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Northern Michigan Wineries Shine at American Fine Wine Contest
Michigan Ag Connection - 02/14/2020

The Winery at Black Star Farms won two Best of Class awards at the 2020 American Fine Wine Competition, now in its 13th year.

Black Star Farms' 2017 Arcturos Sauvignon Blanc took a Double Gold and Best of Class. The winery's 2017 Semi Dry Riesling won Best of Class -- for the second year in a row.

"It is a great honor to be recognized with significant awards for several of our white wines literally across the globe; domestically from the prestigious American Fine Wine Competition and our Best of Show Award at the 2018 Canberra International Riesling Challenge," Proprietor Sherri Campbell Fenton said in a release.

"Not only does it continue to reinforce our vineyard manager and wine making team's capabilities, but the ability of this little region called Traverse Wine Coast in the Northwest Lower Peninsula of Michigan to grow and produce notable wines."

Black Star Farms also took home a pair of Best of Class awards at last year's AFWC.

Black Star also won Double Gold Awards for 2017 Arcturos Dry Riesling, 2017 Arcturos Winter Harvest Riesling and 2018 Arcturos Gewurztraminer in addition to the pair of Best of Class awards at this year's competition. The winery's 2016 Leorie Vineyard Merlot/Cabernet Franc won a Gold medal.

Other area wineries also took home honors at the 2020 AFWC.

Brys Estate won a Double Gold in the Cabernet Franc category for its 2017 Reserve; a Double Gold in the Other Red Blend category for its 2017 Reserve Signature Red; and a Double Gold in the Riesling category for a 2017 wine. It also took home a Gold in the Merlot category for its 2016 Artisan; Gold in the Reisling category for its 2017 Reserve off dry; and Gold in the Other White Single Varietal category for its 2017 Pinot Blanc. It won a Silver medal in the Other White Single Varietal category for its 2018 Pinot Grigio, Reserve.

Bel Lago Vineyards & Winery won a Double Gold in the Other Red Blend category for its 2016 Tempesta. It won a Gold in the Chardonnay category for its 2016 Reserve; and a Gold in the Other White Single Varietal for its 2017 Auxerrois Moreno Block. It took home a Silver for its 2017 Riesling; and a Silver in the Other White Single Varietal category for its 2018 Pinot Grigio.

Brengman Brothers won a Double Gold in the Other White Single Varietal category for its 2018 Pinot Gris Crain Hill Vineyard; and Double Gold in the Sweet Wine category for its 2017 Riesling Ice Wine. It also won a Gold medal in the Red Bordeux Style Blend category for its 2017 Left Bank. Its 2017 Artist Series Crain Hill Vineyard won Silver in two categories: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Mawby won three medals in the Sparkling category: a Gold for its Blanc and two Silver medals for "Talis" Estate Field Blend and a 2012 sparkling wine.

AFWC judging takes place over three days each January at the Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management in the Wine Spectator Restaurant Lab. Up to 1,000 wines are entered each year. The 32 judges include sommeliers, wine retailers, wine educators, wine writers and chefs.

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