PA Wine Excellence X



12/18/2011by Averill Shepps
Jan15

PA Wine Excellence X

Sunday2:00 pm
LocationHilton Harrisburg
Event TypeFormal (Speaker)
SpeakerDenise Gardner
Seats Left16
Cost per person
Patron$35
Member$40
Nonmember$50

Facetiously known as PA X X! And now that the judging is completed, we can tell you that the group of top scoring wines is a fine presentation with which to celebrate ten years of judging and honoring Pennsylvania wines and winemakers. We have the usual wineries represented, those who have won our top award in the past, but we also have some newcomers, up and coming wineries that are doing great work. Those of you who have followed this event over the years will be surprised and pleased; newcomers will enjoy tasting some of the best wines produced in the state. As you can see from the list, Pennsylvania produced Chambourcin has come into its own, and scored well right along with the more popular red varieties. Whites did well also with one in the top ten and 2 in the honorable mention category. These runners up earned scores that are very close to the top ten. While our tasting is limited to those top ten with a high scoring white as a pre-pour, the runners up will be available for sampling at the end of the event, which will be held on Sunday afternoon, January 15, at 2 PM, at the Harrisburg Hilton.

Aiding us in our presentation will be a newcomer to the Pennsylvania wine scene, Denise Gardner. She was, in her own words, "born into the wine world." The name "Denise" literally means "follower of Dionysius" -- the Greek God of Wine. She is presently the Enology Extension Associate for the PSU College of Agriculture.Sciences, working with the wineries across PA. She received her BS from PSU in Food Science, her MS from VA Tech in Food Science and Technology, all the while studying wine and wine issues, particularly from the sensory side. She has also worked several years for winery consultants and the wineries themselves.

And now for the top ten—in alphabetical order: The Honorable Mention Wines:
11/16/2011by Averill Shepps

Ten years ago Frank Fritsch broached the idea to the PWS Board that we should be doing something to support the wine industry in Pennsylvania by encouraging the wineries to make the best possible wine, and particularly the wines we like to drink. Ensuing discussions brought about a plan to have the wineries submit examples of wine made from vinifera grapes with the addition of Chambourcin, to hold a judging to identify the best examples, and giving special recognition to the top scoring wine. We engaged wine expert Gary Pavlis, from Rutgers University as well as a teacher of the wine judging certification course for the American Wine Society, to guide us through the judging process which uses a 20 point scoring system that gives points to aroma, taste, appearance, balance, etc. Meanwhile we designed a unique award plaque with hand cast bronze grapes mounted on wood, a plaque for the winner, which is hung on the wall in the winery until the next award ceremony. This year will represent the 10th year that some of our board members have judged the wines along with Gary. We are gaining some valuable experience in doing so, and we all are aware that the wines have improved tremendously.

Most importantly to you, we will present, as we have also done for 10 years, the 10 top-scoring wines to you at a tasting. That event has become one of our best attended events in our yearly schedule as our members have discovered the rising quality of the wines right along with the judging panel. At the tasting we will also present the much-coveted award plaque, though not until the attendees have sampled all of the wines themselves. Sign up now to be sure of a seat–Sunday afternoon, January 15th at 2 PM at the Harrisburg Hilton.


10/19/2011by Averill Shepps

That’s ten! Ten years of collecting, sampling, judging, and finally presenting a tasting of the best Pennsylvania wines that we could find! It has been exciting to follow the growth of the wine industry in the state, but more important, to have been part of encouraging them to make the best possible wines and to taste what they have produced. As I remember the start of the effort to look beyond our normal range of wine events in order to help support those who wanted to make the best wines (those that we like to drink), I am so pleased with what the winemakers have accomplished and with our efforts to help them gain recognition.

For those of you who are new to the Society, we will be judging the wines in November with a nationally known judge. We choose the top scoring wines to present at the tasting event in January, and then recognize the highest scorer by presenting our beautiful award plaque to hang in their winery for a year. Ten years ago we had to really talk you into coming to a tasting of Pennsylvania wines. No more! The last few “PA Ex.” events have been among the best attended in our schedule as our members have realized that they are going to taste some really outstanding examples. Therefore, you may want to sign up early to be sure you will have a seat. What else will you be doing in January? The event will be held at 2 PM on Sunday, January 15th at the Harrisburg Hilton.

Event Registration Instructions

Patron:  $35      Member:  $40      Nonmember:  $50