Governor’s Cup

colorado governor’s cup winemaking competition, august 19-21, 2022


The Colorado Governor’s Cup Winemaking Competition, the only statewide wine making competition exclusively for Colorado Wineries, returns for 2022.

The Colorado Governor’s Cup Judges—sommeliers, wine writers, Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers, and wine professionals from Colorado and across the country—will gather at Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Hospitality Learning Center August 19-21, to sample more than 200 wines made by Colorado’s winemakers.

The judges will select the top 12 or so wines for the Governor’s Cup Collection, which will be tasted at Colorado Uncorked! On Friday, November 4, 2022.

The Judging Event

The Judging Event

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

August 19-21, 2022

Hospitality Learning Center, Metropolitan State University of Denver*



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.

Friday, November 4, 2022.

History Colorado Center
1200 Broadway St.
Denver, CO 80203
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About the Competition

The 2022 Governor’s Cup Wine Competition received 279 wine submissions from 38 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 2022 Best of Show winner will be officially announced during the annual Colorado Uncorked Event on November 4, 2022. This event will be the first and only opportunity for the public to try all of the award-winning wines at the same time.

We are thrilled to welcome three new wineries to the Governor’s Collection for the first time,” said Doug Caskey, executive director of the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board. “They join seven returning wineries, all showing an outstanding array of styles and varieties, and as always, extremely high quality. Congratulations to all our participating wineries!”

Highly acclaimed wine icons traveled to Denver to sit on this year’s 19 person judging panel.
Notable returning judges included Doug Frost, Master of Wine and Master Sommelier; Ashley Hausman, Master of Wine; and Clara Klein, Sommelier at Sunday Vinyl. New notable judges on this year’s panel include Zach Lewison, Sommelier at Sonnenalp in Vail; Drew Dinh, Sommelier at newly opened Terra Denver, Matty Carroll, Beverage Director at The Kitchen Restaurant Group and Nathan Gordan, manager at The Vineyard Wine Shop in Cherry Creek.


2022 Governor's Cup Collection

Colorado’s best wines of the year, determined by our panel of 19 judges made up of sommeliers, winemakers & wine writers.


