Governor’s Cup

colorado governor’s cup winemaking competition, august 13-15, 2021

 

The Colorado Governor’s Cup Winemaking Competition, the only statewide wine making competition exclusively for Colorado Wineries, returned for 2021.

The Colorado Governor’s Cup Judges—sommeliers, wine writers, Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers, and wine professionals from Colorado and across the country—assembled at Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Hospitality Learning Center August 13-15, to sample more than 200 wines made by Colorado’s winemakers.

The judges selected the top 14 wines for the Governor’s Cup Collection, which will be tasted at Colorado Uncorked! On Friday, November 5, 2021.

The Judging Event

The Judging Event

The judging event features a panel of sommeliers, chefs, writers and wine experts from around the country.

WHEN:
August 13-15, 2021

WHERE:
Hospitality Learning Center, Metropolitan State University of Denver*

*JUDGING IS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

Download the rules
and entry form for
the 2021 Governor’s Cup.

The Public Tasting Event

The Public Tasting Event

Colorado Uncorked — a public tasting of the wines the Governor’s Cup judges selected as the best representations of the Colorado wine industry.  Each wine in the Governor’s Cup Collection will be paired with small bite tasting menus by notable area chefs.

WHEN:
Tentatively Friday, November 5, 2021.

WHERE:
History Colorado Center
1200 Broadway St.
Denver, CO 80203
View on map

Uncorked Event Details

About the Competition

The 2021 Governor’s Cup Wine Competition received 257 wine submissions from 41 Colorado wineries – including several new wineries – all of which were judged by a panel of sommeliers, chefs, writers, and wine experts from around the country. The Best of Show winner will be officially announced during the annual Colorado Uncorked Event on November 5, 2021. This event will be the first and only opportunity for the public to try all of the award-winning wines at the same time.

“Our award-winning Colorado wine industry continues to grow and is an important part of our local tourism and agriculture industries,” said Governor Jared Polis. “The wine industry adds nearly $3 billion to Colorado’s economy, supports more than 27,000 jobs, pleases the palates of hundreds of thousands of discerning wine connoisseurs, and is responsible for over $100 million in tourist spending annually.”

“Overall, the scope of wines entered this year provided a great snapshot of the incoming paradigm shift in the quality of Colorado wine,” said Clara Klein, Sommelier for Frasca. “Wineries have hit home with several varieties, such as Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Syrah. All of which, when treated with a deft hand, thrive in the continental mountainous climate of Colorado. No longer just a region to have on one’s radar, but rather on the table.”

2021 Governor's Cup Collection

Colorado’s best wines of the year, determined by our panel of 16 judges made up of sommeliers, winemakers & wine writers.


