Legacy Wineries and Younger Producers Share the Spotlight at the 2019 Pennsylvania Wine Competition

Award winning dry and sweet wines, meads and ciders emphasize the diversity of Pennsylvania’s wine region.

STATE COLLEGE, PA — Members of Pennsylvania’s wine and grape industry gathered together  in early March to celebrate the results of the Pennsylvania Wine Competition, which were announced at the recent Pennsylvania Wines Annual Conference. The awards underscored the great diversity of wine production across the commonwealth, with medals awarded to more than 100 wines representing an array of vinifera and hybrid varietals, fruit wines, and ciders. Five wines were awarded Double Gold medals including the Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellars (Pittsburgh, PA) 2018 Red Raspberry, which was awarded Best Sweet Wine in Competition, and South Shore Wine Company (North East, PA) for the 2017 Grüner Veltliner that was awarded Best Dry Wine in Competition. The Pennsylvania Wine Competition is a blind tasting conducted by an out-of-state organization, Amenti del Vino, and the representative for the organization expressed her delight with the evolution of Pennsylvania wines. “Amenti del Vino is appreciative to provide judging services for the Pennsylvania Wine Competition. The wineries have done a wonderful job adapting to the changing tastes of the consumer by providing an increased number of rosé wines, as well as red and white wines with less residual sugar. They should be applauded for their efforts and their commitment to producing quality wines in the Keystone State,” Leanne Wheeler, Competition Director, Amenti del Vino.

The awards put a spotlight on the fantastic growth of the winery business in Pennsylvania with both legacy wineries and younger producers sharing the PWA Wine Competition winner’s circle together. Black Dog Wine Company, a winery less than five years old and based outside of Pittsburgh, enjoyed sweet success for its 2018 Trophy Wife and 2017 Pink Kitty, awarded Best White Sweet Wine and Best Red Sweet Wine respectively. Comparatively, two second-generation wineries took home the “Best of” titles in the Dry category: Best White Dry Wine went to the South Shore Wine Company 2017 Grüner Veltliner and Best Red Dry Wine was awarded to Nissley Vineyards 2017 Chambourcin (Bainbridge, PA). Best Fruit Wine went to Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellars, a relatively young winery also known for its award-winning ciders, for the 2018 Red Raspberry.

“I was filled with pride announcing the awards to a room of wine industry friends and colleagues,” said Jennifer Eckinger, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Winery Association. “The long list of awarded wines demonstrated the unwavering dedication to quality and the ambition of Pennsylvania winemakers based in all regions of the commonwealth. Congratulations to all who participated.”

Kudos to South Shore Wine Company for receiving its second Double Gold for the 2017 Grüner Veltliner, which was recently awarded the Governor’s Cup at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Wine Competition and Best of Show in last year’s PA Sommelier Judgment. “We’re thrilled that the wine has been so well received – with the combination of a great growing season and hard work by our growers, we received phenomenal fruit. The wine itself is an extremely aromatic and intense expression of Grüner while still retaining its characteristic acidity and food friendliness,” said Mario Mazza, General Manager and Winemaker of Robert Mazza, Inc., which owns and operates South Shore Wine Company.

In addition to the “Best of” wins for the 2018 Red Raspberry, Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar went home with medals for additional entries that demonstrated their excellence in ciders and meads. “With all the awesome wineries we have in our state, it’s an honor to receive such an award. We will continue to strive to showcase the best of what the PA wine industry has to offer,” said Bill Larkin, Founder & Cellar Dweller, Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar.

All winners of the Pennsylvania Wine Competition can be found here listed by medal and in alphabetical order. The breadth of Pennsylvania wines and diversity of regional representation highlighted in the PWA Wine Competition demonstrates the innovation of the state’s growers and producers. For more information on Pennsylvania Wines visit PAWineLand.com.

About the Pennsylvania Winery Association

The Pennsylvania Winery Association is a non-profit trade association representing more than 135 member wineries and an advocate on behalf of the state’s growing multibillion-dollar wine industry. With some of the most fertile grape-growing land on the east coast, Pennsylvania ranks fifth nationally in the number of grapes grown, seventh in wine production, and seventh in the number of licensed wineries. To learn more about Pennsylvania wine or to plan a trip, http://pawineland.com.

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