Notes From the Winemaker - March 5th, 2014


I sincerely hope the news of Virginia's Governor's Cup wine competition has reached your ears, yet the excitement of these awards lives after them. The purpose of this annual event is to compile the Governor's Case, of Virginia's 12 finest wines, to be presented to 100 leading critics and sommeliers throughout the country. This year, more than 400 wines were entered, from 96 wineries. Three of our wines were chosen, and they were separated by less than 6/10 of a point. This result defies statistical probability, but not viticultural explanation.

Our three Governor's Case wines - Octagon 2010Nebbiolo Reserve 2010 and Malvaxia Passito 2008 - are not occasional winemaking inspirations, but the perennial crown jewels of this estate. Each of them represents decades of evolution here. Each of these vintages has been awarded Gold Medals from California to Virginia, already; but year after year, this is so. Now their selection in such a hotly contested competition, where no other winery contributed more than one wine to the Governor's Case, highlights as nothing else could how unusual it is for the same wine estate to craft 3 wines of indistinguishable superiority, from grapes of such diverse cultures of origin, biological characteristics, and winemaking technique.


Two are red wines of the highest prestige in their native lands, and the third is a white wine of ancient technical derivation. Bordeaux is the birthplace of Octagon, Piemonte is for Nebbiolo, and Tuscany is for vin santo, such as Malvaxia Passito. To comprehend them all in one terroir, much less in one estate, is inconceivable in the Old World, and such uniformity of quality is without any precedent known to us here. We accept the prizes gratefully, but we know they're to be found in our ground. Can we agree, this is a spectacular growing region?

Please join my colleagues and me in commending Williamsburg Winery for its Governor's Cup this year. And please mark your calendar to enjoy all three of our Governor's Case wines, at this Spring'sVertical Tasting Weekend, April 5 and April 6, along with several previous vintages, exhibiting their wonderful age-worthiness.