2021 GOVERNOR’S CUP COLORADO WINE COMPETITION MEDAL LIST

BookCliff Vineyards - 2018 Syrah Reserve
BookCliff Vineyards - 2018 Graciano
Buckel Family Wine - 2019 Cinsault
Carboy Winery – 2019 Teroldego
Carlson Vineyards – 2019 Tyrannosaurus Red
Sauvage Spectrum – Sparklet Candy Red
Turquoise Mesa Winery – 2018 Merlot 2018
Whitewater Hill Vineyards – 2019 Chambourcin
Continental Divide Winery – 2019 Gewürztraminer
Plum Creek Winery - 2020 Palisade Festival
Buckel Family Wine - 2020 Pet Nat Rosé
Carlson Vineyards – Cherry
Redstone Meadery – 2019 Tupelo Mountain Honey Wine
Storm Cellar – 2020 Rosé of St. Vincent
Aspen Peak Cellars – 2019 Rockin' Rapids Vintner's Reserve
BookCliff Vineyards - 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon
Mesa Park Vineyards - 2018 Cabernet Franc
Plum Creek Winery – 2018 Petit Verdot
Plum Creek Winery – 2017 Cabernet Franc
Whitewater Hill Vineyards – 2019 Ethereal
Williams Cellars – 2018 Lunar Spirit Malbec
Continental Divide Winery - 2020 Riesling
Fox Fire Farms – 2020 Summer Riesling
Sauvage Spectrum – 2020 Grüner Veltliner
Storm Cellar – 2019 Roussanne
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey – 2019 Viognier
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey – Riesling
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey – 2019 Chardonnay
Whitewater Hill Vineyards – 2020 Riesling
Whitewater Hill Vineyards – 2020 Zero Below
Colorado Sake Company - American Standard
Talon Wines – 2020 Strawberry Honey Wine
Alfred Eames Cellars – 2017 Tempranillo
Aspen Peak Cellars – 2019 Vintner's Reserve Syrah
Aspen Peak Cellars 2019 Vintner's Reserve Cabernet Franc
Aspen Peak Cellars – 2019 Vintner's Reserve Petit Verdot
Avant Vineyards – 2019 Sangiovese
Avant Vineyards – 2016 Malbec
Avant Vineyards – 2016 Petit Verdot
Bonacquisti Wine Company – Mourvèdre
BookCliff Vineyards – 2019 Malbec
BookCliff Vineyards – 2019 Ensemble
BookCliff Vineyards - 2018 Crescendo
BookCliff Vineyards – 2018 Tempranillo
BookCliff Vineyards – 2018 Cabernet Franc Reserve
Carlson Vineyards - 2019 365 Red
Carlson Vineyards – 2019 High Dessert Wine Lab – Exodus
Carlson Vineyards 2020 High Dessert Wine Lab – Exodus
Carlson Vineyards – 2020 Sweet Baby Red
Colterris Winery – 2019 Malbec
Colterris Winery – 2018 Petit Verdot
Continental Divide Winery – 2018 Storm
Continental Divide Winery – 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon - Riverside Vineyard
Continental Divide Winery – 2019 Malbec
Fox Fire Farms – 2018 Marquette
Fox Fire Farms – 2018 Chloe Petite Pearl
Infinite Monkey Theorem – 2018 Syrah
Infinite Monkey Theorem – 2018 Cabernet Franc
K and A Wines – 2018 Third Eye Red
Kingman Estates Winery – 2014 Cabernet Franc - Karen's Reserve
LaNoue Dubois Winery – 2020 Wood's Reserve Red Blend
Mesa Park Vineyards – Barn Owl Red
Mesa Park Vineyards - Left Bank Red
Outlier Cellars – 2018 Eolian Cabernet Sauvignon
Peachfork – 2020 Chambourcin
Plum Creek Winery - 2018 Grand Mesa
Plum Creek Winery - 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon
Qutori Wines - 2019 Syrah
Red Fox Cellars - 2018 Teroldego
Red Fox Cellars – 2017 Dolcetto
Red Fox Cellars - 2018 Nebbiolo
Red Fox Cellars - Cabernet Franc
Red Fox Cellars - Cabernet Sauvignon
Red Fox Cellars – 2018 Tempranillo
Sauvage Spectrum – 2019 Reserve Red
Sauvage Spectrum – 2019 American Heavy Toast Malbec
Snowy Peaks Winery – 2019 Cabernet Franc
Snowy Peaks Winery – 2018 Élevé
Snowy Peaks Winery – 2019 Sebastian's Reserve
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey – 2017 Merlot Reserve
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey – 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey – 2017 Revelation
