The second annual Best of New England Wine Competition took place on April 25th, with six judges including grape and fruit wine and cider and mead specialists, tasting dozens of entries from New England states resulting in 42 medals; two Double Gold, nine Gold, 13 Silver and 17 Bronze medals. The competition took place in Charlottesville, VA to ensure judges would not recognize the wines. Judges were: Dr. Joseph Fiola, an enologist and Small Fruit Specialist at the University of Western Maryland; Michael Fairbrother of Moonlight Meadery in Londonderry, NH; Christine Iezzi of Country Vintner, a mid-Atlantic wine distributor; Matthieu Finot of King Family Vineyards, a leading Virginia winemaker; and Todd Trazkos of Vermont Wine Media.
Best of Category awards were as follows:
- Best Sparkling Wine: Shelburne Vineyards (VT) “Celestial Louise” NV;
- Best White Wine: Sharpe Hill Vineyards (CT) Dry Riesling 2016;
- Best Red Wine: Shelburne Vineyards (VT) Marquette Reserve 2015;
- Best Rosέ Wine: Copper Beech Winery (NH) Massabesic Rosέ;
- Best Dessert Wine: Snow Farm Winery (VT) Vidal Blanc Ice Wine 2016;
- Best Fruit Wine: Sunset Meadow Vineyards (CT) SMV Enchanted Apple
- Best Cider: Hermit Woods Winery (NH) Hermit’s Blue Cider
- Best Specialty Wine: Hermit Woods Winery (NH) Deep Blue Reserve
Best of State awards went to the following: for Connecticut, Sunset Meadow Vineyards for their “SMV Enchanted Apple”; for Maine, Winterport Winery for their “Crackling Cranberry”; for New Hampshire, Hermit Woods Winery for their “Petite Blue”; for Rhode Island, Greenvale Vineyards for their 2012 Cabernet Franc; and for Vermont, Shelburne Vineyards for their Marquette Reserve 2015 (there was no “Best of State” qualifier for Massachusetts).
The Best of New England Wine Competition is dedicated to showcasing the best of 100% New England grape and fruit wines, mead, cider and eaux-de-vie, as being of high quality, diverse, food-friendly in the Old World style and worthy of pairing with fine New England-sourced cuisine.
Two panels of three judges each tasted and evaluated New England grape and fruit wines, cider and mead for the 2018 competition.