Virginia, Maryland impress the California judges

Local wines shined – or at least won some shiny medals – at two recent competitions in California. At this year’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest annual contest featuring wines from around the United States, Barboursville Vineyards took Best in Class for its 2008 Cabernet Franc Reserve ($24), while Virginia wineries collected 22 medals in all. Maryland claimed three medals.

Barboursville's Cabernet Franc led a strong showing by local wines in two California competitions.

And at the Winemakers Challenge, a San Diego competition in which winemakers are the judges, Barboursville’s 2009 Cabernet Franc Reserve won Best Cabernet Franc, while its 2010 Viognier Reserve won best Viognier.

In the Chronicle competition, Barboursville also collected silvers for its 2007 Octagon red blend ($41) and its 2010 Viognier Reserve ($24).

Winemaker Luca Paschina was understandably excited about the Best in Class recognitions for two vintages of his Cab Franc, which many people consider Virginia’s best red grape.

“Once more, a Virginia wine has reached world class recognition for its own
merit, in a blind setting, and it is a great time for all people involved in our industry to be proud, celebrate and yet not surprised of the achievement,” he wrote in an email.

San Diego wine writer Robert Whitley, who organizes the Winemaker Challenge, noted that Barboursville’s showing “once again demonstrated that superb wines can be made in the southeastern United States.” He said Jefferson Vineyards “also spoke strongly for Virginia” by winning gold for its 2010 Cabernet Franc, as well as two silver medals.

Other wineries were celebrating, too. Barrel Oak, in Fauquier County, collected five medals in San Francisco, including a Double Gold (meaning all judges on the panel rating it gave a gold-medal score) for its 2010 Chardonnay Reserve, in the $25-$30 category. The winery also collected medals for its 2009 Cabernet Franc, 2009 Petit Verdot, 2010 Chardonnay and 2010 Viognier.

Barren Ridge Vineyards, Doukenie Winery, Gray Ghost Vineyards, Keswick Vineyards, Philip Carter Winery, and Rappahannock Cellars also collected medals in San Francisco.
From Maryland, Boordy Vineyards collected a silver medal for its 2010 Chardonnay Reserve from Long Green Vineyard, part of the winery’s ambitious replanting effort, as well as a bronze medal for its 2007 Veritas, a port-style wine. Slack Wines & Vineyards also won a bronze for its White Shoals sparkling wine.

About Dave McIntyre

Wine columnist for The Washington Post, co-founder of, and blogger at Dave McIntyre's WineLine (
This entry was posted in Cabernet Franc, California, Competitions, Eastern US, Maryland, Virginia, Wine and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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