October 19, 2015
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Congratulates Finger Lakes Winery For Winning Top Award at International Riesling Challenge

Governor Cuomo Congratulates Finger Lakes Winery For Winning Top Award at International Riesling Challenge

Sheldrake Point Winery’s Riesling named “Best Wine” Among Nearly 500 International Competitors

Governor Cuomo congratulated Sheldrake Point Winery, a farm winery in Ovid, Seneca County, for winning “Best Wine” for its 2014 Wild Ferment Riesling ice wine at the Canberra International Riesling Challenge in Canberra, Australia. Now in its 16th year, the Challenge is the biggest Riesling event in the southern hemisphere, with almost 500 wines from seven countries competing for the top honor.

“This is a great honor for a great New York winery and I’m proud to congratulate Sheldrake Point Winery for earning the top award at this rigorous international competition,” said Governor Cuomo. “It’s no secret that New York’s wine industry is flourishing, and this is an example of how more and more people are taking notice of that renaissance. Our state is home to some of the best wines in the world, and I look forward to seeing the industry continue to reach new heights in the years to come.”

The Canberra International Riesling Challenge, dubbed the "Cannes" of Riesling, was created to highlight the Riesling grape, with wineries competing with producers from across the world for the opportunity to be judged as the Best Wine. Wines are judged by a panel of distinguished critics from around the world, including New York Wine & Grape Foundation President and founder of the International Riesling Foundation Jim Trezise. In receiving the top award, Sheldrake Point Winery bested 494 wines from Australia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa and the U.S.

Sheldrake Point’s Riesling also won the “Best American Riesling” and “Best Sweet Riesling” awards. Additional New York-based winners from this year’s Challenge include a Silver medal for Wagner Vineyard’s 2012 Dry “Riesling Caywood East,” along with Bronze medals for its 2013 “Dry Riesling” and 2012 “Semi-Dry Riesling.” Bronze medals were also awarded to other Finger Lakes wines, including Anthony Road’s 2014 “Dry Riesling” and 2013 “Semi-Dry Riesling” and Three Brothers Riesling’s 2014 “First Degree Riesling” (Dry) and 2014 “Second Degree Riesling” (Medium Dry).

New York’s wine industry is experiencing a renaissance with nearly 400 wineries in 59 of 62 counties, making New York the third largest wine producing state in the nation. New York State now has nine federally recognized wine regions, each with a unique geography, wine verities and styles. In addition, Wine Enthusiast Magazine named New York State the “Wine Region of the Year” in 2014 and the Finger Lakes wine region was ranked one of the 10 best wine destinations in 2015.

Under Governor Cuomo, regulations and laws been streamlined to stimulate the growing wine industry. At the State’s third Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cider Summit on October 7, the Governor announced an investment of $5 million to renew the marketing and promotional commitment to the industry first launched in 2014. The State will commit $2 million in direct spending to support the industry’s growth via $1 million in tourism promotion and a $1 million targeted advertising campaign. Additionally, Empire State Development will launch a $3 million grant program that matches 20 percent of the industry’s contributions for the marketing and promotion of wine, beer, spirits and cider produced in New York State.

For more information about New York’s growing beer, wine, spirits and cider industries, please visit www.taste.ny.gov.

Contact the Governor's Press Office

NYC Press Office: 212.681.4640

Albany Press Office: 518.474.8418