Thirsty Owl Wine Company's 2015 Diamond wine was the star among New York State entries in the recent Grand Harvest Awards competition in Santga Rosa, CA.
The Cayuga Lake winery's entry earned a Gold medal, Best of Class, and Best of Finger Lakes AVA at the recent Grand Harvest Awards in California. Other Gold medals went to Belhurst Castle Winery's Neptune and its 2013 Manitou Meritage, Hunt Country Vineyards' 2015 Vignoles, Swedish Hill Winery's Blanc de Blanc, and Wagner Vineyards Estate Winery's 2015 Dry Riesling.
The Thirsty Owl entry, which retails for $9.95, is a white wine with a sweet finish (5.6% residual sugar) and the flavor and aroma of fresh fruit. It has proven very popular among wine judges, taking Double Gold and Best In Class at the 2015 Long Beach Grand Cru, a Double Gold in the 2015 Grand Harvest, and Golds at the Los Angeles International, Riverside International, and Eastern International.
The Grand Harvest Awards is a bit different than most such industry competitions. Its judging is based on "a group of vineyards or even vines from the same region, belonging to a specific appellation, and sharing the same type of soil, weather conditions, grapes and wine making savoir faire, which contribute to give the specific personality to the wine."
In other competitions, this factor is ignored. At the Harvest Challenge, judges taste wines with other wines of the same
appellation. Thus, 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.
Beyond the determination of medals, the Harvest Challenge affords its winners a unique selling proposition -- its region ranked against its competitors
Go here for the full list of awards, which includes some for additional New York State wineries.