The Land Rover America’s Polo Cup 2008: Chukkers, Wine, and Fancy Hats

Hello Friends,

This past weekend Dezel was an attendee at the Land Rover America’s Polo Cup held at Historic Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia. This fun-filled two day event was highlighted by the USA versus Italian Polo team match, as well as live entertainment, spectacular aerial flyovers, stunning parachute jumps, an Italian versus USA gourmet food competition, a stylish fashion show, and a Virginia Winery challenge hosted and organized by Virginia Wine Lover Magazine.


This event, spearheaded by Tareq Salahi, founder of Oasis Winery, was a charitable affair benefiting the Journey for the Cure Foundation - a nonprofit, charitable organization set up to support research and grants for the MS Society and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Additionally, the Land Rover America’s Polo Cup is the world’s only invitational polo sporting event on an international level , so it was great to have it played right here in the Old Dominion.

Dezel and Todd (of Wine Compass Blog) Enjoying the Fashion Show

The event began with an opening cocktail party celebration Friday evening where a number of savory delights were prepared and sampled prior to the culinary challenge, which pitted Italian chefs against top America chefs. During this competition I tasted some nice samples on both sides of the fork so to speak. Wine Blogger Todd Godbout, of Wine Compass Blog was also in attendance to enjoy the evening events, and I think he would have to agree with me that both the food and fashion was fabulous. For more coverage of this event check out Todd’s post here at Wine Compass.

Frank Britt with some of the Virginia Winners

Following the cook-off, the ever-smiling Frank Britt, co-publisher of Virginia Wine Lover Magazine, took to the stage to announce the winners of the Virginia Winery Challenge. This was a competition coordinated by Virginia Wine Lover Magazine open to all Virginia wineries who wanted to participate. The competition was judged double blind by a panel of esteemed professionals in the field of enology and sensory evaluation using the modified UC Davis 20-point scoring system. See the winning Virginia wines below:

Red Wine:

Gold – Potomac Point Winery Petit Verdot, Silver – Pearmund Cellars Cabernet Franc, Bronze – Pearmund Cellars Ameritage

White Wine:

Gold – Winery at LaGrange Chardonnay, Silver – Villa Appalaccia Pinot Grigio, Bronze – Lake Anna Winery Totally White (blend)

Blush Wine:

Gold – Breaux Vineyards Syrah Rosé, Silver – Chatham Vineyards – Church Creek Rosé, Bronze – Tarara Winery Rosé

Sparkling Wine:

Gold - Kluge Estate SP Rosé, Silver – Kluge Estate SP Blanc De Blanc, Bronze – Chateau Morrisette – Star Dog

Dessert Wine:

Gold – Williamsburg Winery Late Harvest Vidal, Silver – Breaux Vineyards Soleil, Bronze – Winery at LaGrange Snort and Gray Ghost Adieu


Potomac Point Winery – Petit Verdot

All of these winning wines, bronze to gold, are worth seeking out, especially at the winery on a sunny, picture perfect day. To my tasting pleasure, Skip and Cindi Causey of Potomac Point Winery were on hand to accept their award and was kind enough to open a bottle of the double gold winning Petit Verdot 2006 to share with the Virginia table. Great wine! Nice color, very expressive, fuller –bodied, easy drinking, good fruit character and balance - are good descriptors of this wine. To visit the Causey’s winery web site click here – the winery is located in Stafford County and is beautiful both inside and out.

Skip & Cindi Causey with the Award Winning Petit Verdot

Following the wine competition was the fashion show, which featured Italian designers versus USA designers. This was a very classy and engaging show featuring select spring time fashions, which was followed by the Gipsy Kings Family taking the concert stage. Dance! Dance! Dance!

Field Demonstration Images

The following day I arrived at the same location and the live entertainment and on-field demonstrations were already in progress. Highlighting this was a very nice showing of the Clydesdales and the world famous United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Team. A tasty Italian food spread and open bar complimented the day, and some of the Virginia wines poured were from Oasis and Breaux Vineyards. What a nice way to start the day!

Dezel's ready to enjoy the day!!!

Before the match was a very thrilling performance by the Blackwater USA parachute team. Those guys were awesome, and made jumping out of a plane from way, way, up look so easy. Great job guys! Additionally, there were some great military aircraft flyovers that got big “oohs” and “ahs” from the crowd.

Blackwater USA Parachute Team - Awesome Job Guys !!!

Next up was what the crowd of fans decked out in seersucker suits, fashionable spring dresses, and fanciful hats came to see - the USA versus Italian Polo match. The polo match was an exciting afternoon game with players showing their great skills all for a good cause. In the end the USA team was victorious winning 6-2 over the Italian team. Hooray! And Dezel, finally figured out what a “chukker” was. For those who do not know, it is the polo term used to describe a period of play, for which there are six chukkers in a polo match.

Images of the Polo Match

Following the match the crowds took the field to “wine down,” literally, and enjoy the Gipsy King Family and Huey Lewis and the News live concert performances. Be on the lookout for this event next year, as the USA team will compete against Australia in the 2009 Land Rover America’s Polo Cup World Championship at its new location - Capitol Polo Club in Potomac, Maryland.

The Cherry on Top - A Great Concert!

  • Stay tuned friends ... More Q&A and lots more to come !!!
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