Tickets Now on Sale for Colorado's Governor's Cup Wine Tasting Event August 1

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16 Winning Wines to be Paired with Local Chef Creations at the History Colorado Center

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“I think the wines this year show great balance and wonderful winemaking skills,” said judge and notable winemaker, Warren Winiarski, whose Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon won the 1976 Judgement of Paris tasting.

The Colorado Wine Industry Development Board (CWIDB), part of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, is inviting the public to attend an event on Colorado Day, August 1 at the History Colorado Center for the rare opportunity to taste the 16 winners of this year’s 2015 Governor’s Cup Wine Competition. The only statewide winemaking competition exclusively for Colorado wines, this year’s competition drew 241 entries from 37 local wineries, and was judged by a panel of sommeliers, winemakers, writers, and wine experts from around the country.

The event will feature the top 16 Governor’s Cup Colorado wines, plus small plate pairings showcasing locally sourced ingredients from noted Colorado chefs provided by the ACF Colorado Chefs Association. Guests will enjoy food pairings made by Chef Travis Smith from Colorado Bistro, Chef Patrick Hartnett from Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Chef Emma Nemechek from Hyatt Regency, Chef Alex Feldman from Rare Italian, and History Colorado Center’s own Chef Samir Mohammad. Tickets are $60 for History Colorado Members and $75 for General Admission. Tickets are limited and are expected to sell out quickly. Festivities will begin at 7:00 pm for History Colorado Members/VIP entry, 7:30 pm for public entry. Tickets can be purchased at http://coloradowine.com/event/governors-cup/.

“I think the wines this year show great balance and wonderful winemaking skills,” said judge and notable winemaker, Warren Winiarski, whose Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon won the 1976 Judgement of Paris tasting.

The quality of the wines was so superb the judges voted to award the 2015 Governor’s Cup “Best of Show” to two wines; both made from Syrah. When the sweepstakes tasting was complete, Canyon Wind Cellars’ 2013 Anemoi Lips and Turquoise Mesa Winery’s 2013 Syrah were tied. The 15 judges preferred to name both wines as Best of Show rather than break the tie with a vote. Syrah is a red grape variety that originates from the Rhône region of France. The 2015 Governor’s Cup Case features the top 12 rated grape wines from the competition, and new this year is the special “Niche” four-pack of cider, mead, fruit, and flavored wines. The competition included separate judging for cider, perry, mead, and all “other than standard” and agricultural wines, tasted by judges that are more experienced in evaluating those unique wines in order to give more thorough and professional consideration to a broader category of wines. All of the Governor’s Cup winners will be available at select retailers throughout the Front Range, or directly from the wineries themselves.

“Syrah excels in Colorado as both a varietal wine and a component in blended wines,” said Doug Caskey, executive director of the CWIDB. “It is quite a statement that four Syrah-based wines are among the top 12 wines in the competition.”

“I’m excited to hear that our 2013 Anemoi Lips won Best of Show,” Jay Christianson revealed. “We’re quite humbled that one of our wines has been awarded Best of Show two years in a row!” Last year, Canyon Wind Cellars’ 2012 Petit Verdot was the “Best of Show” winner in the 2014 Governor’s Cup Case. Canyon Wind Cellars, nestled along the Colorado River between the Book Cliffs and the towering Grand Mesa in Palisade, CO, is a family-owned, estate winery named for the mountain breezes and canyon winds that nurture the fruit on its high altitude vineyard. Norman and Ellen Christianson founded Canyon Wind in 1991 and crushed its first harvest in 1996. In 2010, the second generation arrived as the Christianson’s son, Jay, and his wife Jennifer, took over the leadership of Canyon Wind Cellars and created a second brand, Anemoi Wines, in 2011.

Turquoise Mesa Winery, like Canyon Wind Cellars, placed two of its wines in the Governor’s Cup Case. “We have always been proud of the quality of our wines, which means that the grape industry is outstanding in Colorado,” Tom Bueb proudly declared, “and our continued success only emphasizes that!” Turquoise Mesa Winery is a family-owned winery in Broomfield, Colorado built on a passion for great wine shared among friends, truly a hidden jewel on the Front Range. Owners Tom and Mary Joan Bueb began making wine commercially in 2003, but it had been an amateur passion long before that. Turquoise Mesa Winery sources the finest Colorado grapes primarily from the Western Slope to produce limited quantities of handcrafted wines. Known for Rhône varietals and blends, Bueb added, “Turquoise Mesa Winery is honored and thrilled that our Syrah tied for Best of Show.”

“Each year, the judges continue to note the rise in quality of Colorado wine, and this year was no exception,” said Caskey. “The wines show the world-class nature or Colorado wines and we can’t wait to share them with Colorado’s wine lovers!”

2015 GOVERNOR’S CUP CASE (Top 12 scoring grape wines)
Bonacquisti Wine Company (Denver) - 2013 Malbec, American
Bookcliff Vineyards (Boulder) - 2014 Viognier, Grand Valley AVA*
Bookcliff Vineyards (Boulder) - 2012 Cabernet Franc Reserve, Grand Valley AVA*
Boulder Creek Winery (Boulder) - 2012 Syrah, Colorado*
Canyon Wind Cellars/Anemoi (Palisade) - 2013 Lips (Syrah), Grand Valley AVA BEST IN SHOW (tie)*
Canyon Wind Cellars (Palisade) - 2013 Petit Verdot, Grand Valley AVA *
Creekside Cellars (Evergreen) - 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Grand Valley AVA*
Creekside Cellars (Evergreen) - 2012 Petit Verdot, Grand Valley AVA*
Guy Drew Vineyards (Cortez) - 2012 Sweet Riesling, Montezuma County*
Turquoise Mesa Winery (Broomfield) - 2013 Colorado Crimson (Rhône-style blend), Colorado*
Turquoise Mesa Winery (Broomfield) - 2013 Syrah, Colorado BEST IN SHOW (tie)*
Whitewater Hill Vineyards (Grand Junction) - 2014 Sweetheart Red, Grand Valley AVA*

GOVERNOR’S CUP “NICHE” CASE (Top ciders, meads and fruit wines)
Colorado Cider Company (Denver) - “Grasshop-ah” hopped cider
Redstone Meadery (Boulder) - “Nectar of the Hops” hopped mead
Carlson Vineyards and Winery (Palisade) - Peach*
Aspen Peak Cellars (Bailey) - “Mocha Zinsation”

*Denotes wine made from at least 75% Colorado fruit or produce.

About the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board
The Colorado Wine Industry Development Board (CWIDB) is part of the Colorado Department of Agriculture dedicated to promoting and furthering the development of Colorado’s grape growers and vintners. The CWIDB supports the efforts of more than 120 wineries throughout the state, producing an increasing array of premium-quality wines. For additional information, visit http://www.coloradowine.com.

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Courtney Lis
@ColoradoWine
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