Three North Carolina wineries took home the state’s most prestigious award for winemaking in the recent North Carolina Wine Competition. North Carolina Governor’s Cups were awarded in three categories – Vinifiera/Hybrid Grapes, Muscadine Grapes and Fruit/Cider/Mead.

Winners by category were:

  • Vinifera/Hybrid Grapes: Shadow Springs Vineyard – Seyval Blanc – Swan Creek AVA – 2022
  • Muscadine Grapes: Sanctuary Vineyards “The Plank” – Noble, Cabernet Franc – Jarvisburg – 2021
  • Fruit/Cider/Mead: Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards “Appalachian Ridge Sugarloaf Mountain” – Traditional Cider – Hendersonville – NV

In addition, 16 judges tasted 291 wine, cider and mead entries in the North Carolina Wine Competition, eventually awarding 18 Double Gold Medals, 31 Gold Medals and 192 Silver Medals. From those, a panel of five judges selected the North Carolina Governor’s Cup winners from 24 wines.

“It was exciting to see new companies entering for the first time and established companies returning to this competition. The judges noted the awarded wines showcased intense aromas and flavors, well-balanced acidity, and great length,” said Brianna Burns, a wine marketing specialist with the North Carlolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. “This represented the most medals ever awarded in the contest and truly signaled the outstanding quality of wines entered.”

This year, the North Carolina Wine Competition recognized new “Best of” categories to showcase the highest scores achieved in 12 categories. These following wines scored the highest aggregate score in their category apart from the North Carolina Governor’s Cup winners:

  • Best Vinifera/Hybrid White: JOLO Winery & Vineyards “Golden Hallows” – White Blend – 2021
  • Best Vinifera/Hybrid Rosé: JOLO Winery & Vineyards “JOLO Pink” – Blend – 2022
  • Best Vinifera/Hybrid Red: Childress Vineyards “Reserve” – Cabernet Franc – 2019
  • Best Vinifera/Hybrid Dessert: Childress Vineyards “Sun-Kissed Sangria” – Vidal Blanc Blend – NV
  • Best Muscadine White: Hinnant Family Vineyards “Carolina Wildflower” – Carlos – NV
  • Best Muscadine Rosé: Hinnant Family Vineyards “Electric Pelican” – Noble Blend – NV
  • Best Muscadine Red: Hinnant Family Vineyards “Gimme Some Sugar” – Noble Blend – NV
  • Best Muscadine Dessert: Hinnant Family Vineyards “Tropicbliss” – Carlos Blend – NV
  • Best Sparkling Wine: Childress Vineyards “Victory Kiss Rosé” – Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc – NV
  • Best Cider: Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards “Heritage Ridge Black Bear” – Blackberry Cider – NV
  • Best Mead: Williamson Mead and Brewing “Gelos” – Metheglin (Spiced) Mead – NV
  • Best Fruit Wine: Perry’s Berry’s Vineyard & Winery – Dry Blueberry – 2022

The North Carolina Wine Competition is run by the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council. Judging was held at the Shelton-Badgett Center for Viticulture and Enology at Surry Community College in Dobson. See the full list of results and awards at ncwine.org/competition. For more information, contact Burns at Brianna.Burns@ncagr.gov.