Cold Climate Competition Registration Now Open
After a particularly unsettling winter across the cold climate regions, the Minnesota Grape Growers Association and the University of Minnesota proudly announce the 6th annual International Cold Climate Wine Competition (ICCWC). The competition will take place on August 19, 2014 at the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus and is open to all commercial winemakers utilizing cold hardy grape varieties.
Ever since Europeans settled in the Americas winemakers have been trying to make good wine from native grapes and hybrids. While it has taken some 300 years to fully capitalize on that seemingly simple task, local wine is emerging as something that is spoken about with pride even outside the likes of California, Oregon, and Washington. Even in those places with the harshest of winters, winemakers are proving that grapes from varieties like Marquette, La Crescent, and others can make wines on par with European varieties, which we should perhaps mention took thousands of years to develop.
Every winery that participates stands to gain from being a part of the competition. The medal winners are widely publicized and the Best In Class winners are heralded as setting the bar for the following year. The traveling Minnesota Governor’s Cup honors the best Minnesota grape wine, and medal winners are promoted to the public during the annual Cold Climate Conference presented by the Minnesota Grape Growers Association.
Sommeliers, enologists, wine writers, and of course the important wine distributors and sellers, will be on hand to judge the crafted wines. The ICCWC is the only competition a cold hardy variety winemaker can be assured that their wine will be assessed by an expert familiar with cold hardy wines. Each wine is assessed on its own individual merit to determine medal-worthiness and the judges’ comments are compiled and sent back to the winery at the winery’s request. Categories for the competition will include reds, whites, rosés, sparkling wines, fortified wines, sweet wines, ice-wines, and fruit blends.
Online registration opens May 16th, 2014, for all commercial wineries producing wine from the 38 qualifying cold-hardy grape varieties. Registration, information and competition rules can be found on the official website: www.mngrapegrowers.com