Martha Clara Riesling Wins Top Wine Award in Statewide Competition

The Riverhead winery wins big for wine made with fruit grown in the Finger Lakes.

A riesling produced by Riverhead's won the Governor’s Cup for best New York state wine.  

The Riverhead winery’s 2010 Riesling won the coveted award at the annual New York State Wine Classic, held Tuesday in Watkins Glen in the Finger Lakes. 

The Governor's Cup recognizes the "Best of Show" of all 741 entries in the Classic, which was sponsored by New York State Wine & Grape Foundation, a Canandaigua-based trade association.

The winning wine was made with Finger Lakes grapes grown near Seneca Lake by Dalrymple Farms, said Martha Clara General Manager and head winemaker Juan Eduardo Micieli-Martinez, adding that the award “was a big win for us.”  

Long Island wineries have won numerous category and gold medals at the 26-year-old competition, but none has won the Governor’s Cup since 1989, when the award went to a 1987 merlot from the now-defunct Le Reve Winery in Watermill.

Micieli-Martinez said sales of the top wine will be limited to six bottles for wine club members and three bottles for non members. 

The winery also produces an Estate Riesling using North Fork grapes and that wine won a gold medal in the statewide competition. Last month, the estate bottling won best of show at the 7th Annual Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association Competition.

The estate wine “has a richer and rounder flavor," Micieli-Martinez said, while the top winner shows more slate and mineral character. 

The awards were based on blind tastings by 21 expert judges including prominent wine writers, restaurateurs, retailers and wine educators.   

Other local winners this year included , which won "Best of Category-Sparkling Wine" and "Best of Class-Vinifera Sparkling Wine" for its 2006 Blanc de Blanc and a "Best of Class" award for its 2010 Corey Creek Vineyards Gewürtztraminer. The two wines also took double gold medals.  won "Best of Class-Vinifera Red Blend" for its 2007 Assemblage and won for best merlot with its 2007 Reserve Merlot, Estate Bottled.

Other double gold winners were Lieb Cellars 2009 Pinot Blanc; Macari Vineyards Collina Red; and Vintner's Pride Finale Bin "Ice-Style.”

Gold medals went to 2007 Sidor Reserve; Martha Clara’s 2009 Chardonnay; Paumanok’s 2009 Riesling Late Harvest, and Sauvignon Blanc Late Harvest and Peconic Bay Winery’s 2010 Riesling.  

The statewide event's other big award — winery of the year — went to the Finger Lake’s Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars, based on the level and number of awards in relation to entries, the trade group said. 


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