The latest came at this week’s Grand Harvest Awards, held at Villa Chanticleer in this Sonoma County wine region. New York wines took 16 Gold medals, including 9 from Riesling entries, among its 62-medal haul in the judging.
Two wineries — Liberty Vineyards & Winery in the Lake Erie region, and Thirsty Owl from the Finger Lakes — each won four Golds with a range of different wines. Liberty’s Golds were for its 2010 Dry Riesling, Cat Noir, Diamond and 2009 Traminette. Thirsty Owl’s Golds were for its 2009 Dry Riesling, 2009 Riesling, 2009 Diamond and 2009 Vidal Blanc.
Other New York Golds:
• Anthony Road Wine Company 2008 Tierce Riesling, a collaborative wine made by the winemakers from that winery along with Fox Run Vineyards and Red Newt Cellars
• Belhurst Estate Winery 2009 Dry Riesling and 2009 Semi-Dry Riesling
• Hunt Country Vineyards Classic Red
• King Ferry (Treleaven) 2008 Late Harvest Riesling
• Lucas Vineyards 2009 Dry Riesling
• Ventosa Vineyards 2009 Riesling
• Winery of Ellicottville Vidal Blanc
Grand Harvest is focused on “terroir” and conceived by Bill Moffett and Hope Merletti, former owners of the Vineyard & Winery Management company now owned and run by Rob Merletti. The concept, in addition to evaluating wines and awarding the best, is to try identifying common aroma and taste characteristics which may be reflective of the climate and soil in a particular region. When a sufficient number of entries from a region warrants it, they’re grouped into “terroir” flights which include a range of varietals, styles, and colors, and the judges are asked to cite common characteristics. Sometimes it’s simple, sometimes not, but it always stimulates discussion and the excitement of learning the region after guessing what it is.
Complete results of the competition are expected to be posted online in the next few days.
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