NY wines collect 141 medals at Indy International

Jim Trezise, president of the New York State Wine & Grape Foundation, has New York state entries’ results from this week’s Indy International Wine Competition at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.

And, an excellent outing it was for 21 Brix Winery. Its Ellatawba, a Catawba-based wine from the Lake Erie region, won “best rosé.”

Says Trezise of the NY entries, “The total haul of 141 medals included 12 concordance gold (similar to double gold), 23 gold, 66 silver and 40 bronze medals, with several of New York’s concordance golds included in the final sweepstakes round.”

Other concordance gold medals went to Belhurst Winery 2011 Pinot Grigio and 2011 Semi-Dry Riesling, Dr. Frank 2010 Rkatsiteli, Goose Watch 2011 Riesling-Gewurztraminer, Harvest Moon Cidery at Critz Farm 2011 Maple Moon Hard Cider, Hunt Country Dolce di Moscate (Valvin Muscat), Liberty Vineyards Diamond, Swedish Hill Niagara and 2010 Late Harvest Vignoles, Wagner Vineyards 2011 Riesling Ice Wine, and Winery of Ellicottville EVL White (a Diamond blend).

Gold medals were awarded to 21 Brix Cayuga White and Ella’s White (Niagara); Chateau Frank 2007 Blanc de Blancs; Coyote Moon 2010 Pinot Noir, 2011 Island Mama, and 2011 Cherry Bomb; Dr. Frank 2011 Reserve Gewurztraminer; 2011 Semi Dry Riesling and 2011 Pinot Gris; Fox Run 2010 Reserve Chardonnay and 2011 Reserve Riesling; Goose Watch 2011 Melody; Lakewood Vineyards 2010 Lemberger and 2011 Dry Riesling; Long Point Winery 2010 Sangiovese; Seneca Shore Dry Riesling Old Vines; Swedish Hill Viking White, 2011 Vidal Blanc, and 2011 Cayuga White; Thirsty Owl 2011 Vidal Blanc; Torrey Ridge Diamond; Wagner Vineyards 2011 Semi-Dry Riesling and 2011 Vidal Blanc.

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Posted by on August 4, 2012 in Competition, Wine


Virginia ‘best of show’ for Chateau Frank

In what is getting to be a habit, a New York State wine took “best of show” honors on a major competition.

The Chateau Frank 2006 Blanc de Noir won “best of show” honors in the 8th annual Atlantic Seaboard Competition held in Haymarket, VA.

In addition, Dr. Frank 2010 Pinot Gris took a gold and “best of category.” Others with the same honors from New York were Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards 2010 Gewurztraminer, Belhurst Winery 2011 Semi-Dry Riesling, and Chateau LaFayette Reneau 2010 Pinot Noir Blanc.

Additional golds went to 21 Brix 2011 Chardonnay, Chateau LaFayette Reneau 2010 Pinot Gris, Dr. Frank 2011 Semi-Dry Riesling, and Fulkerson Winery 2010 Dry Riesling.

Panels of 20 judges evaluated 495 wines produced in 17 states. An observation from Dave McIntyre, one of the judges, posted on his blog:

“What a difference a year makes. The sweepstakes round … included 20 wines, and nearly all (especially the reds) were from the very ripe 2010 vintage. Some of these were superb. There were some 2010s that didn’t earn gold medals because they were clumsy and even overripe and alcoholic. The rainy 2011 vintage tended to live down to expectations, with a few exceptions. Even the whites -– Rieslings, Viogniers and especially Chardonnays -– tended to be lackluster, and the reds dilute. Keep in mind that most of the better 2011 reds have not been released.”

The competition, run by the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association, is designed to promote and help market wines produced in the eastern U.S. The organization changed its name in 2008 from the Vinifera Wine Growers Association.

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Posted by on August 4, 2012 in Competition, Wine


Rooster Hill debuts its first Sauvignon Blanc

You may have to get your local wine merchant to special-order it, but a Finger Lakes winery has just released a limited amount of its first Sauvignon Blanc in a region best known for its Rieslings.

The wine, made from a grape variety that originated in western France, is getting very good early reviews, which should mean the 65-case supply from Rooster Hill Vineyards will go fast.

Rooster Hill, located on the east side of Keuka Lake, actually made the wine from grapes grown on the east side of Seneca Lake at Sawmill Creek Vineyards, also its supplier for Chardonnay grapes.

Winemaker Barry Tortolon split the 1.5 tons of purchased grapes into different lots and fermented them using two different yeasts to provide different notes — one grassy and steely, the other fruity — then blended them into one final product.

