At a virtual ceremony held this evening, the 2020 Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail Competition Cup was awarded to Randy and Karen Phillips, founders of Cave Ridge Vineyards, for their 2017 Petit Verdot.

Situated on 60 acres on a mid-valley ridge in Mount Jackson overlooking the Shenandoah Valley, Cave Ridge was founded by Randy and Karen Phillips. The Phillips planted the initial 13 acres of estate vineyards at Cave Ridge in 2002 (they lease another 12 acre property nearby) and opened the tasting room in 2005.   

“In the years we’ve been growing grapes and making wine, we’ve seen a large increase in the number of wineries in the Shenandoah Valley region. It’s an honor to be judged alongside so many excellents from so many talented winemakers,” said Phillips. 

This year marks the second year of the wine competition showcasing the wines of the Shenandoah Valley. Thirty-six of the top wines in the Shenandoah Valley region were entered in this year’s competition.  Seven wines scored gold medals, 17 earned silver medals, and eight earned a bronze medal.

The 2020 Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail Competition gold medals:

  • Bluestone Vineyard 2017 Oaked Chardonnay
  • Bluestone Vineyard 2015 Blue Ice
  • Cave Ridge Vineyard 2015 Red Silk
  • Cave Ridge Vineyard 2017 Petit Verdot
  • CrossKeys Vineyards 2017 Meritage
  • Muse Vineyards 2016 Clio
  • Rockbridge Vineyard 2017 Tuscarora White

“We are excited to celebrate Shenandoah Valley wines with our second annual competition. The quality of wines coming from the Shenandoah Valley is exceptional. It has been great to see how the winemakers can take advantage of our terrior and display it in their wines,” said Stephanie Pence, current president of the Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail and co-founder of Brix & Columns Vineyards in McGaheysville.

As the organizer of this year’s competition, I tasted each of the wines entered and was impressed by the overall quality and diversity of varieties thriving in the Shenandoah Valley region.

“I’m really excited by the competition not only because it’s a great way to celebrate what we do and where we come from but also the diversity of winning wines,” said Lee Hartman, winemaker at Bluestone Vineyards in Bridgewater, who won two gold medals in this year’s competition. 

“The judges didn’t lean heavy towards a favorite style or varietal. They recognized a large spectrum of potential that we’re working with and I’m excited for more people to experience it.”

Congratulations to Randy, Karen and Megan Philips and the entire Cave Ridge Vineyards team!