The trail will be made up of 47 locations that have all been awarded Virginia Governor's Cup gold medal. This recognition is given to those ranked in the top spots in the Virginia Wineries Association's tasting competition. This year 544 entries in the annual Governor's Cup handed out 96 gold medals to those 47 chosen wineries.
So, how does the trail work exactly? It's a digital passport where visitors log on to Virginia Wine's website to sign up and get a list. Once you decide to visit a winery on the Gold Medal Wine Trail, you can check in with the mobile passport. That will keep track of which ones you've visited and provide exclusive deals like discounts on wine and free tastings. And if you see 12 locations, you get a Virginia Wine-branded wine tumbler.
"We are excited to bring these medalists to consumers this year in a way we never have before," George Hodson, president of the Virginia Wine Board Marketing, told Departures in a statement. "By visiting these top-scoring wineries, consumers will be able to taste the artistry and craftsmanship firsthand."
As far as suggestions, Jay Youmans, judging director of the 2021 Governor's Cup Competition, recommends The Petit Manseng and Cabernet Franc flights as well as the Sauvignon Blanc and the Tannat flights. "Year in and year out, we're seeing the Virginia Wine industry continue to push boundaries and make distinctive wines that show confidence, style, and the character of the region," he said.
Incredibly, Virginia is home to more than 300 wineries, but they are spread throughout the state. This wine trail is meant to make it easier for visitors to check out the top ones and highlight the 2021 award-winning wines.