CANANDAIGUA, NY -- Two iconic Finger Lakes wineries came out on top of a record field in the 21st annual New York Wine & Food Classic judging this week.
A 2005 Dry Riesling from Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyards won the Governor’s Cup award, emblematic of the best of show. Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars was rated Winery of the Year for the highest point total in the judging.
The event, held at the Inn on the Lake here at Canandaigua Lake in the western Finger Lakes near Rochester, drew 703 entries from New York-only vineyards in the official regions of Long Island, the Hudson Valley, the Finger Lakes, the Niagara Escarpment, Lake Erie, and other regions of New York State.
I was among 24 judges from across the nation and England, with a heavy contingent from California. Judges included prominent wine writers, restaurateurs, retailers, and wine educators. Four-judge panels determined the initial awards in blind tastings, with top-scoring wines evaluated by all 24 of us for Best of Category and Governor’s Cup awards on the second day, also in a blind tasting.
The awards were announced at the Governor’s Cup Celebration luncheon at the New York Wine & Culinary Center (seen above) that was formally opened in June. The restaurant prepared a special multi-course luncheon using all New York ingredients and paired with award-winning wines from the 2005 competition, which was also held at the Inn on the Lake.
The Classic, organized by the indefatigable Teresa Knapp of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation headed by the equally indefatigable Jim Trezise, was open to all 239 New York wineries. This year 30 double gold (unanimous vote by the panel), 53 gold, 200 silver, and 249 bronze medals were awarded.
The best-of-category awards:
Best White -- Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyards, 2005 Dry Riesling.
Best Sparkling -- Chateau Frank, 2000 Blanc de Noirs.
Best Rose/Blush -- Chateau Lafayette Reneau, Emperor’s Blush.
Best Red -- Jamesport Vineyards, 2004 Cabernet Franc.
Best Specialty Wine -- Baldwin Vineyards, Strawberry Wine.
Best Dessert Wine -- Wolffer Estate Vineyards, 2005 Late Harvest Chardonnay.
The best-of-class awards:
Best Vinifera Sparkling Wine -- Chateau Frank, 2000 Blanc de Noirs.
Best Chardonnay -- Bedell Cellars/Corey Creek Vineyards, 2005 Reserve Chardonnay.
Best Dry Riesling -- Hermann J. Wiemer, 2005 Dry Riesling.
Best Semi-Dry Riesling -- Mazza Chautauqua Cellars, 2005 Riesling.
Best Semi-Sweet Riesling -- Chateau Lafayette Reneau, 2005 Johannisberg Riesling.
Best Gewurztraminer -- (tie) Bedell Cellars/Corey Creek Vineyards, 2005 Gewurztraminer, and Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars, 2005 Gewurztraminer.
Best Cayuga White -- Swedish Hill Vineyards, 2005 Cayuga White.
Best Other White Hybrid -- Atwater Estate Vineyards, 2005 Vidal Blanc.
Best Other Native Varietal -- Thirsty Owl Wine Co., 2005 Diamond.
Best White French American Hybrid -- Red Newt Cellars, Red Newt White.
Best Niagara -- Red Newt Cellars, Blue Newt White.
Best Native White Blend -- Lucas Vineyards, Miss Behavin’.
Best Blush -- Chateau Lafayette Reneau, Emperor’s Blush.
Best Cabernet Franc -- Jamesport Vineyards, 2004 Cabernet Franc.
Best Merlot -- Peconic Bay Winery, 2001 Merlot.
Best Cabernet Sauvignon -- Chateau Lafayette Reneau, 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon.
Best Pinot Noir -- Chateau Lafayette Reneau, 2002 Pinot Noir.
Best Other Red Vinifera -- Keuka Spring Vineyards, 2005 Lemberger.
Best French American Hybrid Red Blend -- Lucas Vineyards, 2005 Tug Boat Red.
Best Mead -- Torrey Ridge Winery, Scarlet Red.
Best Fruit Wine -- Baldwin Vineyards, Strawberry Wine.
Best Late Harvest -- Wolffer Estate Vineyards, 2005 Late Harvest Chardonnay.
Best Ice/Iced Wine -- Lakewood Vineyards, 2005 Borealis.
Six wines were disqualified from the second-day judging because they did not meet the minimum of 100 cases available.
To Dowd's Spirits Notebook latest entry.
To Dowd's Wine Notebook latest entry.
To Dowd's Brews Notebook latest entry.
Back to Dowd On Drinks
2 icons lead the winners in NY Wine Classic
Photo by William M. Dowd
Posted by William M. Dowd at 1:08 PM