2019 Best of Show

Dr.Konstantin.Frank.CelebreCélèbre By Dr. Konstantin Frank, NY

Dr. Konstantin Frank Sparkling Célèbre (n/v) is a sparkling Finger Lakes AVA riesling made with estate-grown grapes from the shale-dominant Keuka Vineyard. Grapes were hand-picked and only the gentle first pressing was used in this cuvee. The sparkler was made in the traditional champagne method, wherein the secondary fermentation that produces fine bubbles takes place in each individual bottle. It is cremant in style, that is, slightly sweet, with notes of apple, honey and spice.

Meaghan Frank, the 4th generation of the Frank family at the helm of this great American winery, says, “We’ve been making the Célèbre Sparkling Riesling for nearly 30 years now, it was the brainchild of my grandfather Willy Frank and has become our most popular sparkling wine in our lineup. We couldn’t be more thrilled about winning the ‘Best of Show’ from the prestigious Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition.”

Though labeled a non-vintage, all the juice for this particular bottling came from the 2016 vintage. Dr. Frank’s Sparkling Winemaker Eric Bauman gives more background on the winner: “The 2016 vintage was one of the hottest, sunniest, and driest we can remember, making this release of Célèbre particularly special. The grapes enjoyed a long growing season allowing them to develop with greater concentration. The Célèbre combines exactly what we do best, sparkling + Riesling here in the Finger Lakes.”

2019 ASWA Best of Category Winner Vidal Blanc

ASWA winner Robin Hill Legacy2017 Legacy by Robin Hill Farm & Vineyards, MD – A dry version of vidal blanc, with crisp tropical notes of honeysuckle, pineapple and mango. Crafted from estate-grown grapes on this family farm that dates back to 1955.

New to winemaking, the family transitioned through the decades from tobacco to livestock to trees then to vineyards in 2012 and opened their winery doors in 2017.

2019 ASWA Best of Category Winner Syrah/Shiraz

ASWA winner black ankle bav_sign2016 Leaf Stone by Black Ankle Vineyards, MD – The self-identified “control freaks” at Black Ankle produced this 100% syrah from a sloping vineyard that faces predominately west and south.

Aged 18 months in French oak, earthy, smoky aromas lead to dark fruits, chocolate and tobacco on the palate with a finish that exquisitely balances tannin and acidity.

2019 ASWA Best of Category Winner Other Red Hybrid/NA Varietals

2017 Holiday Heaven by Holemans LLC, VA –  100% Noble (Muscadine) The Holemans brand is committed to “Making Fine Wines from Muscadines”, Steven Holemans grew up on the farm in Durham County, NC, that is now his vineyard.

“There was a uniqueness of the muscadine grapes as the skin of the grape was thicker and appeared to be non-edible. However, the juice of the muscadine was much sweeter than a normal grape. Once you bite into the muscadine grape, there is a burst of sweet juice that makes you long for more.”

2019 ASWA Best of Category Winner Sparkling Hybrid/NA Wines

ASWA winner Glendale ridge2018 Estate Petillant Naturel by Glendale Ridge Vineyard, MA. A fascinating blend of 80% vidal blanc, 10% aromella, and 10% traminette was estate-grown at Glendale Ridge;s Nonotuck and West Block vineyards. Vinified dry and allowed to sparkle naturally, the wine is light and floral with peach and pear notes.

This marks the first time a Massachusetts wine has taken Best of Category/Gold in the Atlantic Seaboard competition.

2019 ASWA Best of Category Winner Cider

ASWA winner Fabbioli Ladies manLadies’ Man by Fabbioli Cellars, VA. Fruity and subtly sweet with enticing light pink highlights, Ladies’ Man Cider is made with 87% Honeycrisp Apples and 13% Fabbioli’s signature red raspberry wine.

Chaptalized to 3% residual sugar, the alcohol content remains a low 7% appropriate to the cider category.


2019 ASWA Best of Category Winner Petit Verdot

2016 Petit Verdot by Casanel Vineyards, VA. Winemaker Katie DeSouza aged this 100% petit verdot for 18 month in French oak. Flavors of black plum, blueberry, cassis, violets, and dark chocolate shine in this estate-grown bottling from the Middleburg AVA.

2019 ASWA Best of Category Winner Riesling

ASWA winner woody lodg RIESLING2018 Riesling by Woody Lodge Winery, PA. This six-year-old winery nestled in the Allegheny Mountains of Central Pennsylvania highlights the quality that can be brought forth from this area.

Their 100% Riesling is  semi-sweet with hints of pear, peach, and apricot.

2019 ASWA Best of Category Winner Other White Vinifera Varietals

ASWA winner Barboursville2018 Vermentino Reserve by Barboursville Vineyards, VA. Barboursville’s extraordinary love of Virginia terroir combines with their Italian heritage in this 100% vermentino bottling.  

A classic with seafood, the wine is luscious and minerally at the same time brought about by extended contact with the lees and stainless steel aging.

2019 ASWA Best of Category Winner Other Red Vinifera Varietals

ASWA winner Effingham ManorSister winery to Pearmund Cellars and Vint Hill Craft Winery, 2017 Tannat by Effingham Manor Winery, VA is 100% tannat from select vineyards in Virginia.

Spice notes marry with black raspberry, plum and currant flavors in this enticingly full-flavored wine.

2019 ASWA Best of Category Winner Seyval / Chardonel

ASWA winner Narmada vineyard fall2017 Chardonel Reserve by Narmada Winery, VA. Winemaker/owner Sudha Patil is a specialist in the chardonel grape. This estate-grown 100% chardonel shows creamy white fruits and citrus flavors and a richness achieved through aging on lees.

The winery recommends pairing with soft-shell crabs, chicken curry, or foie gras.