Michigan WIne Competition Results
Twenty-five wine experts from around the country gathered August 5 in East Lansing for the 37th annual Michigan Wine Competition. Judges included Master Sommelier Ron Edwards; Doug Frost, who is both a Master of Wine and Master Sommelier; and internationally known authors, winemakers and wine educators.
Leading the group through the day was food and wine writer Christopher Cook, who judged at the competition for 12 years before becoming its superintendent in 2001. Cook, who is a judge at wine competitions throughout the United States and abroad, noted, ‘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.”
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.”
This was the first year Joyce Angelos, from Kansas City, Mo., and Tim McNally, from New Orleans, judged at the Michigan competition. They were pleasantly surprised to find so many high-quality red wines entered. McNally said, ‘The Pinot Noirs were elegantly made, in keeping with a European style. This is sometimes hard to find in West Coast Pinots.”
Fifty-one of the state’s 107 wineries entered 450 wines for this year’s competition, which is open only to wine produced from Michigan grapes and other fruit. Gold medals were awarded to a wide variety of wines — from bone-dry reds to sweet and luscious dessert wines. At the end of the day, judges awarded the top “Best of Class” awards to eight wines from a group of 52 gold medal winners, including 10 double gold.
Six of eight Best of Class awards went to Leelanau Peninsula Wineries:
The top award-winners are:
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
Semi-dry Red: Lawton Ridge Winery 2012 AZO Red
Dessert: Black Star Farms 2012 Arcturos Winter Harvest Riesling
Fruit: 45 North Vineyard & Winery Peach Cremant
Rosé: Chateau de Leelanau 2013 Cabernet Franc Rosé