Results from the 2014 Michigan Wine Competition have been announced and – as has been the case in recent years – our local wineries have performed very well. Thanks to the Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council for much of the information in this article This year was the 37th annual Michigan Wine Competition, and a panel of 25 judges featured internationally known authors, winemakers and wine educators including Master Sommelier Ron Edwards and Doug Frost, one of only three people to achieve both Master of Wine and Master Sommelier certification. Food and wine writer Christopher Cook, who has been the superintendent of the Competition since 2001. said, “This competition really reflects the industry right now — the wide range of grape varieties that are being grown and vinified to produce world-class wines. It was interesting to see the diversity we are getting in wines from several vintages or different vineyard locations but still from the same grape variety entered by some wineries.” Three Riesling wines won top honors — for Best Dry White, Best Semi-dry White and Best Dessert Wine. Dr. Richard Grant Peterson, a consulting winemaker from California, “really enjoyed the flights of Rieslings. Michigan’s climate is ideally suited to Riesling. The state’s winemakers and vineyard managers are respected around the world for their skill with this cool climate variety.” Tim McNally, wine writer and host of The Wine Show remarked, “The Pinot Noirs were elegantly made, in keeping with a European style. This is sometimes hard to find in West Coast Pinots.” The competition is only open to wines produced from Michigan grapes and other fruit and just one of the eight Best in Class Wines (2012 AZO Red from Lawton Ridge Winery) was not made on the Old Mission or Leelanau Peninsulas!
- Sparkling: Aurora Cellars 2011 Brut
- Dry White: Blustone Vineyards 2013 Riesling
- Dry Red: Peninsula Cellars 2012 Cabernet Franc
- Semi-dry White: Gill’s Pier Vineyard & Winery 2013 Semi-Dry Riesling
- Dessert: Black Star Farms 2012 Arcturos Winter Harvest Riesling
- Fruit: 45 North Vineyard & Winery Peach Cremant
- Rosé: Chateau de Leelanau 2013 Cabernet Franc Rosé
Scan the double-golds and golds on the listing of medal-winning wines – it’s pretty impressive! You can of course taste these wines at local wineries and restaurants, but if you want to taste them all, consider a jaunt to the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing next Thursday (Aug 14) for the Gold Medal Wine Reception. Tickets are $40 in advance, $45 at the door, and can be purchased online.