Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thirsty Owl Wins 2007 Governor's Cup at NY Food & Wine

CONGRATULATIONS to Thirsty Owl Wine Company on Cayuga Lake for winning our Governor’s Cup with its 2006 Dry Riesling; and to Red Barn Winery near Syracuse for winning Winery of the Year accolades at the 2007 New York Wine & Food Classic in Napa , CA .

After a day and a half of swirling, sniffing, sipping and spitting, 24 expert judges ultimately rated Thirsty Owl’s Dry Riesling as the best of 790 New York wines entered, with other “Best of Category” wines including Swedish Hill Spumante Blush, Barrington Cellars 2006 Buzzard’s Blush, Pindar Vineyards 2005 Cabernet Franc, and Mazza Chautauqua Cellars 2005 Ice Wine of Vidal Blanc. In the “Specialty Wine” category, which includes non-grape fruit wines, meads, and other products, Red Barn’s 2006 Raspberry Wine took top honors, with its “Pauley’s Port” (made from Concord) also taking a Best of Class award, its Blueberry wine a Gold, along with several other medals for both grape and fruit wines. Other top contenders for Winery of the Year, which is based on the number and levels of medals, included (in order) Swedish Hill, Fox Run, Thirsty Owl, and Chateau LaFayette Reneau. Due to the increasing numbers of “specialty” wines and wineries, starting next year a new category will be created to recognize quality in those products, but the Winery of the Year award will be based on grape wines (since they are still over 95% of our industry’s production and consumption). Not surprisingly, the top winners started getting calls as soon as the results were posted on our web site, with one large Buffalo retailer immediately ordering 15 cases of the Thirsty Owl Dry Riesling. Many thanks to Teresa Knapp for doing a great job organizing the competition, the entire back room staff, our 24 terrific judges, and Peter Marks of Copia for being such a great and generous host. Next year’s Classic will return to New York State , with the exact location to be determined.

Congratulation to all the winners. Full results are available at www.newyorkwines.org under “What’s New”.

Special thanks to Jim Tresize