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey – 2017 Divinity
Turquoise Mesa Winery – 2017 Petite Sirah
Turquoise Mesa Winery – 2017 Petit Verdot
Turquoise Mesa Winery – 2017 Chambourcin
Turquoise Mesa Winery – 2018 Vintner's Reserve
Two Swedes Glogg – 2021 Glogg
Vinnie Fera – 2018 Pinot Meunier
Whitewater Hill Vineyards - St. Vincent
Whitewater Hill Vineyards – 2019 Merlot
Whitewater Hill Vineyards – 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon
Wild Mountain Cellars – 2018 Old Vine Zinfandel
Wild Mountain Cellars – 2018 Barbera
Wild Mountain Cellars – 2019 Syrah
Wild Mountain Cellars – 2019 Matt's Secret Stash
Wild Mountain Cellars – 2019 Ruby Cabernet
Wild Mountain Cellars – 2019 Perfect Line
Wild Mountain Cellars – 2019 Barbera
Aspen Peak Cellars – 2020 Riesling
BookCliff Vineyards – 2020 Muscat Blanc
BookCliff Vineyards - 2018 Souzao
Buckel Family Wine - 2018 The Flyer Red
Carboy Winery – 2020 Blan.CO
Carlson Vineyards – 2020 Gewürztraminer
Continental Divide Winery – 2019 Chardonnay
Infinite Monkey Theorem – 2019 Riesling
Kingman Estates Winery – 2018 Chardonnay
Kingman Estates Winery – 2020 Chardonnay
Kingman Estates Winery - 2020 Riesling
Mesa Park Vineyards – 2020 Barn Owl White
Peachfork – 2019 Traminette
Peachfork - 2020 Dry Riesling
Plum Creek Winery – 2018 Chardonnay Reserve
Plum Creek Winery – 2019 Riesling
Purgatory Cellars – 2018 Sauvignon blanc - Semillion Blend
Qutori Wines - 2020 Riesling
Qutori Wines - 2020 Chardonnay
Sauvage Spectrum - Reserve White
Sauvage Spectrum - Effervescent White
Sauvage Spectrum - Pet-Nat White
Snowy Peaks Winery – 2020 Semi-sweet Riesling
Storm Cellar – 2019 Chardonnay
Storm Cellar – 2020 All the Flowers
Storm Cellar – 2020 The GM
Storm Cellar – 2020 Sauvignon Blanc
Talon Wines - 2020 Riesling
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey – 2017 Cabernet Franc
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - The Astrologist
Vinnie Fera – 2020 Pinot Gris
Whitewater Hill Vineyards - 2020 Dry Riesling
BookCliff Vineyards – 2018 Encore
Carlson Vineyards - 2020 365 Rosé
Carlson Vineyards – 2020 Sweet Baby Blush
Colorado Sake Company - Horchata Nigori Sake
Colorado Sake Company - Lime Seltzer
Colorado Sake Company - Yuzu Ginger Seltzer
Drekar Meadery – 2021 Freyr's Sail
Drekar Meadery – 2021 Freya's Tears
Fox Fire Farms – 2020 Juliet Rosé
Kingman Estates Winery - Rosé Demi-Sec
LaNoue Dubois Winery – 2020 Sweet Black Muscat
Peachfork – Peach
Purgatory Cellars – 2018 Indulgence Rosé
Redstone Meadery – 2020 Blood Orange Nectar
Slaymaker Cellars - Wildflower Traditional
Storm Cellar – 2020 The Alpenglow
Talon Wines - Sweet Scarlet
Talon Wines – 2020 Strawberry Rhubarb
Talon Wines - 2020 Peach Honey Wine
Talon Wines - 2020 Blackberry Honey Wine
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - Apple Blossom
Williams Cellars – 2019 Fire Dance Rosé
Allis Ranch Winery - 50% Grenache/50%S yrah
Aspen Peak Cellars - 2020 Cabernet Franc
Avant Vineyards – 2018 Tempranillo
Bonacquisti Wine Company – 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon
BookCliff Vineyards - 2019 Malbec
BookCliff Vineyards - 2018 Cadenza
Carboy Winery – 2019 Cabernet Franc
Continental Divide Winery – 2018 Pinot Noir
Continental Divide Winery – 2018 Quandary
Kingman Estates Winery – 2019 Cabernet Franc
Kingman Estates Winery – 2020 Cabernet Franc - Karen's Reserve
Kingman Estates Winery – 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon - Karen's Reserve
Kingman Estates Winery – 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon - Karen's Reserve
