The Monticello Cup Awards (MCA) was held on Monday, May 7, 2018 at the Jefferson Theater to celebrate the winning wines of the 28th Annual Monticello Cup Wine Competition. All wines were produced by members of the Monticello Wine Trail (MWT) and contained at least 85% fruit from the Monticello American Viticultural Area (AVA).
There were 13 gold (including the Top 3 Red, Top 3 White, and the overall Monticello Cup winner), 27 silver and 15 bronze medals awarded.
The Monticello Cup was presented to Veritas Vineyard & Winery for their 2015 Petit Verdot “Paul Shaffer’s 7th Edition”.
“I have to say, the competition for this cup means as much to me as any that we compete for. It takes a village to win a cup and Monticello is our village and as I have tried to show through the Research Exchange, the local community is the atmosphere that makes each of the wineries here tonight keep striving to improve the quality of our wines both locally, statewide and internationally,” said Veritas Vineyard & Winery Winemaker Emily Pelton.
Pelton speaking about the winning wine stated, “Our 2015 Petit Verdot captures the essence of Petit Verdot, and is a wine that speaks to all aspects of its origins fully and beautifully. This wine was made in the vineyard, tended with a heartfelt passion by my uncle, protected by my brother-in-law in the cellar, and artfully crafted with my Dad’s guidance and my brother’s support, and of course the vision of my mother, and the moral support on all sides from my sister and sister-in-law and my aunt…. and of course a little luck with the weather. This wine is a happy reflection of my family’s passion for Petit Verdot.”
The other two reds in the Top 3 Red category were Keswick Vineyards’ 2016 Cabernet Franc Estate Reserve and Flying Fox Vineyards’ 2014 Petit Verdot. The Top 3 Whites were Afton Mountain Vineyards’ 2016 Chardonnay Estate Reserve, Michael Shaps Wineworks’ 2017 Rosie Rosé and Trump Winery’s 2012 Blanc de Blanc.
The judging was coordinated by the Virginia Wine and Spirits Academy, and the judges were: Dave Collins (Big Cork Vineyards – Rohrersville, MD), Bill Curtis (Tastings – Charlottesville, VA), Vincent Derquenne (Bizou – Charlottesville, VA), Booth Hardy (Barrel Thief Wine Shop – Richmond, VA), Robert Harllee (Market Street Wineshop – Charlottesville, VA), Jess Helfand (Wine Educator at the Napa Valley Wine Academy – Nashville, TN), Richard Leahy (Author of “Behind Jefferson’s Vines – Charlottesville, VA), Lindsey Parris (Wine Educator – Washington DC), Rob Renteria (La Folie – San Francisco, CA), and Erin Scala (In Vino Veritas – Charlottesville, VA).
“It was an honor for the Virginia Wine and Spirits Academy to host the judging of wines entered into the 2018 Monticello Cup Wine Competition. We were very fortunate to assemble a team of eminently qualified judges from Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee and California. After a busy day of judging I was left with the impression that the consistent high quality wines this year, in all categories, is indicative of the heart and soul of the Monticello AVA and of the exciting developments that lay ahead,” remarked Virginia Wine & Spirits Co-Founder Chris Parker.
The MCA also officially marks the start of the Taste of Monticello Wine Trail Festival, which celebrates all the Monticello AVA has to offer. Additional information on the rest of the week’s events is available at www.monticellowinetrailfestival.com.
The MWT, a subsidiary of the Jeffersonian Wine Grape Growers Society (JWGGS), is an association of 33 wineries surrounding Charlottesville, VA in the counties of Albemarle, Greene, Madison, Nelson and Orange. The mission of the JWGGS is to support their members and promote quality grapes and wine produced in the Monticello AVA.