Monday, February 06, 2012

Hunt Country Vineyards Vidal Blanc Ice Wine 2006

In the fall of 1981, Art and Judy Hunt received their Farm Winery license, and embarked on a journey to make wine. It must have seemed like a long shot. But now Hunt Country has been in business for more than 30 years.

In that time the Hunts have been an important force in New York wine. They were among the first to sell their Finger Lake wines in New York City's Greenmarkets, establishing themselves at Union Square and Grand Army Plaza more than 20 years ago.

And they've been a friend to many other winemakers throughout the state offering advice and help to many aspiring winery owners. As well as solid citizens of the Finger Lakes community and the Keuka Lake area. And their wines are now available in 28 states.

I have seen Art talk at many conferences on many subjects. He's always happy to offer advice with great humility, and always with a friendly smile.

Among their best wines is the Hunt Country Vineyards Vidal Blanc Ice Wine. This is one of premiere American made ice wines. Vidal Blanc is one of the best grapes for ice wines, as was proven in Canada by wine makers such as Inniskillin. But Hunt Country's Vidal Blanc Ice Wine belongs side by side among the best in North America.

Winemaker Christopher Wirth's elixir is absolutely fantastic! With big aromas of honeysuckle, honey, apricot, and tropical hints as well, the wine is unctuous and golden. With a big shot of apricot, raisin and honey on the mouth, with just the right amount of acidity to balance it all out. What an absolute knock out. This is absolutely one of the best dessert wines made in the United States. Certainly one of the best wines to come out of the Finger Lakes. If you don't believe me, here's some other awards and distinctions:

• 94 RATING (Exceptional wine) and GOLD Medal,
2009 World Wine Championships, Beverage Testing Institute
2008 NY State Fair Commercial Wine Competition
• GOLD, 2008 Tasters Guild International Wine Judging
• GOLD, 2008 Grand Harvest Awards
• EXAMPLE OF AMERICAN GREATNESS, 2007 Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition
• GOLD, 2008 Big E Northeast Gold Wine Competition
•Vidal Blanc Ice Wine 2002 - featured on NBC's Today Show
•Vidal Blanc Ice Wine 2005 - winner of 4 Gold medals
•Vidal Blanc Ice Wine 2006 - winner of 5 Gold medals

Congrats to Christopher Wirth, and to Art & Joyce Hunt on thirty years!