–by Averill Shepps
January is a special month for the Wine Society. It is the month when we announce the results of our annual judging of Pennsylvania wines called Pennsylvania Wine Excellence. The title refers to the aim of the event, which is to encourage the wineries in our state to make the best possible wines. Our judging was held in November with the guidance of Dr. Gary Pavlis from Rutgers University. He also directs the wine judge certification program for the American Wine Society. He has helped us for the last 17 years. This year we had 90 wines from 21 wineries to assess. We will present the 10 top scoring wines at our event at 2 PM on Sunday, January 27th, at the Harrisburg Hilton, located at One North Second Street in downtown Harrisburg. The ten wines scoring in the next group, the honorable mention wines but still very worthy of your attention, will be available for sampling at the end of the tasting.
The winemakers will attend the event to talk to us of the conditions in the vineyard and the winery that enabled them to make such goods wines. I always find this very interesting and can’t help but respond to the attention and care they give to the vines, the grapes as well as to the end product. They are all dedicated to their work. Finally we will announce the top scoring wine and the winner of our beautiful plaque that they can display in their tasting room until next January. A framed certificate, which is almost as good and also suitable for display, will be awarded to a white wine if the plaque goes to a red, or a red wine if the plaque goes to a white. The wines are listed below.
Ten top scoring wines in alphabetical order:
Benigna’s Delicioso Sol
Benigna’s Sunshine White
Cassel Cabernet Franc Reserve 2016
Chaddsford Artisan Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Nissley Vineyards Chambourcin 2015
Stony Run Cabernet Franc Reserve 2016
Stony Run Gruner Veltliner 2017
Vineyard at Grandview Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Waltz Crow Woods Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Waltz Moscato 2018
The honorable mention wines in alphabetical order:
Armstrong Valley Cabernet Franc 2016, Armstrong Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2016, Armstrong Valley Pinot Grigio NV , Fero Biso Roots Blue NV Red, Fouir Springs Chambourcin NV, Penns Woods Proprietor Reserve 2015, Setter Ridge Pinot Noir Richard J Vineyard 2014, Shade Mountain Chardonnay NV, South Shore Gruner Veltliner 2017, Thunder Ridge Albarino NV.
Join us in January for this exciting event and learn about some of the best wineries in the state. Every year they are growing in number – 275 plus when I last checked.
EVENT REGISTRATION CLOSED as of 9:45 AM Sunday, January 27 – Please catch us at our next great event!