Carboy Winery - 2020 Teroldego
Carboy Winery - 2019 Petit Verdot
Mesa Park Vineyards - 2020 Equilibre
Peachfork - 2021 Chambourcin
Red Fox Cellars - Nebbiolo
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - 2019 Syrah
Vino Salida - 2017 Tempranillo
Carlson Vineyards - 2021 Sweet Baby White
Aspen Peak Cellars - 2021 Pinot Gris
Dragon Meadery - Raspberry Melomel
Slaymaker Cellars - Wildflower Traditional Mead
Whitewater Hill Vineyards - 2021 Dry rosé of St. Vincent
Carboy Winery - 2019 Blanc LaLaLa
Red Fox Cellars - Tempranillo
Sauvage Spectrum - Domaine Red Wine
Whitewater Hill Vineyards - Sweetheart Red
Aspen Peak Cellars - 2020 Syrah Vintner's Reserve
Storm Cellar - 2020 Gruner Veltliner
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - As Above So Below: The Astrologist
Whitewater Hill Vineyards - 2021 Moscato
Aspen Peak Cellars - 2021 Albarino
Snowy Peaks Winery - Elevé Sucré
Colorado Cellars - Cherry
Colorado Cellars - Chokecherry
Colorado Cellars - Raspberry
Slaymaker Cellars - Dessert Mead
Carboy Winery - 2019 Cabernet Franc Reserve
Carlson Vineyards - 365 Red
Carlson Vineyards - 2021 Sweet Baby Red
Colorado Cellars - 2020 Eclipse
Colorado Cellars - 2018 Syrah
Colorado Cellars - 2020 Roadkill Red
Continental Divide Winery - 2019 Petit Verdot
Infinite Monkey Theorem - 2021 Cabernet Franc
Infinite Monkey Theorem - 2021 Malbec
Maison la Belle Vie - 2019 Malbec
Maison la Belle Vie - 2019 Merlot Reserve
Maison la Belle Vie - 2019 Pinot Noir
Maison la Belle Vie - 2019 Cabernet Franc
Mesa Park Vineyards - 2018 Cabernet Franc Reserve
Mesa Park Vineyards - 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon
Monart - 2019 Malbec
Open Range Wines - 2020 Malbec
Open Range Wines - 2020 Red Blend
Peony Lane - 2019 Landsend Red Blend
Peony Lane - 2020 Cabernet Franc
Qutori Wines - 2019 Cabernet Franc
Red Fox Cellars - Dolcetto
Red Fox Cellars - 2018 Teroldego
Red Fox Cellars - La Dolce Vita
Sauvage Spectrum - Reserve Red
Sauvage Spectrum - Teroldego
Snowy Peaks Winery - 2018 Syrah
Snowy Peaks Winery - 2018 Merlot
Snowy Peaks Winery - 2019 Malbec
Snowy Peaks Winery - 2019 Tempranillo
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - 2019 Merlot
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - 2018 Merlot Reserve
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - 2018 Revelation
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - Sangre de Cristo Noveau
Two Rivers Winery - 2019 Syrah
Vinnie Fera - 2019 Malbec "Hogback"
Vinnie Fera - 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon "Hogback"
Vino Salida - 2020 Petite Pearl
Whitewater Hill Vineyards - Ethereal
Williams Cellars - 2019 Syrah "Spirits Freed"
Aspen Peak Cellars - 2020 285 Fusion
BookCliff Vineyards - 2019 Ensemble
BookCliff Vineyards - 2020 Malbec
BookCliff Vineyards - 2019 Syrah
BookCliff Vineyards - 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon
Buckel Family Wine - 2019 The Flyer
Carboy Winery - 2018 Petite Pearl
BookCliff Vineyards - 2021 Albarino
BookCliff Vineyards - 2021 Chardonnay
Carlson Vineyards - 2021 Gewürztraminer
Carlson Vineyards - 2020 365 White
Carlson Vineyards - Tree Ripe White
Carlson Vineyards - 2021 Sweet Gewürztraminer
Colorado Cellars - 2020 Orange Muscat
Infinite Monkey Theorem - 2019 Riesling
Peachfork - 2021 Traminette
Purgatory Cellars - 2021 Moscato
Snowy Peaks Winery - 2021 Chardonnay
Snowy Peaks Winery - 2021 Traminette
Storm Cellar - 2020 Dry Riesling
Storm Cellar - 2020 White Blend
Talon Wines - 2021 Pinot Grigio
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - 2020 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - 2021 Chardonnay
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - 2021 Viognier
Aspen Peak Cellars - 2021 Riesling
Talon Wines - White Sangria
Talon Wines - Sangria
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - 2018 Divinity
Two Rivers Winery - 2018 Port
Whitewater Hill Vineyards - 2021 Late Harvest Aromella
Whitewater Hill Vineyards - Ruby Classico VI
Aspen Peak Cellars - Mocha Zinsation
Colorado Cellars - Plum
Colorado Cellars - Blackberry
Colorado Cellars - Pomegranate
Colorado Cellars - Blueberry
Colorado Cellars - Elderberry
Colorado Cellars - Huckleberry
Dragon Meadery - Red Apple Cyser
EsoTerra Ciderworks - 2022 Serendipity
EsoTerra Ciderworks - 2022 Antiquity
EsoTerra Ciderworks - 2022 Ton of Brix
EsoTerra Ciderworks - 2022 Forswunk
Peachfork - Pear Apple
Red Fox Cellars - 2017 Freestone
Talon Wines - Peach
Talon Wines - Strawberry Rhubarb
Talon Wines - Blueberry
Colorado Cellars - Golden Nektar
Colorado Cellars - Spiced Nektar
Dragon Meadery - Chamomile Metheglin
Dragon Meadery - Vanilla Creme Bochet
Dragon Meadery - Pear Lavendar
Slaymaker Cellars - Orange Blossom Traditional Mead
Talon Wines - Apricot Honey
BookCliff Vineyards - 2021 rosé
Carlson Vineyards - 365 rosé
Carlson Vineyards - Tree Ripe Blush
Colorado Cellars - 2019 Alpenrose
Monart - 2019 rosé
OBC Wine Project - 2021 Pinot Gris
Purgatory Cellars - 2021 Absolution
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - Wild Cañon Harvest
