Stanburn wins at Governor’s Cup

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Stanburn Winery’s medal-winning team pictured in their Patrick County vineyard, left to right, Kaylee Stanley, Jocelyn Kuzelka (winemaker), Tabatha Stanley, David Stanley, Nelson Stanley, Elsie Stanley, and Conner Stanley. (Photo courtesy David Stanley)

Patrick County’s Stanburn Winery won four silver medals at the Virginia Wineries Association’s Governor’s Cup competition in February. This year, a team of 40 judges chose winners from more than 490 wines submitted by 102 wineries.

The Stanley family entered only four wines – all 2015 vintage and all reds – and all four of them won: Chambourcin, Big A Red, Cabernet Franc, and Barbara. David Stanley said the Barbera missed winning a gold medal by fewer than two points.

All of Stanburn’s wines are made by winemaker Jocelyn Kuzelka, who hails from Australia and New Zealand.

Co-owner Elsie Stanley explained that part of Stanburn’s decision to submit only reds stemmed from Governor’s Cup guidelines that stipulate a winery must have a certain number of cases of wine for each entry.

“We have won lots of awards with whites and won several with red, but just decided this year to go strictly with the reds and see how it went,” she said. “It was really exciting.”

Stanburn has, however, won several awards for its white and dessert wines. In the Virginia Wine Lover Magazine’s “Best of” Awards for 2016, for the Western Region, Stanburn won best winery for dessert wine, best winery for red wine, best winery for white wine, and second place for best winery.

In The Virginia Wine Lover Magazine Wine Classic for 2016, Stanburn won a platinum medal for Highfly and Chambourcin, gold for Chardonnay, silver for Big A Red, and bronze for Meadow Breeze.

“In the Dixie Classic Fair, we entered seven wines and all seven won some sort of medal,” Stanley said. “The organizer called us because no one had ever done that.”

Stanburn is closed for tastings and tours during the winter. The tasting room will re-open April 1, the same day as the Fourth Annual Stuart Food & Wine Festival to be held at the Rotary Building. Stanburn is open to the public Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.; and at other times by appointment.