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RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement regarding Wine Enthusiast, one of the world’s leading wine publications, awarding Gianni Zonin, the owner of Barboursville Vineyards, its 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award. He also commented on Eric Trump, owner of Trump Estate Vineyards & Winery’s nomination for Wine Enthusiast's 2013 Rising Star Award. The presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award will be made on at the Wine Enthusiast’s Wine Star Awards in New York City; the winner of the Rising Star Award also will be made at this event. Both Zonin’s award and Trump’s nomination represent significant milestones for Virginia's burgeoning industry.
“I congratulate Gianni Zonin for receiving Wine Enthusiast's Lifetime Achievement Award and his efforts in elevating Virginia wines both nationally and internationally. His work and legacy is truly remarkable. Indeed, Gianni Zonin is a visionary wine pioneer, who saw the potential in establishing a wine producing estate not just in the United States, but in Virginia in 1976. Over nearly 40 years, Zonin and his staff have helped establish Virginia as a major wine region by producing outstanding wines and offering tourists to Barboursville Vineyards an truly remarkable experience. His work and vision have helped to elevate the entire industry. Ranking among the top five wine producing states in the nation with more than 230 wineries, Virginia is now among the top wine travel destinations in the world. This is a remarkable achievement given that when he purchased Barboursville and planted vines, there were only a couple of wineries in Virginia. For all this , I salute Gianni Zonin for his lifetime of achievement and contribution to viticulture in Virginia and around the world.
“Eric Trump is truly a rising star in the global wine industry and could not be more deserving of Wine Enthusiast's Rising Star Award nomination. We are very pleased that he and his family decided to invest in Virginia's wine industry. It was clearly the correct decision for both Eric and the Commonwealth. In just two short years, Eric has significantly expanded the distribution of Trump wines both nationally and internationally, while elevating the overall integrity of the wines. I'm confident that Eric and the team at Trump Winery will continue to raise the bar for Virginia wines in the coming years. I wish him good luck at the award ceremony in January.”
Zonin is chairman of Casa Vinicola Zonin (The Zonin Wine House), a company of family-owned vintners since 1821 and currently the largest private wine enterprise in Europe. The Zonin Wine House owns eleven major wine estates in Italy and one in the United States, Barboursville Vineyards, which is located in the Monticello American Viticulture Area. The properties, which are planted in specialized vineyards, are located in regions that are highly regarded for their production of world-class, premium wines. Barboursville’s 2009 Octagon, a Bordeaux-style blended red wine, was awarded the 2013 Governor’s Cup as Virginia’s top wine.
Trump is Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions at the Trump Organization and President of Trump Winery. Since opening in October 2011 under Trump's leadership, the winery has established distribution in 20 states and exported to three countries. In May 2013, Trump Winery received a 91 point rating from Wine Enthusiast for the Sp Reserve making it Virginia’s highest rate wine in history.
For more information on Wine Enthusiast’s 2013 Wine Star awards and nominees, please visit winemag.com.