New York sparkling Riesling takes top honours

  • Thursday 19 August 2010

A sparkling Riesling from New York's Finger Lakes region has taken the top prize at the 25th New York Wine & Food Classic competition.

Swedish Hill Riesling Cuvée NV, which sells for US$18 (£11.50), was awarded the Governor's Cup for best in show.

Dick Peterson, owner of Swedish Hill, one of the largest wineries in the region, told decanter.com production of the sparkling Riesling was very limited.

'We have had significant Riesling shortages in recent years and felt we had to concentrate on our varietal Rieslings or not have enough to make anything. This year we decided to bring it back, and I now wish we'd made more than four hundred cases,’ he said.

For the second year running, Sheldrake Point Vineyards - also in the Finger Lakes - won Winery of the Year.

The wines were evaluated by 22 judges from the US and two from the UK.

  • The victory of Swedish Hill’s sparkling riesling - an equivalent of German winzersekt - emphasizes the steadily emerging theme-and-variations strength of Finger Lakes rieslings. In recent years, to reflect the International Riesling Foundation’s efforts to help consumers define what’s in a riesling bottle, New York’s contest has introduced categories for dry, medium-dry and medium-sweet versions; fully sweet types fall into separate late-harvest and ice wine categories. In this year’s contest, which was open to the state’s 280 producers, nine of 32 double-gold medals - those awarded when all of a panel’s judges agree that a wine merits a gold - went to Finger Lakes rieslings. At least 18 of the 74 gold medals also did so. Howard G Goldberg, New York City

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