Colloca Winery Named Riesling Winery of the Year

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Two recent wine competitions have yielded several awards for Cayuga County wineries, including a Riesling distinction for one producer. Colloca Estate Winery in Fair Haven was named the 2019 New York Riesling Winery of the Year at the New York International Wine Competition held May 5 in Manhattan. The ninth annual competition received more than 1,300 entries from 23 countries, and was judged by a panel of trade buyers only, according to its website. The number of nominees for the Riesling award was not announced. In addition to that award, Colloca received a gold for its 2017 Dolce Riesling, silvers for its 2017 Riesling and 2017 Dry Riesling, and a bronze for its 2017 Pinot Noir. 

Dr. Chris Colloca, who founded the winery on Little Sodus Bay about 10 years ago, said in a news release that Lake Ontario offers grape growers the same friendly climate as the Finger Lakes. "It's my belief that over the next couple of decades many other wineries will pop up on the southern shores of the great Lake Ontario and benefit from the incredible gifts that this bountiful land provides us," he said. "Certainly while other wine regions in the world also benefit from the lakes over which the vines are perched, I truly believe we are on to something magical here in Fair Haven."

Also at the competition, Bright Leaf Vineyard of King Ferry won a silver for its 2017 Reserve Chardonnay and a bronze for its 2017 Semi-Dry Riesling.  Colloca Estate was again named a winner Wednesday in the 34th annual New York Wine Classic, organized by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation. The Fair Haven winery took Best of Class in the Best Late Harvest category for its 2017 Dolce Riesling. The three-day competition, which took place this week in Watkins Glen, received 883 entries from 113 state wineries. "The winners of the New York Wine Classic represent the very best of New York's wineries and the innovation and high-quality production that goes into making these award-winning wines cannot be understated," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release. "We're excited to welcome wine lovers everywhere to New York state so that they can experience our wines for themselves."

Other Cayuga County-area winners at the New York Wine Classic were Montezuma Winery, with Best Red Blend Non-Vinifera for its NV Canvasback Red, and Anyela's Vineyards, of Skaneateles, with Best Fortified Wine for its 2009 Final Approach. Wagner Vineyards Estate Winery, of Lodi, won the Winery of the Year Award. And Six Mile Creek Vineyard, of Ithaca, and a member of the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail with several Cayuga County wineries, won the Governor's Cup, the competition's biggest award, for its 2016 Cabernet Franc.

Colloca Estate Winery: Another Grape Time Waiting for You This Weekend

I know I’ve told you about this neighbor of mine before – and they have aged very nicely over the last year or so – both the wines and the place.

Colloca Estate Winery in Fair Haven (where the state park is) hosts their Annual Harvest Festival this Saturday. And, believe me, if you want to find a way to spend a lazy Autumn Saturday afternoon, this is it!

Located just off Rt. 104A on West Bay Road in the Village of Fair Haven, which is just east of here, it’s a convenient, yet out of the way attraction. I know you can make it there in just a little over an hour. I drive out to our cabin next door to the vineyard almost every weekend.

The actual fest starts at noon, but the tasting room, dominated by a huge and cozy fireplace and a great view of the pond, opens at 11:00. Activities include Estate Tours for the 100 acre site and of the 900 feet of great frontage on the Bay at 1:00 and 3:00. They’ve got music at 2:00 and 4:00 and Food and Vendors on site all afternoon.  And of course, wine tastings!

And in case you get hungry from all this activity, their menu includes everything from corn crab chowder to pulled pork sliders with apple slaw … and wood fired pizza and Panini’s to cheese and charcuterie platters.

They’re even having a pumpkin carving.

But the stars of the show are the wines. Yum. I’m particularly fond of the reds … cabernet to die for.

Leaf peeping is available, at no extra charge. And, if you go, wave as you go by!

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