Top Wines to Watch: 2019 International Cold Climate Wine Competition Winners - Minnesota Uncorked™

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

In August, the Minnesota Grape Growers Association hosted the 11th 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.

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

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 WineryHula2017Saint Croix FallsWI
Schram VineyardsMarquette2017WaconiaMN
Tassel Ridge WineryBlackberry2018OskaloosaIA
Three Oak WinesCrescent Rose2018Albert LeaMN


Gold Medals

August Hill Winery/Illinois Sparkling Co.Demi Sec Rosé2016PeruIL
Carlos Creek WineryYou Betcha Blush2018AlexandriaMN
Carlos Creek WineryFrontenac Gris2018AlexandriaMN
Carlos Creek WinerySoleranvAlexandriaMN
Chateau St. Croix WineryRuby Port2009St. Croix FallsWI
Cold Country Vines & WinesLa Crescent2018KewauneeWI
Dancing Dragonfly WineryPromenade2017Saint Croix FallsWI
Dancing Dragonfly WineryBallet2017Saint Croix FallsWI
Dancing Dragonfly WineryLindy2017Saint Croix FallsWI
Danzinger VineyardsMidnight Voyage2017AlmaWI
Danzinger VineyardsKing Cranberry2018AlmaWI
Grace Tyler Estate Winery, LLCMarquette Rosé2018ConstantiaNY
Lincoln Peak VineyardLa Crescent2018New HavenVT
Northern Hollow WineryLa Crescent2018GrasstonMN
Parallel 44 Vineyard and WineryBlue Moon2017KewauneeWI
Saint Croix VineyardsFrontenac Gris2017StillwaterMN
Schram VineyardsMarquette ReserveNon VintageWaconiaMN
Spirits of Norway VineyardLeon MillotNon VintageFranksvilleWI
Three Oak WinesThree Oak Frontenac Blanc2017Albert LeaMN
Vintage Escapes WineryMarquette2018KilkennyMN
Winehaven WineryDeer Garden Red2018Chisago CityMN
Winehaven WineryEdelweiss2018Chisago CityMN
Winehaven WineryRhubarb WineN/VChisago CityMN
Winehaven WineryStrawberry-Rhubarb WineN/VChisago CityMN


For more information about the competition including a list including Silver and Bronze award-winners, visit

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About The Author

Lauren Voigt

Lauren launched Minnesota Uncorked™ to encourage exploration of wine. When she's not masquerading as a wine writer on the internet, Lauren earns her keep as a marketing specialist in the wine industry. Lauren can be reached at She is certified in wine through WSET (Level III, Distinction), a Certified Wine Professional (CWP) through Saint Paul College, and a Spanish Wine Scholar (SWS) through Vine Lab Wine & Spirts Academy.
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