The grapes for the 2012 wine competition were harvested in September of 2011 from the vineyards at the Purdue Meigs Farm in southern Tippecanoe County, Indiana.
Tippecanoe county or more specifically, West Lafayette, IN is home to Purdue University and within its walls, the Purdue Wine Grape Team. The Wine Grape Team is collaboration between the Purdue University Departments of Food Science and Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, and the Indiana Wine Grape Council. They serve Indiana’s vintners and growers by providing expertise on viticulture (grape growing), enology (wine making), and marketing. The Team’s goal is to propel the Indiana wine grape industry into world-class competitiveness. One of the larger activities the Purdue Wine Grape Team supports is the Indy International Wine Competition.
Begun in 1991, the INDY International Wine Competition is the largest scientifically organized and independent wine competition in the United States. In 2011, nearly 3,000 entries from 15 countries and 40 States were entered and evaluated by more than 50 distinguished judges. These judges are made up of wine industry peers including winemakers and chefs, marketing executives and wholesalers, writers and journalists, enologists and winegrowers, from Napa to New York, from London to Quebec.
Now to the competition…
There are two classes for judging, commercial and amateur. Since Sugar Creek Winery is not commercial as yet, we entered the Amateur competitions with a dry white, Traminette and dry red, Chambourcin. In the Amateur class each wine is tasted by three separate judges and graded on a 6 category scale with a total of 20 points available. The categories are: Clarity, Color, Aroma by Nose, Taste by Mouth, Aftertaste and Overall. The categories vary in available points from 1 in Clarity to 7 in Aroma and are totaled to determine if any medal will be awarded. If less than 11 points, no medal; 12 to 14 points a Bronze; 15 to 17 points a Silver and over 18 points, Gold.
The Chambourcin won a Silver Medal. The judge’s comments included “Very nice”, “Enticing”, “WOW! Best in the flight of 9, great flavors”.
The Traminette won a Bronze Medal.
This year, 2013, Sugar Creek Winery again sourced the grapes from the Meigs Farm and will produce a semi-sweet Valvin Muscat. And still to be determined is a dry or semi-dry Noiret.