Kingman Estates Winery - 2016 Marquette
Kingman Estates Winery – 2016 Nefarious Red
Kingman Estates Winery – 2014 Kingman Cuvée
Kingman Estates Winery – 2015 Tempranillo - Private Reserve
Kingman Estates Winery – 2016 Maverick
Kingman Estates Winery – 2019 Marv'lous
Kingman Estates Winery - Red Brut
LaNoue Dubois Winery – 2020 Marechal Foch
Mesa Park Vineyards - Right Bank Blend
Peachfork – 2020 Noiret
Plum Creek Winery - Palisade Red
Purgatory Cellars – 2017 Temptation Red
Purgatory Cellars – 2018 Merlot Reserve
Purgatory Cellars – 2018 Syrah Reserve
Qutori Wines 2018 - Red Blend
Qutori Wines 2018 - Estate Pinot Noir
Qutori Wines 2019 - Merlot
Qutori Wines 2018 - Cabernet Franc
Red Fox Cellars - St. Vincent
Red Fox Cellars - 44 Red Blend
Red Fox Cellars - Field Master II
Red Fox Cellars - Vino Java
Sauvage Spectrum - 2019 Domaine Sauvage Red
Snowy Peaks Winery – 2018 Malbec
Snowy Peaks Winery – 2017 Syrah
Snowy Peaks Winery – 2018 Mourvèdre
Snowy Peaks Winery – 2018 Petite Sirah
Snowy Peaks Winery – 2018 Tempranillo
Talon Wines – 2018 Wingspan Red
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey – 2018 Syrah
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey – 2018 Merlot
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey – 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - The Theurgist
Turquoise Mesa Winery – 2018 TMW Reserve
Turquoise Mesa Winery - 2019 Cabernet Franc
Turquoise Mesa Winery – 2017 Colorado Cimson
Turquoise Mesa Winery – 2018 Syrah
Turquoise Mesa Winery – 2018 Malbec
Vines 79 Wine Barn - 2019 Syrah
Vines 79 Wine Barn - 2019 Cabernet Franc
Whitewater Hill Vineyards – 2019 Cabernet Franc
Whitewater Hill Vineyards - Sweetheart Red
Wild Mountain Cellars – 2019 Third Bridge
Wild Mountain Cellars – 2018 Charilift Mingle
Wild Mountain Cellars – 2019 Petite Sirah
Wild Mountain Cellars – 2019 Old Vine Zinfandel
Wild Mountain Cellars – 2019 Steve's Resilience
Avant Vineyards – 2020 Roussanne
Avant Vineyards - 2019 Sauvignon blanc
BookCliff Vineyards - 2020 Viognier
BookCliff Vineyards - 2020 Chardonnay
BookCliff Vineyards - Friday's Folly White
Carlson Vineyards – 2020 Sweet Baby White
Carlson Vineyards – 2020 Sweet Gewurztraminer
Carlson Vineyards – 2020 365 White
Colterris Winery – 2019 Chardonnay
Kingman Estates Winery – 2019 Viognier
Kingman Estates Winery – 2019 Felicity
Plum Creek Winery – 2020 Chardonnay
Purgatory Cellars – 2017 Chardonnay Reserve
Snowy Peaks Winery – 2020 Dry Riesling
Snowy Peaks Winery – 2020 Sweet Riesling
Snowy Peaks Winery – 2020 Roussanne
Stone Cottage Cellars – 2018 Gewurztraminer
Storm Cellar – 2019 Dry Riesling
Two Swedes Glogg – 2021 Summer Glogg
Bonacquisti Wine Company - Rosé of Sangiovese
Carboy Winery – 2019 Rosé La La La
Carlson Vineyards - Peach
Colorado Sake Company - Blueberry Hibiscus Sake
Colorado Sake Company - Lychee Nigori Sake
Colorado Sake Company - Blood Orange Seltzer
Colorado Sake Company - Mixed Berry Seltzer
Continental Divide Winery – 2020 Resilience Rosé
Drekar Meadery – 2021 Loki's Barb
Evergood Elixirs - Citrus Stomp
Kingman Estates Winery - Rosé Brut
Plum Creek Winery – 2018 Palisade Rosé
Purgatory Cellars – 2018 Indulgence
Redstone Meadery – 2020 Passion Fruit Nectar
Redstone Meadery – 2019 PineGo Mountain Honey Wine
Sauvage Spectrum - Rosé
Slaymaker Cellars - Orange Blossom Traditional
Slaymaker Cellars - Tart Cherry Mead
Talon Wines – 2020 Lavender
Talon Wines – 2020 Peach
Talon Wines – 2020 Honey Shere
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - Vineyard Sunset
Vinnie Fera – 2017 Brut Rosé
Whitewater Hill Vineyards – 2020 Dry Rosé of St. Vincent
Whitewater Hill Vineyards – 2019 Rosé

