Muse Vineyards captures 2015 Governor’s Cup

Muse Vineyards can now officially call itself an “award-winning” wine operation.

At Tuesday night’s 2015 Governor’s Cup gala in Richmond, Muse took home the top prize in this year’s competition for its 2009 Meritage Bordeaux blend.

Sally Cowal, co-owner and operator of Muse, said she and her husband Robert are “over the moon” in regards to the award.

Muse’s 2009 Bordeaux blend will be part of the “Governor’s Case” that will include 11 additional gold medal wines in the state.

“Last night was a great honor, really, to receive this prize, especially for our first wine,” Sally Cowal said.

She added that Tuesday’s gala was “confirmation” that the state of Virginia is improving its wine quality and that the Shenandoah Valley is “the best growing area in the state.”

Prior to receiving the top prize, Cowal said that she and her husband “were pretty confident” that they would “at least win a gold meal or be in the Governor’s case.”

“We knew it was a good wine, we have tasted wines from all over the world and all over Virginia,” she said.

Muse Vineyards will have its products on display this Saturday for a tasting at All Things Virginia in Woodstock.

Vicki Ruckman, co-owner of All Things Virginia, said that she began discussing the idea of Muse selling its own wine “about two years ago.”

All Things Virginia is one of only two locations in the state — the other is Woodstock Café — that carries Muse products.

Ruckman noted that four additional Muse products will be available at Saturday’s tasting and that the award-winning blend will be available at a “special price.”

“People who like it and definitely want to buy some, this is the perfect weekend to do so,” Ruckman said.

The price of the 2009 Bordeaux blend is $65 a bottle, according to MuseVineyards.com. Ruckman said she expects that price to increase as a result of the Governor’s Cup.

According to Ruckman and Sally Cowal, the timing of Saturday’s tasting is purely coincidental.

“Just based on our travel schedules, we said, ‘Well, let’s make it the last weekend in February,’ having no idea that we would win this Governor’s Cup,” Sally Cowal explained.

In regards to Saturday’s tasting, Ruckman said, “We are really excited. We have already heard from a number of people who are planning to come out.”

Since receiving the award Tuesday night, Sally Cowal said they have already noticed an increase in interest by residents who want to set up tastings.

At the moment, Muse Vineyards is only open by appointment on weekends. The tasting room is not yet open, with an official date to be determined later.

“We will be setting up some tastings even before we have the retail facility open, now that there is such demand,” she said.

“We have been … dedicated to this industry for some years, and we feel that having a tasting room is the next logical extension of that,” Sally Cowal noted.

For the tasting room, she said they would like for it to reflect their desire to “always be about quality wine and quality fruit.”

“We don’t see it as an entertainment room, but a place where people who love wine can come and explore … what we have to offer,” she said.

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kgreen@nvdaily.com