Rooster Hill Vineyards is located at 489 Route 54 near Penn Yan. Phone: (315) 536-4773.

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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Wineries


‘Rendezvous With Riesling’ in the Finger Lakes

CANANDAIGUA — If you’re a fan of New York State Rieslings, you may want to consider a drive to the Finger Lakes for “Rendezvous with Riesling” at the New York Wine & Culinary Center here.

The sixth annual event is scheduled for 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, August 10, which coincides with the Finger Lakes Riesling Festival weekend of August 11-12.

“Rendezvous with Riesling” is a celebration of New York’s signature wine varietal. Numerous Rieslings and other New York wines will be available for sampling, along with foods from Culinary Center chef Michael Sokolski’s staff.

Admission is $40 per person. As of this posting, there are 155 admissions available. They can be reserved online or by phone at (585) 394-7070.

Among the featured wineries:

  • Silver Thread Vineyard 
  • Americana Vineyard 
  • Standing Stone Vineyards 
  • Bully Hill Vineyards 
  • Hosmer Winery 
  • Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars 
  • Glenora Wine Cellars 
  • Knapp Vineyard 
  • Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard 
  • Eremita Winery 
  • Anthony Road Wine Company 
  • Sheldrake Point Winery 
  • Casa Larga Vineyards 
  • Brotherhood Winery 
  • Fox Run Vineyards 
  • Heron Hill Winery 
  • McGregor Vineyard
  • Swedish Hill 

The Wine & Culinary Center is located at 800 South Main Street, lakeside.

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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Finger Lakes, Upstate, Wine


New Saratoga brew pub to open Wednesday

SARATOGA SPRINGS — In a neck-and-neck race with the schedule of Saratoga Race Course, the city’s new brew pub will be able to catch most of the meet.

Next Wednesday, August 1, is the officially announced opening day for Druthers Brewing Co., a $2.5 million downtown project that should benefit from the thoroughbred meet that runs through September 3.

Druthers is owned by a partnership that includes Albany attorney Chris Martell and Albany Pump Station brewmaster George de Piro, among others.

The brew pub, located at 381 Broadway, is accessed via an entranceway that opens to a courtyard and the building itself. Below is a sketch of that from the company’s infant website.

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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Brew pub, Capital Region, Upstate


Heaven Hill commits itself to Larceny

A 19th Century inspiration has led the distillers at Heaven Hill to create Larceny, a new super-premium wheated bourbon.

Larceny will make its debut in New York and 11 other states in September, at a suggested retail price of $24.99 for the 750ml bottle.

The 92 proof whiskey, aimed at the males 30-50 market niche, is distilled in small batches from dumps of 100 or fewer barrels that have aged six to 12 years in Heaven Hill’s open rick warehouses in Nelson County, KY.

In its announcement, the company says the brand is “Heir to the wheated bourbons that make up the historic Old Fitzgerald franchise that Heaven Hill acquired in 1999.” Old Fitzgerald has had a tradition of using wheat in place of rye as the third grain in the whiskey’s mash bill, along with corn and malted barley.

Old Fitzgerald’s namesake was a federal treasury agent named John E. Fitzgerald who, in the mid-1800s, was rumored to have used his position to secretly obtain fine bourbons, thus the “larceny” name.

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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Whiskey/Whisky


Music/wine/food series set in the Finger Lakes

PENN YAN — Keuka Spring Vineyards, located on the east side of Keuka Lake, will host a series of music, wine and food events this summer.

The winery has lined up three bands for four dates in August and September. The first event is set for Sunday, August 5, with local band Agonal Rhythm, a group consisting of folks from the medical field.

The band Kickin’ Back, from Fairport, will appear on Saturday, August 18, and Saturday, September 1, and The Galtee Mountain Boys will bring traditional Irish music on Sunday, September 9.

All of the music events are free to the public. Wine by the bottle and glass is available, as well as local cheeses and snacks for picnics. Picnic box lunches may be ordered in advance from the winery.

A special feature of the first three events is a visit from Blue Heron Acres in northern Pennsylvania, producers of Kobe beef, who will be serving a 24-hour mesquite-smoked Kobe beef brisket or a “build your own burger” bar. Music will begin at 1 p.m. each afternoon, and guest are encouraged to bring chairs, pop-up tents, or blankets to sit on. All events are subject to change based on weather conditions.

Keuka Spring Vineyards is located at 243 State Route 54, East Lake Road, just outside of Penn Yan. Phone: (315) 536-3147.

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Posted by on July 25, 2012 in Finger Lakes