Wine Press FINAL 10-14-10

May 11, 2013


             Lots of New York Gold, tons of tourism dollars, a woman of distinction, single vineyard wines, and Mission FLX are all part of the excitement in wine country.



             Jim Trezise

New York Gold from California and Michigan


             The Riverside International Wine Competition, run by esteemed California wine writer Dan Berger, once again yielded lots of medals for New York wines--153 total, including 16 Best of Class, 13 Chairman's Awards, 25 Gold, 74 Silver, and 50 Bronze.  In addition, two of the four International Riesling Foundation trophies went to New York wines: Dr. Konstantin Frank 2012 Dry Riesling, and Wagner Vineyards 2011 Semi-Dry Riesling.

              The Best of Class awards included Anyela's Vineyards 2010 Noiret; Belhurst Estate Winery 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling and Naturel sparkling wine; Coyote Moon Island Mama and Razzle Dazzle Raspberry; Earle Estates Raspberry Reflections; Goose Watch 2011 Diamond; Hazlitt 2010 Cabernet Franc; Hunt Contry Dolce di Moscato; Liberty Vineyards Reds, Whites & Blues; Torrey Ridge Niagara and Catawba; and Villa Bellangelo 2012 Moscato.

              Additional Chairman's Awards (equal to Double Gold) were awarded to Chateau LaFayette Reneau 2011 Dry Riesling and 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon; Glenora 2011 Riesling Select Harvest; Knapp 2012 Cabernet Franc Rose; and Liberty Vineyards 2011 Traminette.

               Gold medals went to Anthony Road 2012 Pinot Grigio; Anyela's 2011 Sweet Riesling; Belhurst 2012 Dry Riesling; Casa Larga 2010 Fiori delle Stelle Vidal Ice Wine; Dr. Frank 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling and 2012 Riesling Reserve; Fox Run 2010 Dry Riesling, Lake Dana Vineyard; Goose Watch 2011 Cabernet Franc Ice;  Johnson Estate 2011 Ives; Keuka Spring 2012 Riesling and 2012 Semi-Sweet Riesling; Schultze 2011 Block Three Ice Wine; Sheldrake Point 2011 Riesling; Swedish Hill Raspberry Infusion, 2011 Riesling, and 2010 Late Harvest Vignoles; Thirsty Owl 2012 Dry Riesling; and Ventosa 2011 Riesling, New Vineyard.


              New York Gold also flowed from the Tasters Guild International Competition in Michigan where New York wineries won four Double Gold, 42 Gold, 71 Silver, and 53 Bronze awards--170 in all.

               The Double Gold medals went to Schulze Vineyards 2011 Block Three Ice Wine; Swedish Hill Winery 2010 Late Harvest Vignoles and 2011 Vidal Blanc; and Torrey Ridge  Blue Sapphire.

               Gold medals were awarded to Belhurst 2012 Pinot Grigio and 2012 Riesling; Casa Larga Fiori delle Stelle Ice Cuvee and 2010 Fiori delle Stelle Ice Wine; Chateau Frank 2007 Blanc de Noirs and 2007 Blanc de Blancs; Chateau LaFayette Reneau 2011 Chardonnay, 2012 Riesling, and 2010 Cabernet Franc; Dr. Frank 2010 Rkatsiteli, 2012 Riesling, and 2012 Dry Riesling; Glenora 2003 Brut and 2012 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine; Goose Watch Golden Spumante, 2011 Viognier and 2011 Melody; Hazlitt 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 Cabernet Franc, and Red Cat; Keuka Spring 2012 Riesling, 2012 Dry Riesling, 2012 Semi-Sweet Riesling, and 2012 Gewurztraminer; Knapp 2010 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine; Lakewood 2012 Valvin Muscat; Osprey's Dominion 2011 Cabernet Franc, Richmond Creek Red, 2008 Cabernet Franc, and 2007 Merlot; Schulze 2011 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine; Swedish Hill 2011 Cab Franc/Lemberger; Thirsty Owl 2012 Chardonnay, 2012 Riesling, and Tailspin; Torrey Ridge Catawba, Lucky, and Niagara; Treleaven 2011 Late Harvest Riesling; Ventosa 2011 Tocai Friulano; Wagner 2011 Riesling Select, and 2011 Dry Riesling.


