CONTACT:  Jessi Luke, Public Relations and Promotions  Ÿ  716-965-4800


FORESTVILLE, NY (May 10, 2011) – It seems as though Merritt Estate Winery will have to start looking for additional places to display their awards as results come in from three more wine competitions. The winery recently participated in the 2011 Riverside International Wine Competition, the 2011 Tasters Guild International Wine Judging and the 2011 Ultimate Wine Challenge.

            The Riverside International Wine Competition, held this year in Temecula, California, prides itself on distinguishing wines in a variety of styles from regions that may not always get the recognition they deserve.  This year, 48 judges tasted and evaluated more than 1,930 wines from regions across the nation.  Regional identity and vintage groupings were some of the judging guidelines set by the competition this year to guarantee that each and every wine was fairly represented amongst its peers.

            Merritt Estate Winery took two awards at the competition. Bella Rosa, a sweet, full-bodied Lambrusco style red wine, won a silver medal. Bella Ice, a sweet red wine with intense Concord grape flavor, won a gold medal.

            The Tasters Guild was established in 1987 and consists of over 40 active chapters of wine and food enthusiasts throughout the country. Members include wine and food consumers and wine and food service professionals. Each local chapter provides constant wine and food events for their members and guests. Every spring, the Tasters Guild holds an annual International Wine Judging. This year, approximately 2,000 wines from over 15 countries and 30 states and provinces throughout the world were evaluated.

            Merritt Estate Winery took four medals at the competition. Bella Ice, Edelweiss, a sweet and fruity white wine with a flowery aroma and a fresh grape taste, and Chautauqua Niagara, a semi-sweet white wine with a fresh, crisp grape taste all won silver medals. Bella Rosa, Merritt’s best selling wine, won a gold medal.

            The Ultimate Wine Challenge is quite different from traditional competitions. Using a multistage judging process, wines are judged in rounds using a point system. Wines scoring a 90 or above out of 100 automatically move on to the next round. