Congratulations goes out to the Finger Lakes winery Swedish Hill for winning the Governor’s Cup and to Sheldrake Point Vineyards for “Winery of the Year” the second year in a row at the New York Wine and Food Classic that was held at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel this Monday and Tuesday.

I had the opportunity to work the back room at the competition – and post will follow about that experience.  It’s an exciting time for Swedish Hill and Sheldrake Point.  Even though I was there, I do not know what any of the Hudson Valley Wines that entered, won.  Yes – I was to busy working, carrying trays of wine, clearing tables to look over someone shoulder at the results.  But thanks to judge Doug Frost who didn’t want the new pour of Keuka Lake Vineyards Semi Dry Dry Riesling (he had enough in his glass from the first tasting) – I did get to taste it. I couldn’t waste the glass. It was very nice and well balanced!

Here is the press release from the Foundation on the major winners of the competition.

Swedish Hill Winery wins “Governor’s Cup”
   Sheldrake Point Vineyards wins “Winery of the Year”
Watkins Glen, New York, AUGUST 17—Swedish Hill Winery Riesling Cuvee from the Finger Lakes won the coveted “Governor’s Cup” trophy at the 2010 New York Wine & Food Classic competition, held on August 16 & 17 at the Glen Harbor Hotel in Watkins Glen, NY.  The “Winery of the Year” award went to Sheldrake Point Vineyards, another Finger Lakes winery, for the second year in a row.
The elegant Governor’s Cup, a large silver chalice, recognizes the “Best of Show” or top prize of all 850 entries in the Classic, known as “The Oscars” of New York wine.  The “Winery of the Year” award is presented to the winery with the best overall showing based on the level and number of awards in relation to entries.
This year’s competition included 850 New York wines and 17 spirits from the Long Island, Hudson Valley, Finger Lakes, Niagara Escarpment, Lake Erie, and other regions of New York State. The Swedish Hill Riesling Cuvee was also voted Best Vinifera Sparkling and Best Overall Sparkling on its way to the ultimate award.  Sheldrake Point Vineyards received 2 Double Golds, 2 Gold, 4 Silver, and 2 Bronze awards on its way to the Winery of the Year award.
A “Specialty Wine Champion” award was added in 2008 to recognize consistent quality among the increasing number of wines made from fruits other than grapes, or honey.  The 2010 winner was ELF’s Farm Winery and Cider Mill with 1 Double Gold and 2 Silver awards. A new “Best New York Spirit” award went to Finger Lakes Distilling Seneca Drums Gin.
The awards were based on blind tastings by 24 expert judges—4 from California, 12 from New York, 6 from other states and 2 from the United Kingdom.  Judges included prominent wine writers, restaurateurs, retailers, and wine educators.  Four-judge panels determined the initial awards, with top-scoring wines evaluated by all 24 judges for Best of Category and Governor’s Cup awards.
Celebrating its 25th year, the Classic is organized by Teresa Knapp of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, and is open to all 280 New York wineries from all regions.  In 2010, a total of 32 Double Gold, 74 Gold, 284 Silver, and 250 Bronze medals were awarded.  In addition, “Best of Category” and “Best of Class” designations were awarded to wines rated as the finest in various areas.  Double Gold medals require unanimity among a panel’s judges that a wine deserves a Gold medal, whereas Gold medals require a majority vote.
The “Best of Category” awards, all eligible for the Governor’s Cup, went to:
Best Sparkling Wine               Swedish Hill Winery Riesling Cuvee
Best White Wine                     Keuka Lake Vineyards 2009 Semi Dry Riesling      
Best Rosé Wine                      Arbor Hill Grapery Coriesa Hill Iona Rose
Best Red Wine                        Bedell Cellars 2008 Cabernet Franc 
Best Dessert Wine                  Casa Larga Vineyards 2007 Fiori Delle Stelle Vidal Ice Wine
Best Specialty Wine                Torrey Ridge Winery Scarlet Red
Best New York Spirit             Finger Lakes Distilling Seneca Drums Gin
The “Best of Class” awards went to:
Best Vinifera Sparkling          Swedish Hill Winery Riesling Cuvee
Best Sparkling                         Swedish Hill Winery Riesling Cuvee
Best Unoaked Chardonnay    Coyote Moon Vineyards Naked Chardonnay
Best Overall Chardonnay       Coyote Moon Vineyards Naked Chardonnay
Best Dry Riesling                    McGregor Vineyard 2008 Riesling
Best Medium Dry Riesling     Keuka Lake Vineyards 2009 Semi Dry Riesling                              
Best Medium Sweet Riesling Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars 2009 Semi Dry Riesling
Best Overall Riesling              Keuka Lake Vineyards 2009 Semi Dry Riesling
Best Niagara                           Schulze Vineyards & Winery Thirty Mile Point        Sweet Niagara
Best Gewürztraminer              Sheldrake Point Vineyards 2008 Gewürztraminer
Best Cayuga White                 Swedish Hill Winery 2009 Cayuga White                            
Best Traminette                       Bet the Farm Winery 2009 Traminette
Best Vidal Blanc                     Swedish Hill Winery 2009 Vidal Blanc
Best Vignoles                          Lucas Vineyards 2009 Vignoles       
Best Hybrid White                  Thousand Islands Winery Wellesley Island White
Best Diamond                         Torrey Ridge Winery Diamond        
Best Native White Blend        Niagara Landing Wine Cellars 2009 Rosebud Gold
Best Vinifera Rosé                  McGregor Vineyard 2009 Rosé D’Cabernet Franc  
Best Native Rosé                    Arbor Hill Grapery Coriesa Hill Iona Rosé  
Best Cabernet Franc               Bedell Cellars 2008 Cabernet Franc
Best Other Vinifera Red Varietal   Fulkerson Winery 2008 Dornfelder                               
Best Vinifera Red Blend        Peconic Bay Winery Nautique Esprit De Rouge      
Best Native Red Blend           Penguin Bay Winery Tuxedo Red
Best Concord                          Eagle Crest Vineyards 2009 Canal Boat Red          
Best Fruit Wine                       ELF’s Farm Winery and Cider Mill 2009 Appalachian Trail Apple Wine
Best Mead                               Torrey Ridge Winery Scarlet Red
Best Late Harvest                   Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars
2008 Bunch Select Late Harvest Riesling
Best Ice Wine                         Casa Larga Vineyards 2007 Fiori Delle Stelle Vidal Ice Wine                    
Complete results of the 2010 Classic will soon be posted under “New York Gold” at, which also includes Gold medal New York wines from other major competitions.