14 April, 2021

Holiday Cheers: Give the gift of Virginia Wine

The holidays are in full swing in Virginia, but if you're still struggling to find that perfect gift for friends, family, and co-workers, consider gifting a few bottles of Virginia wine! Not only will you choose an excellent gift, but you will also support Virginia's great wineries during COVID-19.

There are over 300 Commonwealth wineries, with many offering shipping, sidewalk pickup and other secure delivery methods, but we take a look at the winners of this year's Governor & # 39; s Cup Case, a list of ten notable wineries that stood out for their exceptional Virginia wines. Grab a few bottles from these signature vineyards to share the Christmas spirit and tick off your gift list.

Michael Shaps Wineworks – Charlottesville

Governor's Cup Case Winner: Meritage 2016

Michael Shaps is a well-known figure in the Virginia wine industry, with a background at award-winning wineries such as Jefferson Vineyards and King Family Vineyards. In 2007 he opened Michael Shaps Wineworks, his own tasting room and wine production facility in Charlottesville, and in the years since has been consistently at the forefront of great Virginia winemaking. The 2020 Governor's Cup Gold Medal list featured seven wines from Michael Shaps Wineworks: the L. Scott 2017, Petit Verdot 2017, Cabernet Franc 2017, Raisin D’Etre Blanc 2016, Meritage 2017 and Petit Manseng 2018.

Buy Michael Shaps wines in Charlottesville & # 39; s Wineworks tasting room or Wineworks Extended location, at his latest vineyard addition, Shenandoah Vineyards in Edinburgh (all of which operate under COVID-19 safety rules), or buy online and have them delivered directly to you ship home.

Pollak Vineyards – Greenwood

Governor's Cup Case Winner: Smuggler 2017 & Cabernet Franc Reserve 2017


Pollak Vineyards scored big in the Governor's Cup Case 2020, producing two of the twelve wines in this coveted annual line-up. In addition to these Cup Case winners, the winery produced three more gold medal wines in the 2020 Governor’s Cup: the Cabernet Franc 2017, Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 and the Meritage 2017.

The winery offers pick-up for your holiday wine needs Wednesday through Sunday from 12-5pm, and you can also purchase many of their wines online and have them delivered to your door.

Rockbridge Vineyard – Raphine

Governor's Cup Case Winner: 2017 Vd'Or

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<p>Rockbridge Vineyard has long been a major wine producer in Virginia, winning Best in Show in the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition and twice taking home the esteemed Virginia Governor’s Cup. Winemaker and owner Shepherd Rouse has worked in wineries in Germany, California and Virginia and founded Rockbridge Vineyard in 1988 with his wife, Jane Millott-Rouse. </p>
<p>The winery ships to many states so you can send the gift of Virginia wine to friends who may not be able to make it for the holidays this year because of COVID-19. Call the winery to place your order for sidewalk pickup or shipping within Virginia. </p>
<h2><strong>Vineyards of Barboursville – Barboursville</strong></h2>
<p><strong>Governor's Cup Case Winner: </strong>Octagon 2014 and Vermentino Reserve 2018</p>
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<h5 class=Photo Credit: Fred DeSousa

Between owner Gianni Zonin and world-renowned winemaker Luca Paschina, Barboursville Vineyards has an abundance of wine knowledge that has resulted in annual gold medal wins (and featured in the prestigious Cup Case in most years) at the Governor & # 39; s Cup Awards for nearly a decade . While Octagon is the annually produced wine they are most famous for, there are many superior wines worth sampling at this Central Virginia winery.

Stop in the winery tasting room, which is open daily at certain hours, to choose your Christmas presents, or order wines online if you can't make it to the vineyard. If you buy a dozen bottles of wine from the winery's website, shipping is free (in most states) and you'll also receive a 10% discount on your order, so check several people on your gift list and consider buying a few bottles for to save yourself enjoy your holiday!

Delaplane Cellars – Delaplane

Governor's Cup Case Winner: Williams Gap 2017

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<h5 class=Photo Credit: Eric Weiss

Delaplane Cellars has been a staple of the Northern Virginia wine business since 2007, but last year the original owners sold the property to two longtime Delaplane Cellars fans. However, visitors who have enjoyed the wines produced in the vineyard in the past need not worry about the transition, as Delaplane Cellars' victory in the Governor & # 39; s Cup Case proves this year. The new owners honor the wine traditions that made Delaplane Cellars a must-try for Virginia wine enthusiasts, producing exceptional vintages that make for fantastic gifts.

Purchase wines or gift certificates online, or stop by the winery for a peripheral pickup, available Monday through Thursday 11 am-5pm and Friday through Sunday 11 am-6pm.

Shenandoah Vineyards – Edinburgh

Governor's Cup Case Winner: 2017 Shenandoah Reserve Red

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<p>Another Michael Shaps win this year came from his latest Shenandoah Vineyards wine effort. Although the winery is the second oldest operating winery in Virginia (established in 1988), Shaps acquired it in 2018, in recognition of the high quality of the soil and growing conditions in the region that made the wines at Shenandoah Vineyards exceptional. His vast knowledge and decades of proficiency in the wine industry have contributed to the winery's continued success, and he has added several new grape varieties to the vineyard to expand their offering.</p>
<p>Order online or visit the winery daily from 11am to 5pm to pick up wines for your friends and family. </p>
<h2><strong>868 Estate Vineyards – Purcellville</strong></h2>
<p><strong>Governor's Cup Case Winner: </strong>Vidal Blanc 2017</p>
<p>Another star in the Northern Virginia wine industry is 868 Estate Vineyards, established in 2012 with ten acres of vineyards, which increased to 22 acres in 2018. The winery has several notable varieties currently for sale online including Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin and Chardonnay, as well as carefully curated wine blends such as their NV Grandale, a balanced blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. </p>
<p>Not sure what your gift recipients like to drink? You can also support the winery by purchasing a gift certificate that ships for free and can be redeemed online or in person at the on-site winery or restaurant on a future visit. </p>
<h2><strong>Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards – North Garden</strong></h2>
<p><strong>Governor's Cup Case Winner: </strong>Petit Verdot 2017</p>
<p><img loading=Photo credit: Steven Morris

The owners of Afton Mountain Vineyards both grew up in Charlottesville and have lifelong ties to the region, even marrying at the University of Virginia Chapel. These strong local ties led them to open the winery in 2009, and their deep knowledge of the terroir around the Blue Ridge Mountains has resulted in the Governor's Cup medals every year from 2014 to 2020, with their Tradition wine from 2017 (a classic Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot) making it the prestigious Governor & # 39; s Cup Case in 2020.

Order bottles of Afton Mountain Vineyards wine online and have it shipped directly to yourself, your friends and your family members, or order your order from the winery with sidewalk pickup Thursday through Saturday from 12-5pm. The winery's tasting room is also open for bottle sales Thursday through Sunday 11 am-5pm, which changes after January 2 to Friday through Sunday 11 am-5pm.

Nearly all Virginia wineries offer contactless or sidewalk pickup, and many offer direct shipping, so you can get your holiday gifts without ever leaving home. Order a few bottles from your favorite wineries to support Virginia vineyards and give unique gifts this holiday season!

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