Detroit-based Blogger Sandra Silfven Reviews “Governor’s Case” of top 12 VA Wines

Aug 20

Sandra Silfven, a long time wine columnist/blogger for the Detroit News and specialist on the Michigan wine scene, recently reviewed the 12 “Governor’s Case” wines that were the top-scoring entrants in the 2013 Virginia Wine Governor’s Cup competition.

Silfven has also judged in many regional wine competitions, is the Northeast Atlantic contributor for Tom Stevens’ Wine Guide and focuses on the regional wines of Michigan and the East. Her post can be found at

VA Wine Sales Top Half Million Cases in FY 2013 for 1st Time

Aug 15

Sales of Virginia wine reached another all-time high in Fiscal Year 2013, increasing by more than 5 percent from FY2012.  Virginia wineries sold over 511,000 cases of wine in FY13 versus almost 485,000, the previous record high, in FY12 according to newly available sales figures compiled by the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) and the Virginia Wine Marketing Office.  Since FY2010, when almost 415,000 cases were sold, sales of Virginia wines have increased by more than 23 percent.

Results of 2013 Michigan Wine Competition

Aug 08

Fifty-five of the state’s 102 wineries entered a record 450 wines for this year’s competition, which is open only to wine produced from Michigan grapes and other fruit. Gold medals were awarded to a wide variety of wines — from bone-dry reds to sweet and luscious dessert wines. At the end of the day, judges awarded the top “Best of Class” awards to six wines from a group of 42 gold medal winners, including six double gold.

The top award-winners are:

Sparkling: Black Star Farms 2012 “BeDazzled”

Dry White: Chateau Fontaine 2012 Pinot Blanc

Dry Red: Peninsula Cellars 2011 Cabernet Franc

Semi-dry White: Boathouse Vineyards 2012 “Knot Too Sweet” Riesling

Semi-dry Red: Karma Vista Vineyards 2012 Devil’s Head Red

Dessert: Brys Estate 2011 “Dry Ice” Riesling Ice Wine

Visit for more information, and for a complete list of the medal-winning wines.


The competition is also sponsored by the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council, which is administered by the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development. For more information about the wines and wineries of Michigan, contact the council online, or by phone at 517-241-4468.

Ingleside Vineyards awarded two double gold medals, 39 total medals in Taster’s Guild Wine Competition

Aug 07

(this is a summary of a press release from the Virginia Wine Marketing Office) Tasters Guild International, a Wine and Food Appreciation Society, has announced the results of its Twenty-Sixth Annual International Wine Judging held at the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education in Grand Rapids. Virginia wines took home two double gold medals, four gold medals, 26 silver medals and seven bronze medals. Only 60 wines were awarded prestigious double gold medals, two of which were Virginia wines:  Ingleside 2009 Pertit Verdot and Ingleside 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve.

“It’s an honor to win these Double Gold awards for our Petit Verdot and Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. These are two wines which really showcase the potential of Bordeaux-style reds here at Ingleside — and in Virginia in general,” said Douglas Flemer, proprietor, Ingleside Vineyards.

Thirty experienced judges from around the country completed over 2,000 evaluations of wine from ten countries and 27 states/provinces on May 1-4, 2013.

Ankida Ridge, Early Mtn. and Foggy Ridge Wineries Profiled in Sept. Food & Wine Magazine

Aug 05

The September 2013 issue of Food & Wine features a story by Steven Grubbs, an Atlanta sommelier, who with a friend drove northeast from Atlanta to tour and taste the wineries of the South (along the Blue Ridge). The most prominent winery in the story is Ankida Ridge, in Amherst County, whose pinot noir piqued Mr. Grubbs’ interest–and met his critical acclaim. He also gave favorable reports on Early Mountain Vineyards, Foggy Ridge Cidery, and the general Virginia wine scene.

Readers can find the article online at