Wines from 41 states and 14 countries - as far away as France, Australia, Chile and Ethiopia – were judged on appearance, aroma, taste, and aftertaste by 52 international judges. And for the first time in the event’s history, an Indiana winery – River City Winery of New Albany – has won Wine of the Year at The INDY, topping all 2400 competitors to be named “the best of the best” for their 2011 Vignoles.
White Wine of the Year honors went to Tabor Hill Winery of Michigan for their 2011Gewürztraminer. Chateau Ste. Michelle of Woodinville, Washington won Red Wine of the Year for their 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. Rosé Wine of the Year was awarded to 21 Brix Winery of Portland, New York for their 2011 Ellatawba Rosé.
The Sparkling Wine of the Year was awarded to Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards of Sonoma, California for their Carneros Cuvee, while Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery of BC, Canada took the Dessert Wine of the Year honors for their 2011 Signature Ice Wine.
Galena Cellars of Galena, Illinois won Fruit Wine of the Year for their Cracklin Apple. The last two categories, Honey Wine of the Year and Honey Wine Blend of the Year were awarded to White Winter Winery of Iron River, Wisconsin and Kansas’ Wyldewood Cellars, respectively.
E&J Gallo Winery of Modesto, California was awarded the Winery of the Year Trophy, sponsored by the Leisure Family. The trophy honors the Best International Brand of the entire competition. Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery won the Winemaker of the Year Trophy, which salutes the winery that wins the most gold medals by brand at the competition.
The Indy International Wine Competition began in 1973 as an Indiana-only event. The competition began admitting entries from around the world in 1992 under Dr. Richard Vine. Professor of Enology Christian Butzke and the Purdue Wine Grape Team took over the leadership of the competition in 2006.
“The INDY’s 52 international judges recognized some of the world’s newest, most trend-setting wines as Wines of the Year at this year’s Indy International Wine Competition,” said Professor Butzke. ”The nearly 2400 wines entered in the 2012 INDY provide a fascinating perspective of things to come for American wine consumers.”
Indiana was well represented in the competition, with Hoosier wineries winning 363 total medals. That includes 22 double gold, 26 gold, 110 silver, and 76 bronze medals.
“For an Indiana winery to win Wine of the Year is very exciting for our state’s wine industry,” said Jeanette Merritt, director of marketing for the Indiana Wine Grape Council. “Indiana wines are outstanding and River City not only showed that, but all of our wineries proved that with the number of medals they won this year!”
Oliver Winery of Bloomington won the Indiana Winery of the Year award, the Governor’s Cup, recognizing the winningest Indiana winery. Indiana Wine of the Year was awarded to Wildcat Creek
Winery, Lafayette, for their Chambourcin
The Indy International has a special award division for Indiana-grown wines. A wine must be composed of more than 85 percent Indiana-grown fruit to be eligible. Lafayette’s Wildcat Creek Winery won Indiana-Made Traminette of the Year, honoring Indiana’s Signature Wine and Grape. Wildcat also won Indiana-Grown American Wine of the Year for their Steuben. Brown County Winery of Nashville won the Indiana-Grown Fruit Wine of the Year for their 2011 Hard Cider.
River City Winery of New Albany won the French-American Wine category for their 2011 Vignoles. Huber Orchard, Winery & Vineyards of Starlight won the Indiana-Grown Vinifera Wine of the Year for their 2010 Heritage.
The Indy International is held at Purdue University and run by the Indiana Wine Grape Council. For a list of all medal-winning wines, visit www.indyinternational.org.