Colorado Wine Board Hosts Governor's Cup Competition with Warren Winiarski Among the Judges

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The 4th Annual Governor's Cup Colorado Wine Competition happens April 5-6 in Denver, with Warren Winiarski among the judges. Winiarski started making wine at Denver's Ivancie Cellars in the late 1960s before founding Stag's Leap Wine Cellars and winning the 1976 Judgement of Paris.

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I am truly excited to return to Colorado and see what that little seed I planted so many years ago has grown into, said Winiarski.

Renowned winemaker Warren Winiarski returns to his Colorado roots this week to be a judge in the 4th Annual Governor's Cup Colorado Wine Competition.

The Colorado Wine Industry Development Board (CWIDB), part of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, will be hosting the 2014 Governor’s Cup Wine Competition on April 4-6 at Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center. More than 200 wines from 30 local wineries will be judged by a panel of restaurant owners, sommeliers, chefs, writers and other wine experts from around the country. “Each year the judges note the continued rise in quality of Colorado wine,” said Doug Caskey, executive director of the CWIDB. “We are also truly excited about the group of judges we have this year.”

Mr. Winiarski, one of fifteen judges, was the winemaker at Colorado's first commercial winery after Prohibition, Ivancie Cellars in Denver, before returning to California and founding Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. In 1976, his 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon, only the second vintage, was deemed the best red wine at the Judgment of Paris tasting. The judges preferred the S.L.V Cabernet Sauvignon to more prestigious wines, such as Château Montrose, Château Haut-Brion, and Château Mouton-Rothschild. That competition helped establish the United States as a premier wine-producing country. Dr. Ivancie and Mr. Winiarski were instrumental in reviving Colorado's wine industry and bringing the American wine industry the attention it deserved. “We are honored to be able to host them together after all these years,” beams Caskey.

Prior to the Governor’s Cup, Winiarski will speak to industry members, including Colorado winemakers, retailers and restaurateurs, and participate in a panel discussion. “I am truly excited to return to Colorado and see what that little seed I planted so many years ago has grown into,” said Winiarski. “I am very much looking forward to tasting and evaluating Colorado’s wines.”

Last year, the 2013 Governor’s Cup was awarded to Creekside Cellars’ 2010 Cabernet Franc. Cabernet franc is a red grape variety that originates from the Bordeaux region of France and is actually the genetic parent of the more famous cabernet sauvignon. "As cabernet franc has won the Governor's Cup for the past two years, we will see if our esteemed panel of judges feels this vintage is up to the same quality,” said Caskey. "Cab franc may be a signature variety for Colorado."

*About the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board*

The Colorado Wine Industry Development Board (CWIDB) is an agency of the Colorado Department of Agriculture dedicated to promoting and furthering the development of Colorado’s grape growers and vintners. The CWIDB supports the efforts of more than 100 wineries throughout the state, producing an increasing array of premium-quality wines. For additional information, visit or contact CWIDB executive director Doug Caskey at 720-304-3406 or dcaskey(at)coloradowine(dot)com.

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