Wagner Vineyards named New York winery of the year

Wagner Vineyards, located the east side of Seneca Lake, was named Winery of the Year at the annual New York Wine Classic held in Watkins Glenn Monday through Wednesday.

The prize comes as the winery is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

“We are extremely proud to receive the honor of Winery of the Year at this year’s New York Wine Classic,” said Wagner Vineyards owner John Wagner. “Our team has worked tirelessly to strive for excellence for 40 years now — what a way to cap off a season of celebration at Wagner Vineyards!”

The Governor’s Cup, considered the best of show for the competition, went to Six Mile Creek Vineyard in Ithaca for its 2016 Cabernet Franc.

Johnson Estate Winery in Westfield, Chautauqua County, was named Specialty Wine Champion for its Passionate Peach fruit wine.

Some 883 wines and specialty beverages were entered in the competition, described as the “Oscars” of New York wine.  The New York Wine Classic is organized by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation.

“The New York Wine Classic is one of our largest annual events honoring the best of New York Wines. We are thrilled with the turnout this year. The Classic and our annual NY Drinks NY events continue to help New York shine as a truly exciting and innovative wine region,” said Sam Filler, executive director of the foundation.

The Classic awarded 31 double gold, 56, gold, 278 silver and 320 bronze medals to wines as a result of tastings conducted by 21 expert judges.

“The winners of the New York Wine Classic represent the very best of New York’s wineries and the innovation and high-quality production that goes into making these award-winning wines cannot be understated,” said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.  “New York is proud to support these wineries and grape growers for their accomplishments, and they are a critical component of our tourism and agricultural industries in New York. We’re excited to welcome wine lovers everywhere to New York state so that they can experience our wines for themselves.”

Wines that were named Best of Category and Best of Class will be featured along with the other winners at the New York State Fair Aug. 28 and 31.

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Four Finger Lakes wineries bring home the gold

An international wine competition in Texas announced winners on Monday, including gold medals for four Finger Lakes wineries. All four winners were recognized for varieties of Riesling.

The TEXSOM International Wine Awards drew a record-breaking 3,300 entries from 32 countries and 18 U.S. states.

Wines were judged in a blind tasting by 66 wine experts, including 16 Master Sommeliers and 17 Masters of Wine. New York wineries won a total of 45 medals, with all but four of them going to the Finger Lakes. The remainder were won by wineries on the North Fork of Long Island.

Wagner was one of the wineries that won gold this week in Texas. Image supplied by Wagner Vineyards
Wagner was one of the wineries that won gold this week in Texas. (Image supplied by Wagner Vineyards)

Gold medal winners from the Finger Lakes are:

The competition has been going on in one form or another since 1985, and the TEXSOM group, founded by Master Sommeliers James Tidwell and Drew Hendricks, purchased the competition in 2014. The conference this week drew more than 1,200 attendees, including some 800 sommeliers, who have trained in wine service standards and tasting and achieved certification in their craft.

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