Charlottesville, Virginia Named Wine Region of the Year 

Charlottesville and Albemarle County are for wine lovers. 

Southwest Mountain Vineyard CACVB SSuchak

Charlottesville, Virginia and the Monticello American Viticultural Area (AVA) have been crowned the Wine Region of the Year in the highly esteemed Wine Enthusiast’s 2023 Wine Star Awards. Among the five wine regions nominated for this prestigious award, the Charlottesville area was the sole representative from North America. This accolade is a momentous achievement for wine lovers not only in Charlottesville but around the world. 

In its short 40-year history, the Monticello Wine Trail has blossomed from a modest collection of wineries into a thriving hub of vinicultural excellence. Today, there are more than 40 vineyards nestled within a 25-mile radius of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, showcasing the region’s commitment to producing top-quality wines.

Best of the Best 

Image of bottles of wine at King Family Vineyard in Charlottesville

No stranger to winning, Charlottesville and the Monticello Wine Trail have consistently received accolades in the annual Virginia Governor’s Cup wine competition, and in 2024 it went on to win about 40 percent of all the gold medals awarded. 

The Virginia Governor’s Cup is the premiere wine competition within Virginia and a record-number 750 wines were submitted to the competition in 2024. The rating system is based on a 100-point scale, also used by Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate, Wine Enthusiast, and Wine & Spirits. 

A man and women enjoying a glass of wine at a winery in Charlottesville. Virginia - the Wine Region of the Year.

The judging is rigorous. All wines go through a preliminary round of blind tasting. Qualifying wines then move on to the final round where each is reviewed by twelve judges who comment on a wine’s appearance, aroma, flavor, overall quality, and commercial suitability. 

The twelve top-scoring wines are honored with inclusion in the prestigious Governor’s Case. These wines represent the very best of the best Virginia wines and this year, half of those wines came from the Monticello AVA. The top wine is the recipient of the Governor’s Cup, and this year’s winner was the Charlottesville area’s King Family Vineyards with their 2019 Meritage. A full list of Charlottesville area wineries on the 2024 Virginia Governor’s Cup Gold Medal Trail can be found here.  

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