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Wineries from Paducah, Lexington, Versailles, and Owen County took honors at the inaugural Kentucky Commonwealth Commercial Wine Competition.
The Paducah Peach wine from Purple Toad Winery of Paducah won the Commissioner’s Cup as the best sweet wine and earned one of two double gold honors awarded in the competition.
The 2009 Reserve Chambourcin submitted by Wildside Winery of Versailles was named best dry red.
The 2012 “Taste of the Sun” Vidal Blanc from Harkness Edwards Vineyards of Lexington took top honors in best dry white.
“The first Kentucky Commonwealth Commercial Wine Competition was a great success,” Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said. “Dozens of Kentucky wineries participated, and a panel of nationally recognized judges assessed the wines based on their merits. The results of this competition will provide a useful benchmark for Kentucky’s wineries as well as consumers. I expect even greater participation in the years to come.”
Elk Creek Vineyards earned the only other double gold medal awarded in the competition for its Kentucky Blue Riesling.
Gold medals went to Purple Toad (three); Wight-Meyer Vineyard and Winery of Shepherdsville (three); Wildside (three); Brooks Hill Winery of Brooks (two); Baker-Bird Winery of Augusta; Harkness Edwards Vineyards of Winchester; Old 502 Winery of Louisville; Reid’s Livery Winery, Rising Sons Home Farm Winery of Lawrenceburg; Springhill Winery of Bloomfield, and Talon Winery of Lexington.
Purple Toad led the parade to the medal stand with 19 medals, and Wight-Meyer followed with 14.
Kentucky was home to the first commercial vineyard in the United States and one of the leading grape- and wine-producing states in the nation until the industry was all but shuttered during Prohibition.
Kentucky’s grape and wine industry has grown from no wineries in 1990 to more than 65 today along with some 600 acres of grape vines.