Category Archives: Awards

Where (some of) your tax dollars are going

ALBANY — The recipients of grants from New York State’s “Open for Business” program have been announced. For the most part, local media around the state is concentrating on what money is being sent to its reading/viewing/listening areas, but a broader look better shows the scope of the grants.

Since I deal with drinks, I culled from the list the following grants for enterprises in that field.

One of the more interesting is three-quarters of a million dollars for a new brewery in Schoharie County. Not to be left out, nearby foreign-owned Brewery Ommegang is getting $140,000 to help it expand.

Herewith the excerpt list, using descriptions taken from the grant applications.

Cayuga County:

$4,022,845, Cayuga Marketing LLC, DDiMAI training. Existing association of dairy producers will create a new company and construct a 106,000 square foot milk and dairy ingredients processing facility. New products will displace foreign imports, create new export opportunities, and increase profitability.

Chautauqua County:

$200,000, Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association, Grape Discovery Center final phase. The Center will educate visitors about the historic development of the region and the role grape growing played in the region’s cultural landscape and communities. The plan proposes 19 exhibit panels in the display room and 14 exhibit displays, free standing and wall mounted, for the reception/gift shop space, as well as exterior exhibits and an orientation pavilion.

Erie County:

$14,400, Buffalo Blends Inc., industry specific equipment training. Will provide on-the-job-training to 12 long-term unemployed workers in the operation of an agglomerator/instantizer required for processing hot cocoa mix.

Greene County:

$280,000, New York Spring Water. Assist in the expansion of NY Spring Water, creating 23 new jobs, 91% of which will be made available to low-to-moderate income individuals.

Madison County

$994,000, Owera Vineyards. Establishment of a new winery and community farm on 58 acres, including new construction, purchase of machinery and equipment, and site improvements to support wine production, tastings, farm and winery tours, and other events to promote regional tourism and agribusiness.

Niagara and Orleans counties:

$30,000, Niagara Wine Trail. Purchase and installation of signs on designated Niagara Wine Trail route. Project also includes marketing and training.

Otsego County:

$140,000, Brouwerij Belame Ltd. Brewery Ommegang. Brewery located in Cooperstown is in the early stages of a 6-year $16,000,000+ expansion of the current facilities. This expansion involves the use of multiple architects to design new buildings, expand the current brewing and beer packaging operation, as well as construct a new water and waste treatment facility. The expansion of the brewery will include a restaurant and an expanded store. These will add to the 30,000+ tourists that the brewery already draws annually. The restaurant will be serving local foods and promoting the local farmers. The current store sells local cheeses and condiments in addition to beer. The expanded store plans to provide a larger variety of locally produced products in addition to the beers produced on site.

Schoharie County:

$750,000, Cobleskill Brewery. Independently owned spin-off of Butternuts Beer and Ale, Inc. of Garrattsville will open a contract brewing manufacturing plant at the site to be acquired from Schoharie County. The site is the long vacant industrial development park in Cobleskill. The contract brewing company will open with a capacity of 25,000 barrels per year and expand within five years to 100,000 barrels. Excess space in the industrial park will be offered to local for-profit and not-for-profit entities until the brewery can assume full occupancy of this 460,000 square foot building.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 13, 2011 in Awards, Brewery


• Wine Spectator generous to NY wine lists

The annual list of Wine Spectator magazine awards for best restaurant wine lists in the nation is anything but an exclusive one.

Although the magazine is a major arbiter of what the wine scene in America will be, its three-category awards list goes on forever. In New York State, for example, nine establishments received Grand Award status, the top level; 81 received the awkwardly-named Best of Award of Excellence honors, and 190 more received the Award of Excellence. That’s 280 awards.

Nine restaurants achieved Grand Award status. They are:

New York City

  • 21 Club
  • Daniel
  • Del Posto
  • Gilt
  • Tribeca Grill
  • Veritas


  • Crabtree’s Kittle House, Chappaqua (Westchester County)
    Friends Lake Inn Chestertown (Washington County)

Long Island

  • The American Hotel, Sag Harbor

You can see the entire list of New York award winners here.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 15, 2011 in Awards, Wine


• W’chester spot NY’s best on top wine lists

A venerable Westchester County restaurant is the top New York restaurant named one of Wine Enthusiast magazine’s top 100 wine restaurants in the nation.

Crabtree’s Kittle House, located in a Chappaqua building dating to 1790, has a legendary wine cellar holding more than 60,000 bottles, and offers 5,500 selections to go with its internationally-influenced American cuisine. This is a repeat appearance on the list for Crabtree’s.

