2010 Illinois State Fair Wine Competition Winners Announced - 2010.06.10
URBANA – Over 400 local wines were presented to twelve judges at the Illinois State Fair Wine Competition, June 7-9, 2010 at the University of Illinois Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.
A world-class panel of wine experts and enthusiasts judged the wines including:
• Stephen Somermeyer, Chateau Thomas Winery, Indiana
• Glenn Bardgett, Wine Director at Annie Gunn’s and Smokehouse Market
• Mel Runge, Indiana
• Brad Taylor, Southern Illinois University
• Sam Vandegrift, Wine Writer, Smile Politely
• Michael Anthony, Illinois
• Rachel Cristaudo, Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance
• Eric Da Costa, Rouge Wine Cellar, Inc.
• Paul Simpson, Piccadilly Beverage Shop
• Jeff Wheeler, University of Kentucky
• Carolyn Farren, Farren’s Restaurant
• Mary Lynn Gietl-Deloney, The Corkscrew Wine Emporium
Judges were divided into three panels designed to provide a tremendous depth and variety of experience, with special emphasis on hybrid wine styles and sensory characteristics. Judging was based on color, balance, aroma, clarity, taste and finish. Entries were judged using a 20-point score card. All wines with a panel majority score of 17 and above received a gold medal, 15 and above received a silver medal and wines 12 and higher were awarded a bronze medal. All gold medal winners competed for the “Best of Class” and the “Best of Show” designations. The special recognition of “Governor’s Cup” was awarded to the best red, white, blush, fruit, and dessert/sparkling wines produced from Illinois-grown fruit.
Best of Show went to Prairie State Winery in Genoa, Illinois for their Cabernet Franc, 2008. Grown by Two Oaks Vineyard in Benton, this classic European grape is less tannic than its close cousin Cabernet Sauvignon. Prairie State’s Cabernet Franc exhibits a bright raspberry aroma with hints of leather. The soft texture leaves a clean, toasted oak finish. Winemaker Rick Mamoser encourages you to try it with roasted pork or grilled tuna filets.
The Prairie State Cabernet Franc retails for $18.50 at the winery’s tasting room located on Main Street in Genoa, Illinois or at numerous retail locations across Illinois. For a listing of retail locations near you, please visit http://www.prairiestatewinery.com/retail.html .
The Illinois Wine Competition awards Governor’s Cups for the top Illinois-grown grape or fruit wines. This year’s winners are:
Red Table: Lynfred Winery Norton 2007
White Table: Spirit Knob Winery Traminette 2009
Blush/Rosé: Hickory Ridge Vineyard and Winery Herta’s Blush 2008
Fruit: Hill Prairie Winery Strawberry NV
Sparkling: August Hill Winery Raspberry Infusion NV
Top Awards for Fruit from any Appellation:
Red Table: Blue Sky Vineyards Meritage 2007
White Table: Von Jakob Vineyard Cave Creek NV
Fruit/Dessert: Glunz Family Winery Mission Angelica NV
Best of Show – Amateur Competition
Grape: Ryan Zeigler Frontenac 2008
Non-grape: James Blough Nectare Blossom 2009
In total the commercial competition awarded 60 gold medals, 94 silver medals, and 89 bronze medals. The amateur competition netted 9 gold medals, 26 silver medals, and 56 bronze medals. Complete results can be found online at www.illinoiswine.com .
A ceremony and public tasting of the award-winning wines will be held Tuesday, August 17th at the Illinois Wine Experience during the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, Illinois. The Illinois Wine Experience is housed in the Twilight Ballroom located on Central Avenue between the U.S. Cellular High Dive Show and the Coliseum.
When asked to comment on the significance of this year’s competition, Bradley Beam, the Illinois state enologist, and organizer of the contest, said, “The primary goal is to recognize the many outstanding wines produced in the state of Illinois. The number of medals awarded this year indicates that we, as an industry, are maintaining a very high degree of quality. For those entries that do not receive medals, the judges provide comments and feedback. While there are several wineries that produce wines of excellent quality year in and year out, it’s important to remember that many of the vineyards and wineries in Illinois are relatively inexperienced. This feedback should help winemakers avoid repeating mistakes, and ultimately help our industry continue to improve.”
The Illinois State Fair Wine Competition is sponsored and coordinated by the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association (IGGVA). IGGVA established in 1992, is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing the viticulture and enology interests of Illinois through information exchange and cooperation among Illinois grape producers and vintners.
The Illinois wine industry has exploded in recent years, growing from just 12 wineries in 1997 to nearly 90 today. During this time, the acreage devoted to grape production has grown at a tremendous rate, and today Illinois is consistently among the top 12 wine-producing states.
Today the Illinois wine industry creates a direct economic impact of more than $319 million annually on the Illinois economy.
Attachment: 2010 Illinois State Fair Wine Competition Results