Fox Meadow Winery’s Le Renard Rouge wins Virginia Governor’s Cup Award

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The 2011 Virginia Governor’s Cup Award for the best red wine in the state went to Fox Meadow Winery’s Le Renard Rouge.

The Linden-based winery’s 2008 meritage, a blend of 50 percent Cabernet Franc and 50 percent Merlot grapes, was recognized Friday among six gold cup winners in the annual competition to vie for the top ranking.  The wine represented the fourth vintage of Le Renard Rouge.

“Le Renard Rouge is rapidly becoming recognized as a premium red wine,” Fox Meadow Winery owner Dan Mortland said.

In other awards announced during Friday evening’s Virginia Wine Expo in Richmond, Dennis Horton received the Gordon W. Murchie Lifetime Achievement Award. Horton, of Horton Vineyards in Gordonsville, was recognized for his pioneering work that led to new popular varieties being grown in Virginia such as Viognier, Norton and Petit Manseng.

Sixty Virginia wineries submitted 196 entries in this year’s cup competition. The Governor’s Cup is open to Virginia appellation wines and ciders that use 95 percent or more of their fruit grown in Virginia.

In 1979, Virginia could claim six wineries. Today, there are more than 190, with three new wineries opening in 2010. The governor’s cup was selected from six gold medalists: Besides Fox Winery, they were: Afton Mountain Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Barboursville Winery 2008 Petit Verdot, Cooper Vineyards 2008 Norton, Hiddencroft Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Franc and Keswick Vineyards, 2009 Cabernet Franc.

The expo, showcasing many Virginia wines, continues at the Richmond Convention through Sunday.

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