Saturday, October 3, 2015

Watkins Glen winery scores big in Tasters Guild test

A Watkins Glen winery led all New York State entries in the recent Tasters Guild International Consumers' Wine Judging.

Lakewood Vineyards took home Double Gold medals (unanimous choice of the tasting panel) for its 2014 Vignoles and its 2014 Valvin Muscat, as well as Gold medals (majority choice of the tasting panel) for its 2014 Long Stem White, its 2014 Niagara, and its 2014 Riesling. The winery is located at 4024 State Route 14. Phones: 607-535-9252 and 877-535-9252 (toll free).

It was founded in 1951 by Frank Stamp, who had left his Maryland dentistry practice to take over a rundown peach and apple orchard on the west side of Seneca Lake. The next spring, the Stamp family began planting grapes. Their commercial grape production continued for 36 years, until 1988 when Frank's son, the late Monty Stamp, Monty's wife Beverly, and their children pressed grapes for their first vintage.

Tasters Guild is a food and wine society based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with an office in Washington, D.C. "By sponsoring this wine judging event, it is the objective of Tasters Guild to give the consumer a reference point in choosing quality wine values," explains Guild president Joe Borrello. "Tasters Guild recommends any wine judging results or tasting evaluations be used only as an informational guide for consumers in establishing personal preferences. However, with our reevaluation procedure, we take extra precaution to appraise the wines as accurately as possible."

Other major medals awarded to New York State wines:

• Belhurst Winery of Geneva, Double Gold for its Ice Princess and its 2014 Dry Riesling, Gold for its 2013 Traditions Merlot

• Black Willow Winery of Burt, Niagara County, Golds for its 2009 Flight 6.1.37, its 2014 Classic Diamond and its 2014 Chardonnay

• Dr, Frank of Hammondsport, Double Gold for its 2014 Gruner Veltliner and Gold for its 2014 Riesling Reserve

• Victorianbourg Wine Estate of Wilson, Niagara County, Gold for its Victorianbourg Pechette.

The 2015 Gold Medal Champion trophy went to The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey in Canon City, Colorado. That label earned more Double Gold and Gold medal points than any winery in the competition. The E.& J. Gallo Winery Portfolio of Brands was named winery of the year, singled out by the guild for its “ongoing support of consumer education and promotion of wine and food appreciation.”

The full list of judging results, released Monday after auditing, is available online.

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