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Governor's Cup wine competition winners announced

The Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, an agency of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, hosted the 3rd annual Governor’s Cup Wine Competition on April 27 to 28 at Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center. More than 220 wines from 32 local wineries were judged by a panel of restaurateurs, sommeliers, chefs, writers and other wine experts from around the country.

“The judges repeatedly raved about the increased quality in the wines they reviewed over previous years. They showed tremendous excitement over all the Bordeaux red grapes produced in Colorado, including Merlot,” said Doug Caskey, executive director of the CWIDB.

The 2013 Governor’s Cup was awarded to Creekside Cellars’ 2010 Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Franc is a red grape variety that originates from both the Bordeaux region and the Loire Valley of France. Cabernet Franc is actually the genetic parent of the more famous Cabernet Sauvignon.

“Cabernet Franc often excels in Colorado’s short growing season as a varietal wine when it is almost exclusively used for blending in Bordeaux and California,” said Caskey. “It doesn’t surprise me that two of the four Double Gold medal winners being made from Cabernet Franc.”

Incidentally, the 2012 Governor’s Cup winner was The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey’s 2009 Cabernet Franc.

Creekside Cellars is located in the heart of historic Evergreen, Colo. Bill and Anita Donahue founded Creekside in 1996 and opened to the public in 2000. In 2002, they planted their own vineyard in Palisade, Colo., from which they source a majority of their grapes. Creekside Cellars doubles as an Italian café with an outdoor deck overhanging the banks of Bear Creek.

A total of 170 medals, including four Double Gold, seven Gold, 59 Silver and 100 Bronze medals, were awarded to entries after the two-day competition. All entries were tasted blind—that is, judges only knew the type of wine and the vintage and not the producer or the price. Stephen Menke, Colorado State University professor and state enologist, directed the competition. Seventeen judges were recruited locally and from across the country.

Many of the medal-winning wines will be poured at the Governor’s Cup Awards Presentation and Reception on June 7, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hospitality and Learning Center for MSU Denver. For tickets, visit http://coloradogovernorscup.eventbrite.com. Tickets are $55 each or $100 for two.

Gov. John Hickenlooper proclaimed June 2 to 8 as Colorado Wine Week. The week-long celebration of local wine will culminate with the Colorado Urban Winefest, June 8 at Infinity Park. More than three dozen wineries will pour samples and sell bottles of their artisanal wines, ciders, and meads at Infinity Park in Glendale. Visit http://www.coloradowineweek.com for more information.

The 2013 Governor’s Cup category winners are:

Best Bordeaux variety or blend, Best Red Wine, and Best of Show—Creekside Cellars, 2010 Cabernet Franc, Grand Valley AVA;

Best Syrah or Rhône Blend—The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey, 2010 Syrah, Colo.;

Best Aromatic Germanic Variety and Best White Wine—Talon Winery, 2012 Gewürztraminer, Grand Valley AVA;

Best Chardonnay—Bookcliff Vineyards - 2012 Unoaked Chardonnay, Colo.

Best Rosé—Canyon Wind Cellars, 2012 47-Ten Rosé, Grand Valley AVA;

Best Dessert Wine—Two Rivers Winery, 2008 Port, Mesa County;

Best Fruit Wine—St. Kathryn Cellars, Cherry Wine, Colo.; and

Best Mead—Meadery of the Rockies, Camelot.

Date: 5/27/2013

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