wineries Association Awards

 The growth of the Virginia wine industry is due to the outstanding contributions of individuals who diligently work on behalf of the wine community. Each year at the Governor's Cup Gala, we pay tribute to the significant contributions of these individuals by presenting two awards. We accept nominations throughout the year for both awards.

  • The Gordon Murchie Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual for meritorious service to the Virginia wine industry over a long period of time.
  • The VWA Wine Person of the Year is presented to a person (or persons) deserving recognition for service to the wine industry over the preceding year.

A third award, the Legislator of the Year, is presented, typically at the Wine Conference and Annual Meeting in November. This award is presented to a state legislator, governor or other influential governmental official for exceptional support of the Virginia wine industry.

  2017 Award Recipients

Emily Pelton of Veritas Vineyard & Winery was presented with the Wine Person of the Year Award. This award is presented to a person deserving recognition for service to the wine industry. Emily a winemaker for Veritas Vineyards & Winery and is a founding member of the Virginia Winemakers Research Exchange. The Exchange came to be when a few local winemakers gathered to share their bottles and ideas, exchanging experiments and feedback. In 2014, the group received a grant from the Monticello Wine Trail and founded the Winemakers Research Exchange. In 2015, after receiving funding from the Virginia Wine Board, the Exchange grew to a statewide program. The Virginia Winemakers Research Exchange now has 5 regions, each with its own regional director. The Exchange has garnered a lot of attention and interest. Winemakers throughout the state will benefit from the experiments conducted each harvest.  Her many past, current and future contributions to the Virginia wine industry made her the ideal candidate for this award.  


David King of King Family Vineyards was presented with the Gordon Murchie Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is presented to individuals for meritorious service to the Virginia wine industry over a long period of time.  For some twenty years, David has served the Virginia wine industry in a long list of leadership positions: As an active member of the VWA, David applied his legally-trained and convincing voice to the task of promoting favorable industry legislation. As the chairman of the Virginia Wine Board from 2007 to 2009, David was a key promoter of the establishment of the Virginia Winery Distribution Company that, due to the earlier loss of self-distribution, provided a unique mechanism through which smaller wineries could sell and distribute their wines.  David has also been a major supporter of the growth and national presence of the Wine Board's Wine Marketing Office, as well as providing leadership and participation in the industry's strategy planning sessions and supporting the formation of the Virginia Wine Council. In 2010, David King was recognized by the industry when he was presented the Person of the Year Award.



The 2016 Legislator the Year Award was presented to Delegate David Bulova, 37th District, County of Fairfax. Along with his many lawmaking endeavors, Delegate Bulova has worked tirelessly this year to support positive agricultural legislation that protects the interests of our community and benefits local wineries and vineyards.  He currently serves on the General Laws, Education, and Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources committees.  He is a member of the State Water Commission, Chesapeake Bay Commission, Housing Commission, the Joint Commission on Health Care, and the Virginia War Memorial Board.



Use this form to submit your nomination (with background/explanation) for Lifetime Achievement, Wine Person of the Year, and Legislator of the Year.


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