                From reading just these two lists, it's clear that there is a lot of  consistency among top award-winning wines in different competitions at different times with different judges.  Next up, this week, is the terrific Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition where I'll be judging, though they don't release the results until mid-June.  Keep up to date on New York's winning wines in the "Awards and Accolades" section of our web site,



 $60 Million to Promote New York Tourism


              I LOVE NY has been the theme of New York State's tourism promotion for decades, and it's clear that Governor Andrew Cuomo feels that way in spades.  This week, at the Governor's Tourism Summit, he committed $60 million to support tourism, the most in decades and more than triple last year's amount.

              I had the privilege of sitting at the head table and offering some comments about the importance of wine country tourism, but mostly getting a firsthand view of some exciting announcements even beyond the $60M budget.  Overall, there will be a major focus on attracting international tourists AND on getting them out of New York City (after a nice stay there) and to the upstate regions--which of course means "wine country".

               In addition, there are several huge new partnerships with the I LOVE NY program, including the MTA (subway and bus system in New York City, which 8.5 million people use every day), which will use its many advertising spaces to promote upstate tourism; the Port Authority, which controls the major regional airports, rail systems and bus terminal and will also use its facilities to advertise; and partnerships by Delta and JetBlue airlines.  (We already have a special event on Friday in the JetBlue terminal at JFK, along with a major weekend event--the Great Googa Mooga in Brooklyn--which draws tens of thousands of consumers.)

               The Governor also announced a new Sports and Special Events Commission; new Welcome Centers at border and interstate crossings; new Taste-NY initiatives, including a presence of New York products (such as wine) at the PGA golf tournament in Rochester in August; an I LOVE NY space at the popular visitor center in Times Square; and other initiatives.

                I was also delighted to learn that the 2014 Superbowl will be held in New York City--the first time in decades that it will be in an open stadium in mid-winter--so the fans should need many of our great libations to keep warm and happy.               

Free Run... 


           Beverly Stamp of Lakewood Vineyards was honored as a "Woman of Distinction" this week in Albany based on the decades of great work she has done for the New York grape and wine industry. The "Woman of Distinction" program allows each New York State Senator to select one recipient from the district, and Senator Tom O'Mara appropriately chose Bev.  The entire Stamp family of Watkins Glen has been involved in the industry for decades, and no one in more different ways than Bev: co-founder and decades-long volunteer of Women for New York State Wines, past president of the Senecal Lake Wine Trail, mother and grandmother of the new generations of Stamps working at Lakewood, and much more.  And...she's a ton of fun. 


            Single Vineyard Riesling is a growing trend in the Finger Lakes, most recently exemplified by the release from Silver Thread Vineyard of six 2012 Rieslings, of which four are vineyard-specific to reflect a sense of place and taste of "terroir".  In addition, Silver Thread is the only  Finger Lake winery to have single vineyard Rieslings from three different lakes (Cayuga, Keuka, and Seneca).  Meanwhile, today Red Newt Cellars is having a special seminar and tasting of four different Rieslings reflecting the unique conditions of their respective vineyards.


             Mission FLX is an exciting project launched by Michael Warren Thomas, the Finger Lakes wine aficianado and former radio talk show host in Rochester.  The mission: get restaurants in the Rochester area (which borders the Finger Lakes) to have local wines representing at least 35% of their total selection.  Michael has already assembled information about over 130 restaurant wine lists and ranked them based on their Finger Lakes selections, with Simply Crepes, Joey B's, and Sticky Lips topping the honor roll.  For more information on the program, and a listing of restaurants where you should eat, you may email Michael at



  "A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine." 

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