Governor Hickenlooper hands out the top honor at last night's celebration of Colorado wines.
Governor Hickenlooper hands out the top honor at last night’s celebration of Colorado wines.

Back when John Hickenlooper and his partners founded the Wynkoop Brewing Company, Hickenlooper was insistent that Colorado’s first brewpub pronounced its name “WINkoop.” As he would tell anyone who would listen, “After all, we don’t produce WINE.” But Colorado definitely does, and its current governor – one John Hickenlooper – is more than happy to tout the industry, and maybe even drink some of the stuff himself.

Last night at the History Colorado Center, Hickenlooper announced the winning wines of the Governor’s Cup Wine Competition, selecting twelve bottles scoring high enough with judges to earn a place in the Governor’s Cup Case. Six ciders, meads and fruit wines were also recognized for their quality.

The event, presented by the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, included small plates from notable Front Range chefs paired with wine samples for ticket holders. For a complete list of the winners, see the Governor’s Cup list on the Colorado Wine website. And for more photos of the event, see Westword‘s Governor’s Cup slideshow.

Now pouring: Colorado wine.
Now pouring: Colorado wine
Denver restaurants paired small plates with Colorado wines and ciders.
Denver restaurants paired small plates with Colorado wines and ciders
A drink and dessert together in one serving.
A drink and dessert together in one serving
Governor Hickenlooper talks about Colorado's growing wine industry.
Governor Hickenlooper talks about Colorado’s growing wine industry
A pour of locally made cider.
A pour of locally made cider
Photos by Danielle Lirette of Westword.