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - Vineyard Sunset
Aspen Peak Cellars - 2021 Dry rosé
Buckel Family Wine - 2021 Pet Nat rosé
Buckel Family Wine - 2021 Glug Glug
Aspen Peak Cellars - 2020 Blanc de Blanc Brut Naturale
Aspen Peak Cellars - 2020 Bailey Barberian
BookCliff Vineyards - 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon "Hawkridge Vineyard"
BookCliff Vineyards - 2019 Cabernet Franc Reserve
BookCliff Vineyards - 2019 Merlot Reserve
BookCliff Vineyards - 2019 Petit Verdot
Carboy Winery - 2019 Syrah
Carboy Winery - 2019 Merlot
Carlson Vineyards - 2020 Blaufrankish "Exodus"
Carlson Vineyards - 2020 Lemberger "Tyrannosaurus Red"
Carlson Vineyards - 2020 The WrenQuinn Project
Carlson Vineyards - 2020 Full Curl
Colorado Cellars - 2020 Pinot Noir
Colorado Cellars - 2018 Merlot
Continental Divide Winery - 2019 Cabernet Franc
Continental Divide Winery - 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon
Maison la Belle Vie - 2018 Marechal Foch
Mesa Park Vineyards - Barn Owl Red
Mesa Park Vineyards - 2019 Malbec
Mesa Park Vineyards - 2020 Petit Verdot
Monart - 2019 Cabernet Franc
Peachfork - 2021 Lemberger
Peony Lane - 2019 Pinot Noir
Plum Creek Winery - 2019 Petit Verdot
Plum Creek Winery - Palisade Red
Purgatory Cellars - 2021 Pinot Noir
Qutori Wines - 2019 Pinot Noir "Estate"
Red Fox Cellars - Cabernet Franc "Avant Garde"
Snowy Peaks Winery - 2017 Petit Verdot
Snowy Peaks Winery - 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon
Snowy Peaks Winery - 2019 Mourvedre
Snowy Peaks Winery - 2020 Syrah Reserve
Snowy Peaks Winery - 2019 Merlot Reserve
Taboche Winery - 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon
Talon Wines - 2019 Wingspan Red
The Ordinary Fellow - 2021 Pinot Noir
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - 2018 Cabernet Franc
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - As Above So Below: The Theurgist
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - As Above So Below: The Alchemist
Vines 79 Wine Barn - Cabernet Sauvignon "Cowboy Cab"
Vines 79 Wine Barn - 2020 Double Barrel Blend
Vinnie Fera - 2019 Syrah "Hogback"
Vinnie Fera - 2019 Cabernet Franc "Hogback"
Whitewater Hill Vineyards - 2020 Merlot
Whitewater Hill Vineyards - 2020 Cabernet Franc
Williams Cellars - 2018 Malbec "Lunar Spirit"
Williams Cellars - 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon "Sun God Red"
Williams Cellars - 2020 Carmenere "Transcending"
Aspen Peak Cellars - 2020 Rockin' Rapids Red
Aspen Peak Cellars - 2020 Petit Verdot Vintner's Reserve
Carboy Winery - 2019 Riesling
Carlson Vineyards - 2021 Riesling "White Light"
Carlson Vineyards - 2020 Contact
Carlson Vineyards - 2021 Riesling "Off-Dry"
Colorado Cellars - 2020 Riesling "Alpenglo"
Continental Divide Winery - 2020 Aromella
Continental Divide Winery - 2020 Chardonnay
Fox Fire Fams - 2021 Riesling "Summer"
Infinite Monkey Theorem - 2021 Sauvignon Blanc
OBC Wine Project - 2021 Riesling
OBC Wine Project - 2020 Chardonnay
Plum Creek Winery - 2020 Chardonnay Reserve
Plum Creek Winery - 2020 Riesling
Plum Creek Winery - 2021 Palisade Festival
Purgatory Cellars - 2021 Sauvignon Blanc
Purgatory Cellars - 2018 Riesling "Qvevri"
Sauvage Spectrum - Domaine White Blend
Storm Cellar - 2020 Gewurztraminer
The Ordinary Fellow - 2020 Riesling "Box Bear Vineyard"
The Ordinary Fellow - 2021 Chardonnay "Box Bear Vineyard"
Vino Salida - 2020 Dry Riesling
Whitewater Hill Vineyards - 2021 Chardonnay "No Oak"
Whitewater Hill Vineyards - 2021 Chardonnay "Barrel Select"
Colorado Cellars - 2018 Port
Grande River Vineyards - 2018 Primitivo
Grande River Vineyards - 2019 Aromella
Mesa Park Vineyards - Finz
Red Fox Cellars - Field Master II
Carlson Vineyards - Peach
Carlson Vineyards - Cherry
Colorado Cellars - Peach
Colorado Cellars - Key Lime
EsoTerra Ciderworks - 2022 Paragon
EsoTerra Ciderworks - 2022 Inneffable
EsoTerra Ciderworks - 2022 Crimson Gold
EsoTerra Ciderworks - 2022 Cidermosa
EsoTerra Ciderworks - 2022 Coddiwonple
EsoTerra Ciderworks - 2022 Halcyon
OBC Wine Project - Guava Spritz
Peachfork - Peach
Talon Wines - Apple Blossom
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey - Apple Blossom
Dragon Meadery - O.B. Traditional
Redstone Meadery - Barrel Aged Black Raspberry Mountain Honey Wine
Redstone Meadery - Passionfruit Nectar
Redstone Meadery - Apple Nectar
Redstone Meadery - Juniper Berry Mountain Honey Wine
Slaymaker Cellars - Tart Cherry Mead
Slaymaker Cellars - Ginger Mead
Talon Wines - Lightly Sweet Honey Wine
Talon Wines - Chocolate Cherry Honey Wine
Carlson Vineyards - 2021 Sweet Baby Blush
Fox Fire Fams - 2021 Juliet rosé
Sauvage Spectrum - CER0
Storm Cellar - 2021 rosé of St Vincent
Storm Cellar - 2021 rosé of Chambourcin
Whitewater Hill Vineyards - 2021 rosé
Carboy Winery - 2020 Native Fizz rosé
OBC Wine Project - Sparkling Pinot Gris
OBC Wine Project - rosé with Bubbles
Plum Creek Winery - 2020 Pet-Nat
Plum Creek Winery - 2021 Pet-Nat rosé
Sauvage Spectrum - Sparklet White
Sauvage Spectrum - Sparklet 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

