An Ohio wine that has already proven to be a competition darling has rung up another prestigious prize.
The Debonne Vineyards 2013 Vidal Ice Wine captured the “Dessert Wine of the Year” award in the 2014 Indy International Wine competition held July 30-Aug. 1 (last week) on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
That’s on the heels of the same wine’s award as “Best Ice Wine” at the 2014 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition (where it beat out quite a slew of national and international contenders for that particular designation), and its “Overall Best of Show” award at the 2014 Ohio Wine Competition.
THAT is an impressive set of wine-competition credentials. The overall “best of show” award at the Indy competition went to Klinker Brick Winery of Lodi, California, for its 2012 Old Ghost Zinfandel.
The Indy competition attracted 2,200 entries from 11 countries and 40 states. I served as one of the 45 judges for the event this year, and each opportunity to judge wines brings continued revelations. Winemakers from throughout the country continue to excel at making fruit wines, although many consumers wouldn’t give fruit wines a second glance. And some amazing wines are being made out of French-American hybrid varietals such as Vidal Blanc and Vignoles that also would tend to be ignored on the retail shelf (and I’m just as guilty of this as any other wine consumer).
We really need to guard against wine-varietal racism, because we’re missing out on some really, really good juice.
Other winners from the Indy competition:
— Red Wine of the Year: Ghost Pines Winery of Healdsburg, California, for its 2012 Merlot.
— White Wine of the Year: Saint Croix Vineyards of Stillwater, Minnesota, 2013 Vignoles.
— Rosé Wine of the Year: Carlos Creek Winery of Alexandria, Minnesota, 2013 Frontenac Rosé.
— Sparkling Wine of the Year: Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards of Sonoma, California, 2003 Carneros Cuvee.
— Fruit Wine of the Year: Purple Toad Winery of Paducah, Kentucky, Lauren’s Blackberry wine.
— Winery of the Year; Dr. Konstantin Frank of Hammondsport, New York. The award trophy honors the best international brand of the entire competition.
— Winemaker of the Year: Bill Gulvin of Nissley Vineyards, Bainbridge, Pennsylvania. The trophy honors the vintner who wins the most gold medals by brand at the competition.
“The more than two thousand wines entered in the 23rd Indy are a true reflection of the amazingly diverse offerings that the global wine market provides to American wine lovers, who now consume more wine than any other nation in the world,” said Purdue wine professor Christian Butzke, the competition’s chairman and chief judge.
Tonne Winery of Muncie won the Indiana Winery of the Year – the Governor’s Cup – recognizing the winningest Indiana winery. Turtle Run Winery of Corydon won Indiana’s Farm Winery of the Year, honoring wineries that produce less than 50,000 gallons of wine. Indiana Wine of the Year was awarded to Tonne Winery for its Traminette. Easley Winery of Indianapolis won Indiana Traminette of the Year, honoring Indiana’s signature wine and grape. The results, with other information about the annual competition, are available on the event’s website at: