ROCHESTER – Nine members of the Niagara Wine Trail won awards recently – including two prestigious double gold medals – at the 2013 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.
A relative newcomer, A Gust of Sun Winery in Ransomville, won a double gold for its 2011 Late Harvest Vignoles, while Spring Lake Winery of Lockport won a double gold for its 2009 Estate Riesling. A gold medal also went to Schulze Vineyards and Winery of Newfane, for its 2011 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine.
A Gust of Sun, owned by Erik and Shane Gustafson, took top honors for a wine they describe as “tasting like pineapple dipped in honey,” which serves as a dessert wine as well as pairing well with ham recipes. A Gust of Sun opened in August 2011.
“This is the first competition we’ve ever entered and we entered six wines and won five medals,” said Shane Gustafson. “We’re very excited.”
The competition featured more than 3,500 wine entries from 20 countries, and included entries from every U.S. state and four Canadian provinces. Seventy judges from 14 countries critiqued the entries and the Niagara Wine Trail earned 29 awards in all.
Seven silver awards were split between A Gust of Sun Winery, Niagara Landing Wine Cellars of Cambria, Black Willow Winery of Newfane, Leonard Oakes Estate Winery of Medina, and The Winery at Marjim Manor, Appleton. Black Willow Winery’s sweet Concord and blackberry infused wine, Black Widow Berry, took home a silver medal for the second year in a row. Leonard Oakes Estate Winery also defended its silver award this year for its popular SteamPunk Cider.
Niagara Wine Trail members also earned 19 bronze awards, including two awards each for Vizcarra Vineyards at Becker Farms in Gasport and Midnight Run Wine Cellars in Wilson.
The award-winning wines included a unique assortment of traditional vinifera, ice wine, fruit, and cider representing the Niagara Wine Region, U.S.A.
The Wine Trail will celebrate its 11th anniversary with its May 10-12 event, “Wine Trail Blossoms.” Patrons will receive a collectable, wooden wine charm and taste three wines at each winery, as well as receive a charm-holder and commemorative wine glass. Tickets are $40 per person and $70 per couple.
Visit www.NiagaraWineTrail.org for more information. A full list of winners from the 2013 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition may be found on its website, www.fliwc.com. All proceeds from the 13-year-old wine competition benefit Camp Good Days and Special Times.