Martha Clara Vineyards was awarded the coveted Governor's Cup on Tuesday for best New York state wine — a 2010 Riesling from the North Fork of Long Island. Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars was named winery of the year.
The $19.99 Riesling was chosen from among 741 wines entered by 105 wineries at the annual New York Wine & Food Classic.
Martha Clara winemaker and general manager Juan Eduardo Micieli-Martinez knew he had a winner after it took best of show at the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association Competition earlier this summer. Still, he took nothing for granted in the state contest that featured more entries from the Riesling-rich Finger Lakes, whose wineries have garnered a global reputation during the last decade.
"To win the Governor's Cup is a huge honor among all of my colleagues in the industry, especially from the Finger Lakes," Micieli-Martinez said. "It's a very, big, big win for us, and I'm very proud of that."
Winery of the year winner Lamoreaux Landing is in the Finger Lakes, located on the eastern hills of Seneca Lake. Wine & Spirits magazine included it on its global list of top 100 wineries last year.
"We are very honored to be recognized for what we do here," owner Mark Wagner said after taking winery of the year honors. "It's a great honor, and it's kind of showing what we're all about at Lamoreaux Landing. We work very hard to make quality wines and it's good to be recognized for it."
The award is based on the number and level of medals — gold, silver or bronze — at the competition. Wineries must submit at least seven wines.
"This shows consistent quality of many different wines," said Jim Trezise, president of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, which sponsors the contest open to all of New York's 307 wineries.
"This was once again a very rigorous competition with 21 expert judges from around the world," Trezise said, "so these top awards are very significant for the wineries, and they're good for the New York wine industry."