The State of Michigan reigned supreme in 2009 with the overall winning wine (Longview “Winter Ice” 2007) and four of the top five ranked wines. In order of ranking with number of first place votes:
- Longview Winery and Vineyard “Winter Ice” 2007 (Dessert Wine) Leelanau Peninsula MI (4)
- 2 Lads Cabernet Franc Reserve 2007 (Dry Red) Old Mission Peninsula MI (2)
- Kinkead Ridge Cabernet Franc 2007 (Dry Red) Ohio River Valley OH (2)
- Gill’s Pier Meritage 2007 (Dry Red) (1)
- Wyncroft Avonlea Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007 (Dry Red) MI (1)
“I am honored and excited to win this award, our first regional award,” said Alan Eaker of Longview Winery and Vineyard from his vineyards in the middle of 2009’s harvest. “This is a great time for wines and wine lovers.”
The real winners are the consumers of Michigan and Ohio who have an array of quality local wines to enjoy. “The selection process was very hard and rigorous this year with so many quality wines from both states,” said organizer Andrew Hall, “Any of the entrants would be welcome on my table.”
Both Ohio and Michigan share a century-old tradition of viticulture which was wrecked by Prohibition but has re-emerged in recent times. From the Ohio River Valley to the upper shores of Lake Michigan, growers and winemakers are working hard to create unique and quality wines. This event was created in 2008 to showcase these local efforts and in the context of our storied local football rivalry. This is the only purely consumer-selected judging of wines in either state and is limited to wines from grapes grown in their respective state.
“There were a lot of good wines from both states,” commented one of the judges, “and I hope that people will give them a chance. Restaurants and consumers are starting to care a lot about local produce and wines should follow.” Another commented that it was a treat to taste the wines as neither state's distribution system currently offers consumers any wines from the other state.
The event is organized by Andrew Hall, a Columbus-area wine enthusiast and member of the local chapter of Slow Food Nation. Slow Food Columbus is the primary sponsor of the event.