Jenne Baldwin-Eaton

2022, 2021, 2017

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

Wayne Belding, MS

2022, 2021, 2019, 2018

Master Sommelier. Author of "Diving into Wine."

Jay Bileti

2022, 2021, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015

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

Dave Buchanan

2022, 2021, 2017, 2016, 2015

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

Joel Butler, MW

2022, 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

Matty Carroll


Beverage Director for the Kitchen Restaurant Group

Denise Clarke

2022, 2016

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

Taylor Courey

2022, 2021, 2018

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

Drew Dinh


Wine and Service Manager at Terra-Denver.

Ashley Hausman, MW

2022, 2021, 2018, 2015

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

Mike Elmore


Sales Representative for Boulder and Denver at Old World Wine Co.

Doug Frost, MS MW

2022, 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.

Nathan Gordon


General Manager and Wine Buyer at the Vineyard Wine Shop, Denver, CO.

Clara Klein

2022, 2021, 2019

Sommelier at Frasca, Tavernetta, and Sunday Vinyl.

Zachary Lewison


Sommelier at Sonnenalp, Vail, CO.

Joe Roberts


Wine Writer. Founder of the award-winning website.

Andrew Stover

2022, 2021, 2019, 2018, 2016, 2015

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

Alder Yarrow

2022, 2021, 2019, 2018, 2016

Writer and columnist, “The Wine World’s Brightest Cyberstar” - San Francisco Magazine. Contributes to and is the founder of

Becca Yeamans-Irwin

2022, 2016

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

Roberta Backlund

2021, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015

Certified Colorado Wine Specialist and second level Sommelier

Natalie Breaux, DipWSET

2021, 2019

Instructor at the Napa Valley Wine Academy.

Mike Dunne

2021, 2019, 2016

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

Steve Menke, PhD


Retired CSU State Enologist, now consulting in Arizona

Simone FM Spinner


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

Matt Bennett


Beverage Director at Stoic & Genuine in Denver, CO.

Rick Dufon


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

Michael Kaiser


Vice President of WineAmerica

Jim Tresize


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


Wine buyer for Davidon’s Liquors.

Daniel Pucci


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


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

Sarah Latham Moore

2016, 2015

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

Cindy OnkenGlimm


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

Linda Murhpy


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