Wines from around the world were swirled, sipped and evaluated by 60 expert wine judges at the Indy International Wine Competition this past weekend in Indianapolis. Wines flowed in from Australia, Italy, Romania and 12 other countries to compete for coveted awards at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, which hosts one of the nation"s largest wine competitions. The reputation of the Indy International continues to attract world-famous wines. This year, commercial and amateur wine entries increased to 3,262, which more than surpassed the goal of 3,000 entries.
All entries are judged individually and are eligible to earn a bronze, silver, gold or no medal. During the wine extravaganza, 247 gold medals were awarded, 968 silver and 1,184 bronzes. The best of show American Airlines trophy was awarded to the 2000 Magnotta Riesling Ice Wine, a sweet dessert wine from Ontario, Canada. Best red wine honors went to the Chateau Reynella from Australia for their 2000 basket-pressed dry Shiraz. Ventana Winery of California took home the best white award for their 2001 Monterey Gewurtztraminer. Best sparkling wine honors went to the traditional champagne house of Pommery, located in Reims France, for their Brut Royal. Lastly, a Quebec winery, Dietrich-Jooss, was voted best dessert wine for their Vendage de Glace Ice Vintage Selection Imperiale.
The Indy International is one of the most comprehensive wine competitions in the country. In addition to the commercial wine competition, the country"s largest fruit wine competition takes place here.
Indiana"s wine industry continues to grow with 27 wineries located throughout the state and many more in development. The reputation for Indiana wine quality is expanding not only through the success of the Indy International, but also by the number of awards earned by Indiana wineries. Out of 220 Indiana wines entered, the wineries came home with 131 awards: 16 gold medals, 50 silver and 65 bronzes. One Indiana winery, Chateau Pomije, received a concordance gold, which is a gold medal from all five judges on the judging panel demonstrating exceptional quality.
The Indy International Wine Competition is sponsored by the Indiana State Fair and coordinated by the Indiana Wine Grape Council based at Purdue University. The competition began in 1973 as a statewide wine competition. The coordinators adopted the name Indy International when Richard Vine became chairman in 1992; there were 454 entries at that time.