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The 2022 Colorado Governor’s Cup

Enjoying wine and charcuterie at the 2022 Colorado Uncorked event

This year’s Colorado Governor’s Cup Winemaking Competition was a celebration of the wide variety of wines vinted in our state! Of the 279 wine submissions from 38 Colorado wineries, 12 wines were awarded double gold medals by a panel of sommeliers and wine experts from across the country. The double gold medal winning wines included traditional Vitis vinifera varietals, hybrid grape varietals, semi-sweet wine, mead (honey wine), sparkling wine, and a few not as well known Italian grape varietals. These wines were featured at the Colorado Uncorked event on November 4, 2022. During the event the overall winner of the Governor’s Cup was announced.

The Colorado Uncorked event showcased all 12 of the double gold medal winning wines that made up the Governor’s case. Each wine was paired with a small bite made by some of the state’s best chefs. Of the 10 wineries with wines in the Governor’s case, six of the wineries are located in the Grand Valley.

Mesa Park Vineyards 2020 Equilibre Red Blend was an exquisite blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petite Verdot. It was full-bodied, well-balanced, and smooth.

Red Fox Cellars makes several wines out of Italian grape varietals that are not widely known in the U.S. Their Nebbiolo won double gold medals in the 2022 and 2019 Governor’s Cup competitions.

Peachfork Orchards and Vineyard is a newer winery in Palisade that opened in 2016. Winemaker Philip Patton was thrilled that their cold hardy hybrid varietal Cambourcin won the winery’s first double gold medal. This may be Peachfork’s first double gold, but it won’t be their last!

The dry rosé of St. Vincent from Whitewater Hill Vineyards is another stellar wine showcasing cold hardy hybrid varietals. This rosé was crisp with citrus on the nose, bright acidity, and wonderful tart berry flavors on the palette.

Sarah McCall of Grand Valley Grapes and Grains Adventures with Cailin Portra of Carlson Vineyards and Kevin Webber of Carboy Winery

Carlson Vineyards Sweet Baby White Blend was a refreshing semi-sweet wine. This wine had a nice balance of acidity with citrus and honey notes.

Carboy Winery had three double gold medal winning wines in this year’s Governor’s Cup: Petite Verdot, Teroldego, and a sparkling Grüner Veltliner. Interestingly, none of these three grape varietals are household names in the U.S. Petite Verdot is traditionally used as a blending grape; its deep inky purple color and rich jammy flavors lend depth and complexity to red blends. Teroldego is an Italian red varietal that grows very well in the hot and dry climate of the Grand Valley. Grüner Veltliner is an ancient white grape widely produced in Austria that is grown in only a handful of areas in the U.S.

Governor Polis presenting the 2022 Governor's Cup to Carboy Winery

During the Colorado Uncorked event, Governor Jared Polis announced the winner to be the 2020 Teroldego from Carboy Winery. Carboy Winery also won last year’s Governor’s Cup for their 2019 Teroldego. This was a historic night in that no winery has won the Governor’s Cup for the same varietal two years in a row.

Congratulations to all 10 wineries in this year’s Colorado Governor’s Cup Collection! Cheers to Colorado’s wide variety of amazing wines!

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