Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Wine Wins a Medal!!!!!!

Believe it or not, a wine that I helped make has won a medal at a wine competition.

Okay, so it was just a Bronze. But yesssssssss, a wine I helped make won a freaking award!!!! I am psyched! Well, here's how it came about. I have been making wine, starting with kits and progressing to juice, for the past 10 years or so. Well, last year I decided to make wine together with 2 friends who have been making wine for a while and we decided that we were going to go bigger than we ever had. We got ourselves some 50 gallon fermenters, a pump, filtration system and all the equipment we would need to do 4 fifty gallon batches. We decided to get 50 gallons each of Concord, Niagara, Cayuga, & Dechaunac because that's what we could afford.

We read all the new research we could get our hands on about oxidation and SO2 levels and filtration and cold fermentation, etc. We even built a temperature controlled fermentation room. We were serious. For most of 2008, I had been picking the brains of any winemaker who would answer my stupid questions. Thank You to Mark at Rock Stream, Darren at Villa Bellangelo, & Chris & Liz at Lakewood for putting up with my questions and for giving me good advice!!! I have so much respect for all good winemakers after my years of trying to make something respectable.

After fermentation, we knew the Concord was going to be the best out of the four. We did sweetening trials and the flavors just popped. And it kept getting better and better with fine strawberry/citrus aromas and flavors, actually to me it tasted like the best Catawba I've ever had. We thought it might be too un-Concord like for judges. But we decided to enter it into the 2009 Winemaker Magazine Amateur Wine Competition (There were over 4400 total entries and only 7 medal winners in our category).

And they gave it a Bronze. To me, that is like a Gold and verifies that we are doing something right. Lord knows, we were flying blind at times. But I think every winemaker can attest to the fact that you really never know how a wine is going to turn out until it is in the bottle for many months. So now I can actually say that I AM A WINEMAKER. Our expert peers have deemed our skills to be passable. But now the bar has been set. Can we beat that next year? Well, we are certainly going to try! -Finger Lakes Weekend Wino & Award-Winning Winemaker : )


Ally said...

That's awesome!! I'm so happy for you and glad your hard work paid off and was recognized!!

Maureen Lane said...

That is most excellent! Way to go.