July 23, 2017

Kentucky 2015 Commonwealth Medal Results

The winners of Kentucky’s major wine competition, The 2015 Commissioner’s Cup,  were presented on November 14 at the Mercury Ballroom in downtown Louisville. Cocktails, dinner and a presentation by Doug High, morning anchor at WTVQ in Lexington and a producer of documentaries about Kentucky wine.

This is the third year of the Kentucky Commissioner’s Cup. According to Tyler Madison, grape and wine program director for The Kentucky Department of Agriculture, this year’s competition had a record 143 entries.  Currently there are 69 operating wineries in the Bluegrass State, according to KentuckyWine.com.

2015 Commissioner’s Cup Winners

Best Sweet/Dessert Style/Fruit Wine, Purple Toad Winery, Paducah,  Allen’s Blueberry, NV

Purple Toad won five Gold Medals for mainly for fruit wines, including a Zinfandel/Pomegranate, which sounds like an awesome combination.

Best Dry Red, Prodigy Vineyards and Winery LLC, Frankfort, KY, 2009 Chambourcin

Best Boutique (Small Production) Wine: Up the Creek Winery, Burkesville, “Gold Rush,” 2013

Other Double Gold and Gold Medal Winners

Wight Meyer Vineyard and Winery, Shepardsville, KY,  Winter Solstice, Diamond.

IMG_1403Editor’s note: It’s great to see Wight Meyer win a Double Gold for Diamond, a labrusca variety.  Diamond is sometimes called Moore’s Diamond. Back in 1870, a New Yorker by the name of Jacob Moore made a cross of Concord and Iona to produce Diamond.

This classic American grape is a “softer, less grapey, and mellow version” of its parents according to the book “Grapes of the Hudson Valley.” Diamond is sometimes called a “native,” grape.  That’s not technically accurate, but Diamond has been around so long that it’s considered indigenous to Eastern North America.

It’s somewhat rare to see Diamond wine in the Midwest.  Wight Meyer is the only commercial grower of Diamond in Kentucky.  Wight Meyer is also a quality wine producer that’s worth visiting.

If you’re an adventurous global wine drinker, there are no bad wines that are well made.

Purple Toad Winery, Paducah, KY, Sangria made from Chardonnay and fruit

Rising Sons Home Farm Winery, Lawrenceburg, Norton, 2012

Baker Bird Winery, Augusta, Silver Swallow,  blend of Vidal Blanc, Riesling, Cayuga White, Traminette and Vignoles

David Haddle of Up the Creek Winery in Burkesville and David Bowie.

David Haddle of Up the Creek Winery in Burkesville and David Bowie.

Dr. Thomas Cottrell, emeritus faculty, University of Kentucky and Pam Leet of Old 502 Winery

Dr. Thomas Cottrell, emeritus faculty, University of Kentucky and Pam Leet of Old 502 Winery

Tyler and Coleen Madison and the late Amy Winehouse

Tyler and Coleen Madison and the late Amy Winehouse

Jeffrey Wheeler, research analyst, University of Kentucky and Sir Elton John

Jeffrey Wheeler, research analyst, University of Kentucky and Sir Elton John

Pam and Logan Leet of

Pam and Logan Leet of Old 502 Winery in Louisville

The Commisioner's Cup Dinner included pourings of the 2014 top medal winning wines.

The Commissioner’s Cup Dinner included pourings of the 2014 top medal winning wines.

Tom Cottrell, retired Extension agent for enology at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, received a Recognition of Contribution award for his service to the industry. Raymond “Butch” Meyer of Shepherdsville received the Kentucky Wineries Association Wine Person of the Year Award.

 

About Mark Ganchiff

Mark Ganchiff is the publisher of Midwest Wine Press, the leading source of news on the growing wine industry in the central United States. Mark has been a wine judge at the 2012 and 2014 INDY International Wine Competition, the 2014 Cold Climate Wine Competition, the 2013 Mid-American Wine Competition, the 2012 Illinois State Fair Wine Competition and the 2013 Michigan Wine Competition. He also enjoys speaking at wine events including the Cold Climate Wine Conference, the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association Annual Meeting, the Midwest Grape and Wine Conference and the Wisconsin Fruit and Vegetable Conference. Mark’s articles about regional wine have appeared in Vineyard & Winery Management, WineMaker and several regional magazines.
Mark is a Level One Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers. He lives in Louisville, but also has a residence in Chicago.