Niagara County - - Five alcoholic beverages from wineries along the Niagara Wine Trail won top awards at the 2014 American Wine Society Competition held in Charlotte-Concord, S. C., last month.
The competition reviewed over 500 wines and spirits as judged "blind" and by panel consensus, by marketers, writers in the wine industry and wine makers.
Four of the approximately 60 Double Gold awards were handed to alcoholic beverages made along the Niagara Wine Trail. Two were meads, an alcoholic beverage made from fermenting honey with water, one was an ice wine, a dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while on the vine, and one was a fruit wine, which is wine made by fermenting fruits other than grapes.
There were no traditional grape wines from local wineries that took top prizes.
The five Double Gold winners were Odin's Nectar, a traditional honey mead and Valkyrie's Lure, a traditional mead with pear and cinnamon, both made by Black Willow Winery; the 2011 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine made by Leonard Oakes Estate Winery; and Treasure Beyond Measure, a sweet plum wine made by The Winery at Marjim Manor.
The Winery at Marjim Manor was awarded a Gold medal for their Pear Made in Heaven fruit wine.
Local wineries also received eight Silver and five Bronze awards.
About 300 awards are handed out annually by the Society.
The top award is the nine category "Best of Show" awards which eluded local wineries altogether. The second highest award is called "Double Gold" followed by gold, silver and bronze.