The magazine cites what it refers to as “destination bottles,” meaning the editors rate the trip worth making just for these offerings. At Crabtree’s, they are 25 vintages of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (Côtes de Nuits), 18 vintages of Domaine Jean-François Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne, and 12 vintages of Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville).

Other Upstate entries on the list:

  • Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills. Destination bottles: Frank Cornelissen NV Magma Rosso 6 (Etna), Schäfer-Fröhlich 2002 Bockenauer Felseneck Riesling Spätlese (Nahe), and Domaine A. Clape 1989 Cornas.

New York City entries on the list:

  • Adour, at the St. Regis Hotel, East 55th Street. Destination bottles: Château Signac 2007 Combe d’Enfer (Côtes du Rhône Villages),Château Certan de May 2001 Pomerol, Pisoni Vineyards 2007 Miura Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands).
  • SHO Shaun Hergatt, Wall Street. Destination bottles: Jean-Francoise Coche-Dury 2007 Corton- Charlemagne, Domaine de Terrebrune 1987 Bandol, Red Hook Winery 2008 Split Rock Cabernet Franc (New York).
  • Del Posto, 85 Tenth Avenue. Destination bottles: Terlano 1966 Pinot Blanco (Alto Adige), Giacomo Conterno 1978 Monfortino (Barolo), Tenuta San Guide 1985 Sassicaia (Tuscany).
  • Veritas, 43 East 20th Street. Destination bottles: Screaming Eagle 1992 Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville), Henri Jayer 1985 Cros Parantoux Premier Cru (Vosne-Romanée), Henri Bonneau 1978 Réserve des Célestins (Châteauneuf-du-Pape).
  • Read the rest of this entry »

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 7, 2011 in Awards, Restaurant, Wine


• Eastern Wine Competition goes West

HEALDSBURG, CA — The annual International Eastern Wine Competition this year was held in the West. Go figure.

However, New York State wines did as well as ever in the event sponsored by Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine, with several “Best of Class” awards against a field of 1,100 wines.

The competition this year was conducted at Villa Chanticleer, a farming complex in California’s Russian River Valley that is part of the Santa Rosa Junior College, which trains many of California’s wine industry professionals. The site change, according to Jim Trezise of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, came about because “The New York wholesaler who received the competition wines all these years was unable to do so, for whatever reason, so this year alone a change in venue was required, and next year it will move back east.”

Trezise was among the judges, many of whom were from New York.

OK, that’s out of the way. Now, on to New Yorkers’ awards.

Double Gold/Best of Class

• Glenora Wine Cellars 2010 Finger Lakes Pinot Blanc
• Hazlitt White Stag
• Hickory Hollow Liquid Wisdom
• Keuka Spring Vineyards 2010 Finger Lakes Semi-Dry Riesling
• Lucas Vineyards 2009 Semi-Dry Riesling

Other Double Gold

• Coyote Moon 2009 Naked Chardonnay
• Dr. Konstantin Frank 2010 Finger Lakes Semi-Dry Riesling
• Hosmer 2010 Cayuga Lake Riesling
• Keuka Spring Vineyards 2009 Seyval-Chardonnay
• Lime Berry Estate Finger Lakes Semi-Dry Riesling
• Thirsty Owl 2010 Finger Lakes Semi-Dry Riesling


• Coyote Moon 2010 New York State La Crescent
• Dr. Konstantin Frank 2009 Reserve Gewurztraminer
• Glenora Wine Cellars 2010 Gewurtztraminer
• Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Semi-Dry Riesling
• Hosmer Sparkling Wine
• Thirsty Owl 2009 Finger Lakes Semi-Dry Riesling
• Thousand Islands 2010 New York State Frontenac

Go here for the full rundown of medalists.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on June 20, 2011 in Awards, Competition, Wine


• Thirsty Owl tops ‘Golden Nose’ again

CANANDAIGUA, NY — The Thirsty Owl Wine Company won the Finger Lakes Resling Championship by a … well, AT the 5th Golden Nose competition, held at the New York Wine & Culinary Center here.

The honor was part of the consumer-driven event and was the second year in a row Thirsty Owl won the award, this time over 58 other entries. More than 200 wines representing more than 20 varieties from 34 Finger Lakes wineries were entered this year.

Thirsty Owl is located on the western side of Caygua Lake.

Awards are based on blind tastings by 22 consumer judges who were schooled in the fundamentals of wine judging prior to the event, assisted by eight Finger Lakes wine industry professionals. Panels of 4-5 judges determined initial awards, and “best of class” designations were decided. Double Gold honors indicate a unanimous vote of the panel. Gold honors denote a majority vote.

