Vineyard & Winery Management's 23rd Annual Grand Harvest Awards has revealed the results of this year's competition with 53 Best of Class awards, including 139 Double Gold, 25 Gold, and 432 Silver medals. Established in 1990, the wine competition is based on terroir, and the awards indicate the individuality of each of the various regions/appellations.
"This unique wine competition that was started by my family in 1990 showcases the diverse terroirs from around the United States," said Robert Merletti, President and Publisher of Vineyard & Winery Management. "We are proud to be working with the entire American wine industry and helping in the research and promotion of all its regions."
The Grand Harvest Awards are based on the concept of terroir as judges recognize this influence while tasting wines with others of the same appellation. With cross-regional competition removed, the inherent quality of wines can be seen without the influences that sometimes eclipse even a wine of very high quality. Wines are judged in the context of their viticultural regions in order to accomplish two things: to recognize the complexities and nuances of regional wines, and also to measure the influence of regional soil and weather characteristics on the taste and quality of individual wines.
With the support of some of the entering wineries, soil samples were collected for a new soil display at the competition, which enhanced terroir discussion among the judges. Soils were represented from New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Colorado and California wine regions.
"This year the caliber of judges increased, enhancing the level of knowledge and expertise needed to assess the wine's terroir. We had a strong set of sommeliers, buyers, winery owners, writers and winemakers, including Renata Franzia, owner of Bronco Wine Estates; Gina Gallo, chief winemaker for E&J Gallo; and Cory Lester, sommelier for Truett Hurst, as well as the seasoned veterans, many of whom have been around from the competition's inception," said VWM's Director of Wine Competitions, Debra Del Fiorentino.
During judging, wines were grouped by AVA and varietal. The judges were told which regions the wines were from while they tasted. According to GHA spokesperson Christopher Sawyer, "On behalf of the 25 wine judges who participated at this year's event, we are thrilled that the impact of the awards handed out at the Grand Harvest Awards 2013 will build momentum for the vineyard owners growing the grapes, the winemakers who craft the wines, the sommeliers and wine buyers who follow the results of the competition and, ultimately, the consumers who get to enjoy the aromas and flavors of the finished wines produced in the famous regions of America and around the globe."