Barboursville Vineyards secured the victory at this year’s Virginia Governor’s Cup.

It was its 2015 Paxxito that claimed its spot at the pinnacle of Virginia’s vast wine selection. Virginia’s physical location at the midpoint of Europe and California is perfect for yielding all sorts of grapes with unique traits. So where better to host one of the most prestigious wine competitions in the United States?

Paxxito bottle with vineyard background


The liquid showdown is officiated by 16 world-class judges who sampled 544 wines from more than 100 wineries made with fruits strictly sourced from Virginia. The Judge’s rubric is based on a 100-point Wine Spectator scale. The most outstanding wines Virginia has to offer are awarded either bronze, silver, or gold medals. The top-ranked wines earn a spot in the Governor’s Case, while the wine with the highest score becomes the Virginia Governor’s Cup winner.

Barboursville Cup

Barboursville Cup

Douglas Zerbst is the Director of Fine Wine for Republic National Distributing Co. of Virginia. His years of experience in restaurants, kitchens, and hotels earned him the role of a final judge in this year’s cup.

The case of 2021 got most of its nominees from the north-central region of Virginia winemaking (Barboursville, Breaux, Bluestone, Carriage House Wineworks, King Family, Trump Winery, Veritas Vineyards).

This year’s cream of the crop, 2015 Paxxito, is a distinctive wine created in the traditional Passito process. The grapes are carefully hand-selected and set aside to rest and air-dry for up to 120 days before crushing and pressing. Six months of slow, cool fermentation followed by extended barrel aging produces a balanced wine of good acidity and optimal sweetness. Here are the other 11 wines that won a spot in the 2021 Governor’s Cup Case:

  • Barboursville Vineyards-2019 Vermentino Reserve
  • Barboursville Vineyards-2015 Paxxito
  • Barboursville Vineyards-2016 Octagon
  • Bluestone Vineyard- 2019Petit Manseng
  • Breaux Vineyards-2016 Nebbiolo
  • Breaux Vineyards-2016 Meritage
  • Carriage House Wineworks -2019 Petit Verdot
  • King Family Vineyards -2017 Mountain Plains
  • Michael Shaps Wineworks- 2015 Meritage
  • R.A.H Wine Co.- 2017 Series 1
  • Trump Winery- 2014 Brut Reserve
  • Veritas Winery -2017 Petit Verdot