Shelburne Vineyard’s 2012 Marquette Reserve wins “Best in Show”

Shelburne Vineyard’s 2012 Marquette Reserve, above, was awarded “Best in Show” at the International Cold Climate Wine Competition.
Shelburne Vineyard’s 2012 Marquette Reserve, above, was awarded “Best in Show” at the International Cold Climate Wine Competition.

When Shelburne Vineyard founder Ken Albert answered his phone at 5:32pm on Aug. 19, he listened carefully as University of Minnesota’s professor Gary Gardner shared good news.  “You folks really have the recipe!” meaning that for the fourth consecutive year, a Shelburne Vineyard Marquette wine, the 2012 Marquette Reserve, won “Best Red Wine in Show” at the 6th International Cold Climate Wine Competition (ICCWC). Additional Shelburne Vineyard ICCWC winners this year include 2013 Marquette, 2013 Harvest Widow’s Revenge, LaCrescent, Whimsey Meadow Rosé, and Louise Swenson. The ICCWC is America’s only competition that judges wines made from grapes developed to thrive in cold climates.
Marquette grapes surround Shelburne Vineyard’s expansive winery and tasting room. As Albert likes to recount, it was the availability of the newly released cold-hardy hybrid in 2006 for planting by growers that prompted him to build his winery, as it was the first red grape he’d found that thrived in Vermont’s climate while producing tannins and flavor characteristics he believed would turn out a world-class wine in a cold climate region. Since then, he and the vineyard’s winemaker, Ethan Joseph, have worked together to bring the wines to this level.
This year, the ICCWC competition judged 284 wines with awards based on blind tastings by 21 experts, who include enologists, wine writers, restaurateurs, retailers and wine educators. Other Vermont wineries receiving ICCWC awards this year include Lincoln Peak, North Branch Vineyard, Fresh Tracks Farm Vineyard & Winery, Fernleigh Cellars, and Lincoln Peak. The Green Mountain’s State’s impressive showing is a testament to the progress of its 15-year-old wine industry, and to the work of its dedicated growers and winemakers who collaborate through the Vermont Grape and Wine Council to improve viticulture, winemaking, and marketing of the wines crafted in Vermont.