ROCHESTER, NY — Could it have been scripted any better? Nah. A Riesling from the Finger Lakes, which has staked a claim to being the Riesling capital of the known universe, won the top award in that category of the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.
The 11th annual event, held March 26-27 at the Rochester Plaza Hotel, is the largest charitable wine competition in North America. All net proceeds benefit Camp Good Days and Special Times, the not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children, adults and families whose lives have been touched by cancer and other life-threatening challenges.
Zugibe Vineyards of Geneva took the top Riesling award with its 2009 Late Harvest Riesling. The winery was established in 2005 by the Zugibe family on the shore of Seneca Lake. The father, Frederick II, died unexpectedly in 2006, and his three sons — Frederick III, Brendan and Sean — operate Zugibe Vineyards now.
Other major winners:
Best Chardonnay: Santa Barbara Winery of California, 2008 Reserve.
Best Cabernet Sauvignon: J. Lohr of California, 2007 Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon.
Best ice Wine: Vignoble Riviere du Chene of Quebec, 2009 Vidal.
A record 3,259 wines from 788 wineries were entered in the competition. The wines came from 19 nations, six Canadian provinces and all 50 states. The international judging panel awarded more than 70 double golds, which requires unanimous agreement among the tasters. Not surprisingly, four of New York’s double-gold medalists came in the Riesling category.
Here is the full New York double-gold rundown:
Other White: Arbor Hill Rhine Street White NV (Diamond, Cayuga and Delaware grapes); Woodbury Vineyards Seaport White NV (Chardonnay, Cayuga White, Vidal).
Late Harvest White (24 brix +): Chateau Lafayette Renault Late Harvest Riesling 2010.
Viognier: Goose Watch Winery Viognier 2008.
Riesling: Heron Hill Winery Semi-Dry Riesling 2009; Red Newt Cellars Riesling 2009; Wagner Vineyards 2008; White Springs Riesling 2009.
Ives: Johnson Estate Winery Ives 2009.
Shiraz-Syrah: Long Point Syrah 2007.
Vidal Blanc: Schulze Vineyards & Winery Vidal Blanc Semi-Dry 2010.
Brandy: Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery American Fruits Pear Brandy NV.
Pear: Young Sommer Winery 2 of a Kind Bartlett Pear 2010.
Go here for the full list of medalists in all categories.
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