RICHMOND, Va. (Oct. 7, 2011) - New Kent Winery's 2009 Reserve Chardonnay has been awarded the 2011 Virginia Governor's Cup for white wines, the top award given for wines grown in the state.
The Governor’s Cup was presented to New Kent Managing Partner Pete Johns and the winery’s winemaker, Tom Payette, by Gov. Bob McDonnell and First Lady Maureen McDonnell at ceremonies at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts where the winner was announced.
New Kent's 2009 Chardonnay Reserve was judged best from among 162 wines entered from 52 wineries, representing all of the appellations in the Commonwealth. The 30th annual Virginia Governor's Cup competition for white wines was sponsored by the Virginia Wineries Association.
“I am humbled and honored to accept this award and do so with great pride,” said Johns in accepting the award this week. “I acknowledge my partners in this winery, Boddie-Noell Enterprises, the wonderful New Kent Winery staff and our exceptional winemaker, Tom Payette. Tom's expertise and magical touch has helped New Kent Winery establish itself as one of Virginia's premier wineries."
Johns and Payette have worked closely for more than eight years to establish vineyards for the Winery which opened publicly in 2008.
"What a huge honor to be recognized for our 2009 Chardonnay Reserve,” said Payette. “It’s a privilege to work with such fine people at New Kent Winery and I am blessed to be able to do what I love to do - making wine, especially this beautiful Chardonnay."
Fermentation on the yeast lees in small premium American oak barrels makes this well rounded creamy Virginia Reserve Chardonnay unique among other wines. Extremely youthful despite its vintage, New Kent Winery's 2009 Reserve Chardonnay pairs beautifully with flavorful cheeses and all types of shellfish, veal, pork, poultry, seafood and cream sauce pasta dishes, according to Johns.
New Kent Winery is part of a large Master Planned Community, the New Kent Vineyards which includes the nearby upscale residential development Viniterra.
The Winery was constructed from historic materials, including pre-Civil War oversized handmade brick, reclaimed heart pine columns, beams and trusses and cypress logs that were under water for more than 150 years.
The Governor's Cup for white wines was selected from seven Gold medalist wineries. A panel of 26 judges from five states judged the wines, which represent all of the appellations in the Commonwealth. The Virginia red wines were judged earlier this year and announced at the Virginia Wine Expo in February.
Several noted journalists and other wine aficionados were among the judging staff including Jeff Siegel (Dallas Morning News), Tony Lawrence (Wine Chef Philadelphia), Deborah Parker Wong, (Northern California editor for The Tasting Panel) along with retailers from Virginia and Maryland.
The rapid growth of Virginia's vibrant wine industry has made it one of the fastest-growing agricultural sectors in the state. Today, there are over 190 wineries, with growth escalating as fast as the state's advancements in wine quality and reputation.
The Virginia Governor’s Cup Wine Competition has been held in Virginia since 1982. The competition is open to Virginia appellation wines and ciders that use 95 percent or greater fruit grown in Virginia.
New Kent Winery is located in the heart of New Kent Vineyards, a multifaceted mixed-use planned community. In keeping with the rural setting of the county, the community has vineyards scattered throughout the project which serve as a buffer from the parkway that travels through the community.