Wines winning Double Gold and Gold designations at the competition were judged by marketing professionals, packaging experts, and staff at Waterloo. Gold and silver medals were awarded after wine packages were evaluated for innovative use of packaging design, including label, container, and closure. Shelf appeal and overall presentation also were  considered.

Packaging awards were given in eight categories: chardonnay, merlot, riesling, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, ice wines, fruit wines, and sparkling wines.

The award winning wines will be featured at the Finger Lakes International Wine Auction Dinner to benefit Camp Good Days and Special Times, scheduled for September 30 at the Holiday Inn in downtown Rochester.

The New York award winners:

Chardonnay: Chateau LaFayette Reneau, gold, Chardonnay 2015; and Fawnridge Winery, silver, Chardonnay 2014

Fruit wine: Sandhill Crane, gold, Vineyards Raspberry; and Ackerman Winery, silver, Cherry
Riesling: Wagner Vineyards, gold, Riesling Dry 2015; and Barnstormer Winery, silver, Riesling Dry 2015

Cabernet Sauvignon: Witchery, gold, 2014 Cab Sauv; and RD Winery, silver, SP1600 Cab Sav
Merlot: Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, gold, 2013 Merlot; and Falcor Wine Cellars LLC, silver, 2013 Napa Merlot

Cabernet Franc: Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, gold, 2013 Cab Franc; and Pollak Vineyards, silver, 2014 Cab Franc Reserve

Ice wine: Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, gold, Vidal Blanc Ice 2014; and Idol Ridge, silver, Reserve Vidal Ice2014

Sparkling: Cellar Door, gold, Vendange; and Schulze Vineyards & Winery, silver, Tiny Bubbles
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Wölffer Estate is growing younger with age

Joey Wolffer. (photo: Bridget Elkin)
From Edible East End
Even though Joey Wolffer had the most picturesque Hamptons childhood, cantering through rolling Sagaponack meadows and lounging on white sandy beaches, she was not entirely convinced that the family business was in her destiny. Until recently. But when she was just about ready to sell off her portion of Wölffer Estate to her brother, her mother and husband sat her down and asked her to really consider the decision.

“I really thought about it,” said Ms. Wolffer, “and I realized I was fearful of losing that part of our identity and legacy. I am a first generation American and I don’t want to give up this chance to pass this down to my children.”

So, she decided to join with her brother Marc, sixteen years her senior, to take over the family business. Since then, she hasn’t looked back. And Wölffer has never been the same.
You might notice, when cracking open a flowery pink Summer in a Bottle or finding your seat on the breezy patio of Wölffer Kitchen in Sag Harbor, that this is not the dark, rich oak of Wölffer past. And now, with the new renovation of the Tasting Room and a second Wölffer Kitchen opening in Amagansett, the young and fresh identity of Wolffer 2.0 is sealed.

“Once we decided we were going to take over, we knew the brand was moving in a different direction,” said Ms. Wolffer. “We knew it was more modern, younger.”
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Rising costs make LI vineyards a challenging passion

Owner David Shanks at Surrey Lane Vineyard. (photo: Randee Dadonna)
From Newsday
Profit margins at Long Island wineries have always been thinner than a grape skin, but a labor shortage, rising property taxes and costs that keep the price of a bottle of local wine relatively high have made running a vineyard a challenging passion.

Ownership of Long Island’s more than 50 vineyards and wineries is in a slow transition, as the first-generation pioneers who worked hardscrabble potato fields into lush green vineyards on both East End forks pass their love of the industry on to their children or sell to new owners.

In most cases, the offspring of those owners have taken on the long hours and labor-intensive work of managing the 3,000 acres of vineyards, learning the region and navigating the challenges of operations, marketing and weather. The region produces around 500,000 cases of wine a year.

“It’s the biggest misconception that if you own a vineyard, you’re rolling in it,” said Giovanni Borghese, co-owner of Castello di Borghese Vineyard and Winery in Cutchogue, who puts in seven-day workweeks since taking over from his parents, Marco and Ann Marie Borghese, who died days apart in 2014.

New buyers are entering the region, most notably with the recent sale of Shinn Estate Vineyards and Farmhouse in Mattituck. The property was sold for $2.1 million, according to Kevin Webster, chairman of the board of assessors for Southold Town, to former Wall Street financier Randy Frankel and his wife, Barbara. Like many before them, the outsiders face a learning curve.
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