The host state in general -- and a new kid on its block in particular -- came up big at Thursday's International Cold Climate Wine Competition. Four Daughters' 2011 La Crescent captured "best in show" among white wines in the fourth annual event at the University of Minnesota.
Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery, which opened just last year in Spring Valley, Minn., also won the Minnesota's Governor's Cup trophy for top wine from the state.
For the second straight year, Vermont winery Shelburne Vineyard's Marquette (in this case a 2010 Reserve) was named best red wine. The Midnight Voyage Dessert Red Wine from Danzinger Vineyards in Alma, Wis., was deemed best specialty/fortified wine.
The Marquette and La Crescent grapes (the latter is pictured below), developed by the University of Minnesota, showed especially well in the competition. Another Minnesota winery, Hinterland of Clara City, received one of just two "double golds" (panel judges unanimously designated it gold) for its Marquette Reserve. A Marquette from Indian Island in Janesville, Minn., and a La Crescent from Wild Mountain in Taylors Falls earned gold medals.
Cannon River Winery in Cannon Falls grabbed two gold medals, for its Sogn Blush and St. Pepin. Also garnering a gold was the Frontenac Gris from Whispering Oaks in Melrose, Minn.
This year's competition included more than 325 entries from commercial wineries in 12 northern states and Canada (only grapes that can withstand harsh winters are eligible). Twenty gold, 61 silver and 79 bronze medals were awarded; for the entire medal list, go here.
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