LONG BEACH, CA — New York wines have found plenty of fans in major California competitions. The latest is Belhurst Estate Winery’s showing at last weekend’s Long Beach Grand Cru competition organized by wine journalism guru Dan Berger.
The Seneca Lake winery won “Best of White” with its 2009 Dry Riesling, its 2009 Gewurztraminer placing second. It also had two other wines in the final tasteoff — its 2009 Semi-Dry Riesling, and its Golden Pheasant, a Seyval-Chardonnay blend.
Another Seneca Lake winery, Torrey Ridge, took “Best Rosé Wine” honors with its Catawba.
Of the 32 judges, only two were from outside California. The field was 1,488 wines from around the world. Only 64, or 4+ percent, received Gold/Best of Class designations that put them in the sweepstakes round. Of those 64, 17 were New York wines.
Other New York sweepstakes entries:
Sparkling Wine — Goose Watch Pinot Noir Brut Rosé; Goose Watch Golden Spumante.
White Wine — The Belhurst Riesling and Gewurtztraminer; by Swedish Hill 2009 Vidal Blanc and Torrey Ridge Diamond.
Rosé Wine – The Torrey Ridge Catawba; Coyote Moon River Run Rosé.
Red Wine – Coyote Moon Frontenac; Penguin Bay Tuxedo Red.
Dessert Wine – Heron Hill 2007 Late Harvest Vidal Blanc; Lucas Vineyards 2008 Vidal Blanc Iced.
Jim Trezise, head of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation and one of the two non-Californian judges, said, “Long Beach is not an isolated incident. At many other competitions in California, other states and abroad, New York wines have regularly been rated Best of Category and/or Best of Class, and won hundreds of Gold medals this year alone. Keuka Spring Gewurztraminer won Best White Wine in the San Francisco Chronicle completion, Whitecliff Riesling at San Francisco International, Cayuga Ridge Estate Riesling at Riesling du Monde for “Best New World Riesling,” just to name a few.
“It is a tribute to the growers who produce great grapes, the winemakers who transform them into the finest wines possible, and people like Dan Berger who insist that judges select the best wines, wherever they are from and whatever grapes are in them. It also reflects the great research on quality by Cornell scientists supported with our funding, as well as collaboration among winemakers who openly share their ‘secrets’.”
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