Wine Rating Scale

10: GOLD + (plus)
Shows exceptional depth and drinkability beyond any other wine in the competition; a world-class wine.
9: GOLD – (minus)
Shows exceptional depth and drinkability beyond Silver Medal wines; amongst the best in Colorado.
8: SILVER + (plus)
Shows depth and drinkability well above accepted industry standards.
7: SILVER – (minus)
Shows depth and drinkability beyond accepted industry standards.
6: BRONZE + (plus)
No significant flaws or faults; drinkability above accepted industry standards.
5: BRONZE – (minus)
No significant flaws or faults; drinkability at or above accepted industry standards.
4 or less:
Has flaws or faults present; does not exhibit proper varietal character, or has discernible stylistic character (un-drinkable).

The Judges

Roberta Backlund

2021, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015

Certified Colorado Wine Specialist and second level Sommelier

Jenne Baldwin-Eaton

2017, 2021

Former winemaker with Plum Creek Cellars. Developed the first Colorado AAS in Viticulture and Enology program, at Western Colorado Community College.

Wayne Belding, MS

2021, 2019, 2018

Master Sommelier. Author of "Diving into Wine."

Jay Bileti

2021, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015

Wine writer and experienced wine judge. Director of Member Services of the American Wine Society.

Natalie Breaux, DipWSET

2021, 2019

Instructor at the Napa Valley Wine Academy.

Dave Buchanan

2021, 2017, 2016, 2015

Wine writer for national and regional newspapers, online publications and personal blog, Wineopeners

Joel Butler, MW

2021, 2019, 2018

1st U.S. resident Master of Wine and the first and only University of Colorado alum to achieve the MW certification. In early 2015, Joel purchased World of Wines in Redmond, WA; a wine merchant/winebar

Taylor Courey

2021, 2018

Taylor D. Courey is associate wine buyer at Coaltrain Wine & Spirits, a fine wine, beer and liquor purveyor in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Mike Dunne

2021, 2019, 2016

Retired food editor, restaurant critic and wine columnist of The Sacramento Bee in Northern California

Doug Frost, MS MW

2021, 2018, 2017

One of only four people in the world to have achieved both Master Sommelier and Master of Wine distinctions. He is the founder and director of the Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition.

Ashley Hausman, MW

2021, 2018, 2015

Colorado's first and only Master of Wine. Education Director at GuildSomm.

Clara Klein

2021, 2019

Sommelier at Frasca, Tavernetta and Sunday Vinyl.

Steve Menke, PhD

2021

Retired CSU State Enologist, now consulting in Arizona

Simone FM Spinner

2021

Metropolitan State University of Denver, University of Colorado at Denver, and lectured publicly. She has many wine certifications and credentials.

Andrew Stover

2021, 2019, 2018, 2016, 2015

Founder of Vino50, and Certified Sommelier with the International Sommelier Guild

Alder Yarrow

2021, 2019, 2018, 2016

Writer and columnist, “The Wine World’s Brightest Cyberstar” - San Francisco Magazine

Matt Bennett

2019

Beverage Director at Stoic & Genuine in Denver, CO.

Rick Dufon

2019

Manager and Sommelier at The Pullman in Glenwood Springs, CO.

Michael Kaiser

2019

Vice President of WineAmerica

Jim Tresize

2019

President of WineAmerica.

Jeff Siegel

2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015

Co-founder and former president of Drink Local Wine, and nationally known wine writer whose blog is one of the top 100 wine sites in the world.

Dr. Michael Wray

2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015

Professor of Restaurant Management at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, Sommelier Diploma with the International Sommelier Guild, Certified Culinary Instructor, Certified Wine Specialist with the Society of Wine Educators, and Master Certified Food Service Executive.

Gary Awdey

2018, 2017, 2016, 2015

President, Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association

Ryan Gerni

2018

Wine buyer for Davidon’s Liquors.

Daniel Pucci

2018

Co-founder of Wallabout Hospitality and former beverage manager of Wassail, New York City’s first cider bar.

Dave Tewksbury

2018, 2015

He served a total of 12 years as a member of the Wine Board appointed by three different Colorado Governors. In 2008, Dave was voted Chairman of the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board.

Jackie Thompson

2018

Jackie was the winemaker and co-owner of Boulder Creek Winery from 2003-2016. Boulder Creek Winery earned a Best of Show for the 2009 Riesling in the 2010 Governor's Cup Competition as well as earning a Governor's Cup Case inclusion for the 2012 Syrah.

Warren Winiarski

2018, 2017, 2016, 2015

Award-winning winemaker and inductee of the California Vintners Hall of Fame at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.

Shawn Carney

2017, 2016

Co-founder and cidermaker at Blossomwood Cidery

Glenn Exline

2017, 2016, 2015

Judge Director of the Mazer Cup International Mead Competition

Denise Clarke

2016

Owner, DC Communications, certified sommelier, certified specialist of wine, and a certified specialist of spirits

Sarah Latham Moore

2016, 2015

Certified with the Master Court of Sommeliers, and on-premise sales rep for Baroness Wines.

Cindy OnkenGlimm

2016

Affiliate Professor with Metropolitan State University of Denver, specializing in Wine, Beer, Food and Events.

Becca Yeamans-Irwin

2016

Award-winning wine writer specializing in the science of all things related to wine.

Linda Murhpy

2015

Sonoma County-based wine/food/travel writer and author of the book American Wine with Jancis Robinson.