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Source: Indiana Wine Grape Council press release

WEST LAFAYETTE -- Nearly 2700 wines traveled to West Lafayette for one of the nation's largest wine competitions, the Indy International Wine Competition, August 4-6, 2010 at Purdue University.

Wines from 15 countries as far away as France, Australia, Chile, and Spain were judged on appearance, aroma, taste, and aftertaste by 14 panels of judges. In all, 52 judges flew in from throughout the United States and Canada to evaluate the wines.

Bellhurst Winery of Geneva, New York was honored with the Wine of the Year award for its 2009 Riesling. White Wine of the Year honors went to French Lick Winery of French Lick, Indiana for its 2008 Traminette. Chateau Ste. Michelle of Woodinville, Washington won Red Wine of the Year for its 2006 Artist Series Meritage Red. Rosť Wine of the Year was awarded to St. Julian Winery of Paw Paw, Michigan for its Simply Pink.

The Sparkling Wine of the Year was awarded to Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards of Sonoma, California for its Blanc de Noirs, and Debonne Vineyards of Madison, Ohio took the Dessert Wine of the Year honors for its 2008 Icewine Express.

Maple River Winery of Casselton, North Dakota won Fruit Wine of the Year for its Strawberry Rhubarb. The last two categories, Honey Wine of the Year and Honey Wine Blend of the Year, were awarded to Winehaven Winery & Vineyard of Minnesota and to Oliver Winery of Bloomington, Indiana, respectively.

E&J Gallo Winery of Modesto, California was awarded the Winery of the Year Trophy, sponsored by the Leisure Family. The trophy honors the Best International Brand of the entire competition.

Oliver Winery of Bloomington, Indiana won the Winemaker of the Year Trophy, honoring the winery that wins the most gold medals by brand at the competition.

The Indy International Wine Competition began in 1973 as an Indiana-only event. The competition began admitting entries from around the world in 1992 under Richard Vine, PhD. Dr. Christian Butzke took over the leadership of the competition in 2006.

"Our 52 international judges picked some truly exceptional wines to receive recognition as Wines of the Year at the Indy International Wine Competition," said Professor Butzke. "Fifteen countries entered a fascinating range of wines that represent an amazing diversity, one that makes tasting and judging wine so enjoyable vintage after vintage."

Indiana was well represented in the competition, with 31 of the state's wineries entering. Hoosier wineries took home a total of 21 double gold, 22 gold, 89 silver, and 94 bronze medals.

"The Indiana wineries went head to head with wines from throughout the world and brought home 226 medals," said Jeanette Merritt, marketing director for the Indiana Wine Grape Council. "This shows that Indiana wines are of high quality and can be judged well against any wine in the world."

Huber Orchard, Winery & Vineyard won the Indiana Winery of the Year, the Governor's Cup, recognizing the winningest Indiana winery. Satek Winery of Fremont, Indiana won Indiana Wine of the Year with its Vidal Blanc Ice Wine.

The Indy International has a special award division for Indiana grown wines. A wine must be composed of more than 85% Indiana grown fruit to be eligible. French Lick Winery won Indiana-made Traminette of the Year, honoring Indiana's Signature Wine and Grape. Oliver Winery of Bloomington won the Indiana-grown Fruit Wine of the Year for its 2009 Beanblossom Hard Cider. Huber Orchard, Winery & Vineyard won the French-American Wine category for its 2009 Vignoles. Easley Winery of Indianapolis won the Indiana-grown American Wine of the Year for its Pink Catawba. Huber Orchard, Winery & Vineyard won the Indiana-grown Vinifera Wine of the Year for its 2008 Knobstone Blaufrankisch.

The Indy International is held at Purdue University and run by the Indiana Wine Grape Council. For a list of all medal-winning wines, log on to www.indyinternational.org.