It turns out, you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to bring home the gold. Earlier this month, the Virginia Wineries Association announced its 2018 Governor’s Cup winners honoring a number of Northern Virginia wineries and vineyards.
And the competition was just as fierce as Adam Rippon on the ice. This year’s gold medalists from the Governor’s Cup were selected from 442 entries of both red and white wines representing 100 different wineries.
From the judging, 99 of the wines were rated as gold medalists -- that’s the highest number ever received for this competition. And out of those winners, 11 wines came from nearby Loudoun County.
Here’s a list of winners all within an hour's drive of Washington, D.C.
868 Estate Vineyards: This vineyard took home two medals for its 2015 Cabernet Franc and Meritage expressions. It’s also a wine tasting experience where you can unwind a little by playing a few rounds of cornhole, sampling wine slushies, or indulging in chocolate truffles.
Breaux Vineyards: This Cajun-themed vineyard took home gold for its 2015 Nebbiolo and 2015 Meritage wines. This vineyard also wins for its beautiful location, set on a 404-acre property in Purcellville, Virginia.
Bozzo Family Vineyards: One of the newest vineyards in Loudoun County took home a gold for its 2nd Act 2016 Meritage. As the name implies, the Bozzo Family Vineyards is a family-run operation with five wines currently available for tasting.
Casanel Vineyards and Winery: The 2015 Petit Verdot medaled for Casanel Vineyards and Winery. In March, visitors can sample the wine alongside a painting class for $40 per person -- a great way to let the creative juices flow.
Doukenie Winery: In nearby Hillsboro, Virginia, you can sample three gold medal winners: a 2015 Petit Verdot, 2015 Meritage and 2015 Cabernet Franc all in one sitting. And on Saturdays, the tasting room opens up to local musicians.
Lost Creek Winery: Chardonnay lovers will want to sample the 2015 varietal at Lost Creek Winery, which won gold this year. The winery also offers a winter tasting menu that pairs specifically with each wine.
North Gate Vineyard: Be sure to sample the 2015 Petit Verdot when you visit North Gate Vineyard in Purcellville, Virginia. This gold medal wine is grown on the grounds of a vineyard that focuses on being eco-friendly and reducing its carbon footprint.
Tarara Winery: Tarara Winery specializes in powerful blends and single varietals to showcase the essence of Virginia wine, and its 2015 Nevaeh Red, which is a Merlot/Syrah Blend, took home gold this year.
Two Twisted Posts Winery: The Thomas Great 2014 Meritage won gold for Two Twisted Posts Winery, a husband-and-wife-owned operation that traces its roots back to an 18th-century vineyard in England.
The Barns at Hamilton Station: This vineyard took home two gold medals -- one for its 2015 Petit Verdot and another for its 2015 Meritage.
Willowcroft Farm Vineyards: What was once a fruit orchard is now a vineyard producing nationally recognized wine. Willowcraft Farm Vineyards won this year for its 2015 Meritage.