In Country: Charlottesville, Barboursville Vineyards Nominated for Wine Star Awards

Virginia wine country has garnered yet another accolade to add to their long list of honors and awards. Barboursville Vineyards has been nominated for American Winery of the Year in Wine Enthusiast magazine’s Wine Star Awards.  

This year marks the 24th anniversary of the awards, honoring the people and companies that make exceptional contributions to the wine and alcohol beverage world. The winners will be featured in the magazine’s Best of Year issue and fêted at an annual black-tie gala in February 2024.  

The Charlottesville area and Barboursville Vineyards are in impressive company. Additional wine star award nominations include wineries in the Napa Valley, Finger Lakes, France and Italy. 

Barboursville Vineyards is family-owned and run by the seventh generation of the Zonin family. The historic estate was acquired in the mid-1970s by Gianni Zonin, who then created a vineyard and winery on the property. Zonin’s three sons handle the business side of things, while Luca Paschina has been making wine for Barboursville for over 30 years.  

Paschina grew up in a family of winemakers in Piemonte, Italy in the region of Alba, renowned for producing some of the best wine in Italy. He attended school to study oenology and then in his 20s, traveled quite extensively for internships, working in wine hotspots like Napa Valley, upstate New York, Spain and northern and southern Italy.  

At age 29, Paschina decided to become a wine consultant. He sent out letters throughout Europe and the first person to contact him was the owner of Barboursville Vineyards, Gianni Zonin.  

Pachina is quoted on Barboursville’s website. “Gianni Zonin has more in common with Magellan than with titans of commerce. Tradition educates his daring, science overcomes his obstacles, humility enables his discoveries,” he said. “The estate of wine enlarges in his care.”  

After Paschina started working his magic, in the year 2000, Barboursville Vineyards started receiving rave reviews from food and wine critics. “Perhaps the most important one was The New York Times, which published two-and-a-half pages,” he recalled. “They said finally Virginia is producing a decent glass of wine!”  

It intrigued Paschina to come to Virginia as much as it did Zonin in 1976. The two had the perception that they had great potential with the soil and climate of the Old Dominion.  

Paschina believes Virginia richly deserves the Wine Enthusiast Wine Star nomination because the state is now out of its experimentation phase. “We created a wine library where people can come and taste all vintages,” he said. “We’re showing a great level of hospitality.”  

As far as Paschina’s favorite wines, he’s partial to Octagon, Barboursville’s flagship wine (which is a Bordeaux blend).   

Barboursville Vineyards is located at 17655 Winery Road, Barboursville, Virginia. Visit their website at   


While you’re visiting Barboursville Vineyards, don’t miss:  

The Virginia Gold Cup  

October 28  

“The Crown Jewel of American Steeplechasing”  


Montpelier Hunt Races  

November 4  

A day of sport and family fun at the former home of James Madison.  





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *