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.
Editor’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
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.