Another year, another competition but this one was different.
Every year I contact the same judges. It's kind of like a cult when you begin to judge a competition. So many of my judges came back this year. However, I was faced with a cancellation 4 days from the competition. So I sent a note out to my judges and Nicholas came through with a judge who is my equivalent in Connecticut. Renee Allan from the Wine Institute of New England. I can't thank her enough for volunteering her time with all of us Saturday morning.
What was different this year? Let's just say cucumbers. Remember back in June when I judged the Ultimate Wine Challenge? We were served cucumbers as palate cleansers. I thought this was amazing as it really worked for me and guess what I have in my garden....so I sliced a few cukes for the competition and I had some amazing results!
This 2013 Hudson Valley Wine & Spirits Competition had more Double Gold and Gold Medals than I have ever seen on the 5 years that I have been organizing it. I attribute it to the palate cleansing cucumbers! But really, I believe the quality of the wine & spirits produced in the Hudson Valley have increased tremendously and this proves it!
Another element to the competition was the Governor of New York. He was expected to attended the Hudson Valley Wine Festival and was slated to give out the award for the Best Hudson Valley Wine made with Hudson Valley fruit. This was all a part of his Taste NY Program. Well the Governor didn't show up and the award was given out by Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy to Millbrook Vineyards & Winery for their Tocai Friulano Proprietor's Special Reserve. So exciting for Hudson Valley!
It was a little stress full for me. I was given a table at the Governor's reception to display the winning wines. So as we went along a bottle of the Double Gold and Gold Medal wines were being pulled. I was on the final rounds (best of) where the winning wines are decided by a vote of all 15 judges. During this time I had the festival coordinator calling me to see if the wines are ready, the Governor's office texting me to find out the winning Hudson Valley wine and I was trying to get through the last most important rounds of the competition. Yes a little stressful but we got through it with great success.
Congratulations to all the wineries.