Top Wines to Watch: 2019 International Cold Climate Wine Competition Winners

In August, the Minnesota Grape Growers Association hosted the 10th annual International Cold Climate Wine Competition (ICCWC) in Chaska, Minnesota. The ICCWC is the only competition that focuses exclusively on wines made with fruit from cold-heady regions and included over 300 entries from 10 U.S. states and Canada.

 

Six trophies are awarded to the top wines and wineries in the competition, in addition to medallions. The top awards include Best-of-Show from each competition category, Winery of the Year, and the prestigious Minnesota Governor’s Cup. Winery of the year is awarded based on a weighted medal count. The Minnesota Governor’s Cup is chosen from gold and double gold award-winning wines that are produced in Minnesota. The selection is made from the entire judge panel. This year’s judging panel included sommeliers, wine consultants, wine importers, wine makers, enologists, biochemists, and wine writers.

 

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Tasted some lovely wines and spent time with friends at the International Cold Climate Wine Competition

A post shared by Lisa Smiley (@cvgrapes) on

What’s a cold-climate wine?

Generally, “cold-climate” or “cold-hardy” refers to wine growing regions and varieties surviving winter temperatures that threaten the grapevines. Oregon, Washington and even Champagne, France would be categorized as “cool-climate” regions growing cool climate varieties such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Vitis vinifera species of grapes.

Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan would be described as cold-climate areas growing cold-hardy varieties such as Frontenac and La Crescent, hybrid grape varieties in the Vitis riparia species developed over the past 75 years specifically to withstand the cold temperatures.

 

Top Awards

Minnesota Governor’s Cup
Blue La Crescent (2017) The Winery Sovereign Estate, Waconia Minnesota

Winery of the Year
Dancing Dragonfly Winery, Saint Croix Falls, WI

Best of Show White Wine
St. Pepin (2017) Parallel 44 Vineyard and Winery, Kewaunee, WI

Best of Show Rosé Wine
You Betcha Blush (2018) Carols Creek Winery, Alexandria, MN

Best of Show Red Wine
Marquette (2018) Vintage Escapes Winery, Kilkenny, MN

Best of Show Speciality/Fortified Wine
Lindy (2017) Dancing Dragonfly Winery, Saint Croix Falls, WI

 

Double Gold Medals

Dancing Dragonfly Winery Hula 2017 Saint Croix Falls WI
Schram Vineyards Marquette 2017 Waconia MN
Tassel Ridge Winery Blackberry 2018 Oskaloosa IA
Three Oak Wines Crescent Rose 2018 Albert Lea MN

 

Gold Medals

August Hill Winery/Illinois Sparkling Co. Demi Sec Rosé 2016 Peru IL
Carlos Creek Winery You Betcha Blush 2018 Alexandria MN
Carlos Creek Winery Frontenac Gris 2018 Alexandria MN
Carlos Creek Winery Solera nv Alexandria MN
Chateau St. Croix Winery Ruby Port 2009 St. Croix Falls WI
Cold Country Vines & Wines La Crescent 2018 Kewaunee WI
Dancing Dragonfly Winery Promenade 2017 Saint Croix Falls WI
Dancing Dragonfly Winery Ballet 2017 Saint Croix Falls WI
Dancing Dragonfly Winery Lindy 2017 Saint Croix Falls WI
Danzinger Vineyards Midnight Voyage 2017 Alma WI
Danzinger Vineyards King Cranberry 2018 Alma WI
Grace Tyler Estate Winery, LLC Marquette Rosé 2018 Constantia NY
Lincoln Peak Vineyard La Crescent 2018 New Haven VT
Northern Hollow Winery La Crescent 2018 Grasston MN
Parallel 44 Vineyard and Winery Blue Moon 2017 Kewaunee WI
Saint Croix Vineyards Frontenac Gris 2017 Stillwater MN
Schram Vineyards Marquette Reserve Non Vintage Waconia MN
Sovereign Estate Marquette 2016 Waconia MN
Sovereign Estate Marquette Reserve 2017 Waconia MN
Sovereign Estate Blue

La Crescent

2017 Waconia MN
Spirits of Norway Vineyard Leon Millot Non Vintage Franksville WI
Three Oak Wines Three Oak Frontenac Blanc 2017 Albert Lea MN
TUG HILL VINEYARDS White Out 2017 Lowville NY
Vintage Escapes Winery Marquette 2018 Kilkenny MN
Winehaven Winery Deer Garden Red 2018 Chisago City MN
Winehaven Winery Edelweiss 2018 Chisago City MN
Winehaven Winery Rhubarb Wine N/V Chisago City MN
Winehaven Winery Strawberry-Rhubarb Wine N/V Chisago City MN

 

For more information about the competition including a list including Silver and Bronze award-winners, visit https://enology.dl.umn.edu

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About The Author


Lauren Voigt

Lauren launched Minnesota Uncorked™ to nurture a community uniquely for Minnesota's wine culture — encouraging exploration on of wine, of Minnesota, and Minnesota wine. She is a Certified Wine Professional (CWP) through Saint Paul College and a student of the globally recognized WSET program (Level II, Distinction). Lauren can be reached at lauren@mnuncorked.com.
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