The 2011 Viognier produced by Annefield Vineyards was named Best in Show at the Town Point Virginia Wine Competition held last week in Norfolk.
Located in Charlotte County about 110 miles southwest of Charlottesville, Annefield Vineyards is owned by Stephen M. Ballard and Michael T. Leary, who live in the Washington, D.C., area. They purchased the property in 2005 and planted the first three-acre vineyard. In addition to the viognier, the vineyard also produces a steel-fermented chardonnay, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, rose, and white and red wine blends.
Here’s a description of the viognier from their website: “Aromas of pineapple and honeydew melon are abundant, the texture is thick and creamy, and the finish has just enough sugar to make this wine accessible to interesting pairings without making it overly sweet.” The wine sells for $22 a bottle.
The 15 judges tasted about 130 wines at the annual wine competition held at the Town Point Club.
“The judges thought the wines were better than in past years,” says Roy Williams, who coordinates the competition and writes the Wine Press column for the Daily Press website. “The number of new, smaller wineries was impressive, and this is exactly what we are trying to do for the industry.”
Among the rest, it was great to see Saude Creek Vineyards of Lanexa bring home three gold medals. Here’s a look at the winners listed in descending order of gold, silver and bronze awards:
Chardonnay: 2011 DeChiel Chardonnay, Rockbridge Vineyard; 2010 Chardonnay Reserve, New Kent Winery; 2010 Chardonnay, Holly Grove Vineyards.
Viognier: 2011 Viognier, Annefield Vineyards; 2011 Viognier, Piedmont Vineyards & Winery; 2011 Viognier, North Gate Vineyard.
Vinifera White: 2008 Mount Juliet-Petit Manseng, Prince Michel Vineyard & Winery; White Riesling, Rockbridge Vineyard; 2011 Qualtro, Cardinal Point Vineyard & Winery.
Hybrid White: 2011 Vidal Blanc, Saude Creek Vineyards; 2011 Sonnet 98, Attimo Winery; 2011 Chardonel, Cooper Vineyards.
Dessert: 2010 Frosty Dog, Chateau Morrisette Winery; NV Blanco XOCO, Horton Vineyards; NV Noche-Noche, Cooper Vineyards.
Hybrid Red; 2010 Chambourcin, Cooper Vineyards (bronze).
Vinifera Red: 2010 Syrah, Fox Meadow Winery (bronze).
Merlot: 2009 Merlot, Saude Creek Vineyards; 2007 Merlot Reserve, Ingleside Vineyards; 2009 Merlot, Willowcroft Farm Vineyards.
Cabernet Franc: 2009 Cabernet Franc, Saude Creek Vineyards; 2010 Merlot, Rosemont Vineyards & Winery; 2010 Cabernet Franc Reserve, Fox Meadow Winery (silver); DeChiel Cabernet Franc, Rockbridge Vineyard.
Petit Verdot: 2009 Petit Verdot Reserve, Barboursville Vineyards; 2008 Petit Verdot, Ingleside Vineyards; 2010 Petit Verdot, Holly Grove Vineyards.
Cabernet Sauvignon: 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Ingleside Vineyards; 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Vint Hill Craft Winery; NV Cabernet Sauvignon, Chatham Vineyards.
Meritage: 2010 Kilvarock, Rosemont Vineyards & Winery; 2010 Le Renard Rouge, Fox Meadow Winery (silver); 2008 Octagon, Barboursville Vineyards (silver); 2010 Ameritage, Pearmund Cellars.
Norton: 2011 Norton, Twin Oaks Tavern Winery; 2010 Norton, Cooper Vineyards; 2011 Norton, Horton Vineyards.
Some of the winners will be pouring at the Oct. 20 Town Point Virginia Wine Festival in downtown Norfolk.