Top wines honored at Indy International competition

August 6, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A New York wine took top honors at the Indy International Wine Competition, which took place Wednesday through Friday (Aug. 4-6) at Purdue University.

Bellhurst Winery of Geneva, N.Y., received the Wine of the Year award for its 2009 Riesling.

Bellhurt's winning entry was among nearly 2,700 wines in the competition. Wines from 15 countries as far away as France, Australia, Chile and Spain were judged on appearance, aroma, taste and aftertaste by 14 panels of judges. In all, 52 judges from the United States and Canada evaluated the entries.

"Our 52 international judges picked some truly exceptional wines to receive recognition as Wines of the Year of the Indy International Wine Competition," said Christian Butzke, associate professor in Purdue's Department of Food Science. "Fifteen countries entered a fascinating range of wines that represent an amazing diversity that makes tasting and judging wine so enjoyable vintage after vintage."

Other wine entry awards included:

* White Wine of the Year - 2008 Traminette, French Lick Winery, French Lick, Ind.

* Red Wine of the Year - 2006 Artist Series Meritage Red, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Woodinville, Wash.

* Rosé Wine of the Year - Simply Pink, St. Julian Winery, Paw Paw, Mich.

* Sparkling Wine of the Year - Blanc de Noirs, Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, Sonoma, Calif.

* Dessert Wine of the Year - 2008 Icewine Express, Debonne Vineyards, Madison, Ohio.

* Fruit Wine of the Year - Strawberry Rhubarb, Maple River Winery, Casselton, N.D.

* Honey Wine of the Year - Winehaven Winery & Vineyard, Minnesota.

* Honey Wine Blend of the Year - Oliver Winery, Bloomington, Ind.

* Indiana Wine of the Year - Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, Satek Winery, Fremont, Ind.

E&J Gallo Winery of Modesto, Calif., was awarded the Winery of the Year Trophy, sponsored by the Leisure Family. The trophy honors the best international brand of the competition. E&J Gallo won double gold, gold, silver and bronze medals.

Oliver Winery won the Winemaker of the Year Trophy, honoring the winery that won the most gold medals by brand at the competition.

Indiana was well represented in the competition, with 31 of the state's wineries entering. Hoosier wineries took home 21 double gold, 22 gold, 89 silver and 94 bronze medals.

"The Indiana wineries went head-to-head with wines from throughout the world and brought home 226 medals," said Jeanette Merritt, marketing director for the Indiana Wine Grape Council. "This shows that Indiana wines are of high quality and can be judged well against any wine in the world."

Huber Orchard & Winery won the Indiana Winery of the Year, the Governor's Cup, recognizing the winningest Indiana winery.

The Indy International features a special award division for Indiana-grown wines. Wines must be composed of more than 85 percent Indiana grown fruit to be eligible. French Lick Winery won Indiana-Made Traminette of the Year, honoring Indiana's signature wine and grape. Oliver Winery won the Indiana-Grown Fruit Wine of the Year for its 2009 Beanblossom Hard Cider. Huber Orchard, Winery & Vineyard won the French-American Wine category for its 2009 Vignoles and the Indiana-Grown Vinifera Wine of the Year for its 2008 Knobstone Blaufrankisch. Easley Winery of Indianapolis won the Indiana-Grown American Wine of the Year for its Pink Catawba.

The Indy International Wine Competition began in 1973 as an Indiana-only event. The competition began admitting entries from around the world in 1992 under Richard Vine. Butzke took over the leadership of the competition in 2006.

The Indy International is held at Purdue and run by the Indiana Wine Grape Council.  For a list of all medal-winning wines, log onto  

Writer: Jeanette Merritt, 765-496-3842,  

Sources: Christian Butzke, 765-494-6500,

                Jeanette Merritt, 765-496-3842,  

Related website:
Indiana Wine Grape Council:

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson,
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