Watkins Glen, New York, August 12 - Ventosa Vineyards 2011 Lemberger, Estate Grown from the Finger Lakes Region won the coveted "Governor's Cup" trophy at the 2015 New York Wine & Food Classic competition, held on August 11 & 12 at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel in Watkins Glen, NY. The "Winery of the Year" award went to Paumanok Vineyards on the North Fork of Long Island.

Lieutenant Govenor Kathy Hochul and presented the elegant Governor's Cup, a large silver chalice, which recognizes the "Best of Show" or top prize of all 910 entries in the Classic, known as "The Oscars" of New York wine. The "Winery of the Year" award is presented to the winery with the best overall showing based on the level and number of awards in relation to entries. "We are honored that  Lieutenant Governor Hochul presented the Governor's Cup and Winery of the Year awards," said Jim Trezise, President of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, which sponsors the Classic. "We applaud the winners in this very competitive event, as well as the strong support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and his Administration for the New York wine industry."

This year's competition included 858 New York wines, 20 Hard Ciders and 32 Craft Spirits from several regions across New York State including Long Island, Hudson Valley, Finger Lakes, Niagara Escarpment and Lake Erie. The Ventosa Vineyards 2011 Lemberger, Estate Grown was also voted Best Red Wine and Best Lemberger on its way to the ultimate award. Paumanok Vineyards won Best White Wine and Best Overall Riesling on its way to the Winery of the Year award, along with several other top medals. A "Specialty Wine Champion" award recognizes consistent quality among the increasing number of wines made from fruits other than grapes, or honey. The 2015 winner was Baldwin Vineyards. A "Best Limited Production Wine" award, for wines produced with fewer than 100 cases, went to Young Sommer Winery Riesling-Dry, Bernard Vineyard. There are also awards for Best Spirit and Best Cider. The Best Spirit honor went to Black Button Distilling Citrus Forward Gin, while the Best Cider was Kaneb Orchards St. Lawrence Cider.

The awards were based on blind tastings by 21 expert judges-4 from California, 9 from New York, 6 from other states, and 1 each from Paris and London. Judges included prominent wine writers, restaurateurs, retailers, and wine educators. Judging panels determined the initial awards, with top-scoring wines evaluated by all 21 judges for Best of Category and Governor's Cup awards. 

Celebrating its 30th year, the Classic is organized by Teresa Knapp of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, and is open to all 409 New York wineries from all regions. In 2015, a total of 68 Double Gold, 80 Gold, 351 Silver, and 274 Bronze medals were awarded. In addition, "Best of Category" and "Best of Class" designations were awarded to wines rated as the finest in various areas. Double Gold medals require unanimity among a panel's judges that a wine deserves a Gold medal, whereas Gold medals require a majority vote.

The "Best of Category" awards, all eligible for the Governor's Cup, went to:

Best Sparkling Wine
Goose Watch Winery Pinot Noir Brut Rosé

Best White Wine
Paumanok Vineyards 2014 Semi-Dry Riesling

Best Rosé/Blush Wine
Lime Berry Winery Bunny Bunny Blush

Best Red Wine 
Ventosa Vineyards 2011 Lemberger, Estate Grown

Best Dessert Wine
Sheldrake Point Winery 2014 Riesling Ice Wine

Best of Class awards go to Double Gold or Gold medal wines in classes of at least 10 wines. 

The "Best of Class" awards went to:

Best Oaked Chardonnay 
McCall Wines 2013 Chardonnay Reserve

Best Unoaked Chardonnay
Glenora Wine Cellars 2014 Chardonnay

Best Gewürztraminer
Mazza Chautauqua Cellars 2014 Gewürztraminer

Best Dry Riesling
Dr. Konstantin Frank 2013 Dry Riesling

Best Medium Dry Riesling 
Dr. Konstantin Frank 2013 Riesling, Semi-Dry

Best Medium Sweet Riesling
Paumanok Vineyards 2014 Semi-Dry Riesling

Best Sweet Riesling
Glenora Wine Cellars 2014 Riesling

Best Overall Riesling
Paumanok Vineyards 2014 Semi-Dry Riesling

Best Sauvignon Blanc
Martha Clara Vineyards 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Estate Reserve

Best Pinot Gris
Dr. Konstantin Frank 2013 Pinot Gris

Best Other Vinifera White Varietal
Inspire Moore Winery 2014 Rhythm

Best Vinifera White Blend
Casa Larga Vineyard 2014 Chard-Riesling

Best Traminette
Goose Watch Winery 2014 Traminette

Best Hybrid White Blend
Tug Hill Vineyards 43° Lat White

Best Niagara
Americana Vineyards Crystal Lake

Best Vinifera Rosé
Kontokosta Winery 2014 Rosé

Best Cabernet Sauvignon 
Osprey's Dominion Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

Best Merlot 
Harbes Vineyard 2013 Hallock Lane Merlot

Best Pinot Noir
Martha Clara Vineyards 2013 Pinot Noir, Estate Reserve

Best Cabernet Franc 
Idol Ridge Winery 2012 Cabernet Franc

Best Lemberger 
Ventosa Vineyards 2011 Lemberger, Estate Grown

Best Other Red Vinifera Varietal
Standing Stone Vineyards 2013 Saperavi

Best Vinifera Red Blend
Fox Run Vineyards 2013 Cabernet Franc/Lemberger

Best Hybrid Red Blend
Raymor Estate Cellars Sunset Red

Best Fruit 
Baldwin Vineyards Strawberry Wine

Best Cider
Kaneb Orchards St. Lawrence Cider

Best Spirit
Black Button Distilling Citrus Forward Gin

Best Late Harvest
Swedish Hill Winery 2014 Late Harvest Vignoles

Best Ice Wine 
Sheldrake Point Winery 2014 Riesling Ice Wine

Best Vinifera Sparkling White
Sparkling Pointe Vineyards & Winery 2005 Brut Seduction, Methode Champenoise

Complete results of the 2015 Classic will also soon be posted under "Awards and Accolades" at www.newyorkwines.org, which also includes Gold medal New York wines from other major competitions.

Jim Trezise, 585-394-3620, ext. 203, jimtrezise@nywgf.org