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VA wines bring home 24 medals in largest US competition

Virginia Winery Keswick Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

Virginia’s Keswick Vineyards brings home double gold from California.

The San Francisco International Wine Competition is regarded as one of the most prestigious wine competitions in the United States. Wines from twenty-six different countries, including  Italy, France, Australia, and Napa, California, compete.

In total, 4556 wines were submitted for judging this year and of the thousands of wines entered, less than 5% achieved double gold. The double gold category is reserved for wines that receive a unanimous consensus as outstanding in a blind tasting procedure. Managed by leading wine guru Anthony Dias Blue, it’s particularly gratifying to find such acceptance and recognition of VA quality wines as the majority of the judges are based in California.

Keswick Vineyards’ 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve was the most acclaimed among the group of VA wines, receiving the double gold and besting some highly valued Napa Valley cabernets, considered the benchmark on which all New World cabernets are judged.

Al Schornberg, owner of Keswick Vineyards, said, “In a competition featuring so many great wines, we are honored that a Virginia cabernet showed so well.”

Winemaker Stephen Barnard added, “We have always felt that our 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon was very special, so we are thrilled that it won such a coveted medal in this prestigious competition. This win demonstrates that we here in Central Virginia, specifically at Keswick Vineyards, have the ability to produce world-class wines.”

Governor Bob McDonnell also praised Virginia winemakers last week. He commented, “The latest recognition came [from] the prestigious San Francisco International Wine Competition, one of the most highly regarded wine competitions in the world… Just as last year, a number of Virginia wines scored highly against more than 4500 other wines and were awarded double gold, gold, silver, and bronze medals.  The First Lady and I congratulate all of our wineries and wine makers for their accomplishments and for helping raise the Virginia wine industry to higher levels.”

He continued, “In particular, we want to recognize Luca Paschina and Barboursville Vineyards for winning ‘Best of Show’ for their 2007 Malvaxia Passito and Doug Flemer and his team at Ingleside Vineyards for winning ‘Best of Varietal’ for their 2007 Petit Verdot.  Luca and Doug have been outstanding ambassadors for the Virginia wine industry for years, so it is incredibly gratifying to see their efforts so highly recognized by the discerning judges at the San Francisco International Wine Competition.”

Here’s the complete list of winners:

Barboursville Vineyards 
·         Best of Show Dessert Wine, Double Gold Medal Barboursville Vineyards 2007 Passito, Malvaxia, Virginia $30.
·         Silver Medal Barboursville Vineyards 2009 Petit Verdot, Reserve, Virginia $25.
·         Bronze Medal Barboursville Vineyards 2009 Nebbiolo, Reserve, Virginia $22.
·         Bronze Medal Barboursville Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Franc, Reserve, Virginia $23.

Ingleside Vineyards 
·         Best Petit Verdot, Double Gold Medal Ingleside Vineyards 2007 Petit Verdot, Virginia $20.
·         Gold Medal Ingleside Vineyards 2007 Petit Verdot, Reserve, Virginia $27.
·         Silver Medal Ingleside Vineyards 2007 Red Blend, Virginia Gold, Virginia $35.

Gray Ghost Vineyards
·         Gold Medal Gray Ghost Vineyards 2011 Late Harvest Vidal, Adieu, Virginia $24.
·         Silver Medal Gray Ghost Vineyards 2011 Vidal Blanc, Virginia $13.
·         Bronze Medal Gray Ghost Vineyards 2010 Chardonnay, Reserve, Virginia $25.

Keswick Vineyards
·         Double Gold Medal Keswick Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, Monticello $40.
·         Silver Medal Keswick Vineyards 2011 Verdelho, Monticello $18.
·         Bronze Medal Keswick Vineyards 2010 Viognier, Reserve, Monticello.
·         Bronze Medal Keswick Vineyards 2010 Merlot, Monticello.

Michael Shaps
·         Bronze Medal Michael Shaps 2009 Viognier, Virginia $24.

Narmada Winery
·         Silver Medal Narmada Winery 2010 Chambourcin, Namada Vineyard, Virginia $25. [12%]
·         Silver Medal Narmada Winery 2011 Viognier, Virginia $23.
·         Bronze Medal Narmada Winery 2010 Red Bordeaux Blend, Yash-Vir, Virginia $23.
·         Bronze Medal Narmada Winery 2010 Tannat, Virginia $38.

Paradise Springs of Clifton
·         Silver Medal Paradise Springs of Clifton 2011 Petit Manseng, Virginia $25.

Pollak Vineyards
·         Gold Medal Pollak Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Reserve , Smuggler Vineyard, Monticello $35.
·         Bronze Medal Pollak Vineyards 2009 Premium Bordeaux Blend, Estate, Monticello $25.

Philip Carter Winery
·         Bronze Medal Philip Carter Winery 2010 Meritage, Virginia $29.

Veramar Vineyard
·         Bronze Medal Veramar Vineyard 2011 Seyval Blanc, Virginia $19.