This year’s event was organized by Shannon Brock, NYWCF wine coordinator, and Teresa Knapp of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation.

The other awards:

Best of Class

  • Sparkling Wine — Goose Watch NV Pinot Noir Brut Rosé
  • Vinifera White — Sheldrake Point 2010 Gewurtztraminer
  • Vinifera Red — Wagner Vineyards 2007 Meritage
  • Dessert Wine — Anthony Road 2008 Riesling Trockenbeeren
  • Hybrid Grape Wine — Villa Bellangelo 2010 Moscato
  • Native Grape Wine — Americana Vineyards NV Crystal Lake

Double Gold Medals

  • Anthony Road Wine Company 2008 Riesling Trockenbeeren
  • Dr. Konstantin Frank 2010 Dry Riesling
  • Goose Watch Winery NV Pinot Noir Brut Rosé
  • Goose Watch Winery NV Classic Cream Sherry
  • Knapp Winery 2010 Vignoles
  • Lucas Vineyards 2009 Semi-dry Riesling
  • Penguin Bay Winery 2010 Semi-Sweet Riesling
  • Sheldrake Point Vineyard 2010 Gewurztraminer
  • Swedish Hill Winery 2010 Dry Riesling
  • Swedish Hill Winery NV Doobie Blues
  • Thirsty Owl Wine Co. 2010 Diamond
  • Villa Bellangelo 2010 Semi-Sparkling Moscato

    Gold Medals

    • Americana Vineyards NV Crystal Lake
    • Billsboro Winery 2010 Pinot Gris
    • Glenora Wine Cellars 2010 Iced Vidal Blanc
    • Goose Watch Winery 2010 Melody
    • Lakewood Vineyards 2009 Lemberger
    • Lime Berry Winery NV Riesling
    • Lucas Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Franc
    • Red Newt Cellars 2009 “Circle” Label Riesling
    • Sheldrake Point Vineyard 2009 Dry Riesling
    • Swedish Hill Winery NV Blue Waters Riesling
    • Swedish Hill Winery 2009 Reserve Chardonnay
    • Swedish Hill Winery 2009 Valvin Muscat
    • Swedish Hill Winery NV Viking Red
    • Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2010 Riesling
    • Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2010 Vidal Blanc
    • Ventosa Vineyards NV Vino Rosso
    • Wagner Vineyards 2008 Dry Riesling
    • Wagner Vineyards 2007 Meritage
    • Wagner Vineyards 2008 Vidal Blanc Ice

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

    1 Comment

    Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Awards, Competition, Finger Lakes, Wine, Wineries


    • Newcomers top Esquire’s best bars list

    Esquire magazine’s 6th annual Best Bars In America list is anything but a salute to tradition. This year, it consists of bars that, for the most part, are less than two years old. And, only one is in New York.

    The just-released list was curated by David Wondrich, the magazine’s drinks writer.

    Wondrich, incidentally, has a chapter in my upcoming whiskey anthology “Barrels and Drams,” to be released in September by Sterling Publishing.

    The list:

    • The Thirsty Crow, Los Angeles
    • Painkiller, New York City
    • Maison Premiere, Brooklyn
    • Spirit of 77, Portland, Oregon
    • Comstock Saloon, San Francisco
    • Cure, New Orleans
    • Bar Congress, Austin, Texas
    • The Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas
    • The bar at Sra. Martinez, Miami
    • The Drawing Room, Chicago
    • The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., Philadelphia

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

    Leave a comment

    Posted by on May 24, 2011 in Awards, Bar/Tavern/Lounge


    • Coyote Moon earns right to howl

    CLAYTON, NY — Coyote Moon Vineyards is not among the most recognized wine labels in New York, but it is making a name for itself on the West Coast.

    Winemaker/co-owner Phil Randazzo (near right) had entries took a trio of gold medals in the recent “Consumer Wine Awards” competition held in Lodi, CA, with his LaCrescent, River Run Rose and unoaked Naked Chardonnay doing the trick.

    And, proving you have to catch the consumer’s eye before you capture their palate, house artist/co-owner Mary Randazzo (right) spearheaded the Thousand Islands company’s entry that won “Best Label Series” in the recent Pacific Rim Competition in which its wines also took 10 medals. Rich Clarke of Clarke Graphics and Tim Tice of Label World also worked on the project for the Rochester area entry.

    You can see the list of awards Coyote Moon has won over the past few years by going here.

    Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.