Enter your Award Winning Wine by July 31 for the 9th Annual International Cold Climate Wine Competition

By: MN Uncorked

Information provided by the Minnesota Grape Growers Association

Wineries: Is Your Wine Brand an Award Winner?

There may be an award-winning wine in your winery right now. Why not find out? By submitting your wine to the International Cold Climate Wine Competition you could discover that your brand stands out to an independent panel of judges.

Judges from all over the region will provide an unbiased point of view to wines submitted from an international pool of submissions. In years past we’ve had up to 300 submissions from across the United States and Canada. Judging will take place on August 17, 2017 at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Award winners will be announced in a press release, displayed at the 2017 Minnesota State Fair and featured at the 2018 Cold Climate Conference. Wineries will also have the opportunity to purchase shelf talkers and stickers to aid in sales.

The 9th Annual International Cold Climate Wine Competition is the only competition devoted to cold-hardy grape varietals. It seeks to honor and promote wines of exceptional quality produced in these unique cold-climate regions.

Register by July 31! Learn more about the competition at mngrapes.org/competition


2017 ICCWC is August 17, 2017 at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

 (The event is currently closed to public viewing, but interested volunteers can email iccwc@mngrapes.org)



  • Mngrapes.org/competition
  • Registration opened May 29 and closes July 31, 2017 at 11:00 p.m. CDT.
  • Early Bird registration closes July 5, 2017 at 11:00 p.m. CDT.


Delivery of wines no later than August 7, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. CDT

  • Entered wines must be postmarked or delivered in-person no later than August 7, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. CDT, with a registration form.
  • Registrants may avoid shipping costs by delivering preregistered wines at the MGGA summer picnic on July 23, 2017. Competition staff will store the wines at the University of Minnesota Horticulture Research Center’s secure temperature controlled (55 degrees).



  • $40 per entry – Early Bird (through July 5, 2017)
  • $55 per entry  — July 2-July 31, 2017


Who may enter the ICCWC?  Any commercial winemaker producing wine using cold hardy grape varieties (as listed in the rules – mngrapes.org/iccwc) may enter. Last year’s competition considered more than 300 wines from 62 wineries.  

Who reviews the wines?  The judges selected for the ICCWC include wine sensory experts from across the US and Canada and knowledgeable professionals from various segments of the wine industry.

What are the general judging categories?  Reds, Whites, Specialty/Fortified/Sparkling Wines, Non-Grape Wines

How are wines evaluated?  Each wine is assessed on its own individual merit within the context of its category to determine whether it is worthy of a bronze, silver, gold or double gold medal.  Then medal-winning wines are then evaluated with ranked-choice voting amongst the judges to establish Special Honors Awards.   

Special Honors Awards categories include:  Best White, Best Red, Best Rosé, Best Specialty/Fortified/Sparkling, Minnesota Governor’s Cup (best Minnesota wine) and Winery of the Year (best overall showing).

The ICCWC is made possible through a partnership between the Minnesota Grape Growers Association and the University of Minnesota.

Thanks to our sponsors:

Gold Sponsors:

  • The Grapevine Magazine
  • Minnesota Grape Growers Association

Silver Sponsors:

  • Double A Vineyards
  • Minnesota Farm Winery Association
  • Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association
  • Wines and Vines

Bronze Sponsors:

  • Brewers Supply Group, Inc. (Wine division)
  • Clements Lumber
  • Winthrop Weinstine


Press contact: Kayla Forbes, MGGA Board Member and Chair of the International Cold Climate Wine Competition kmsforbes@gmail.com or iccwc@mngrapes.org

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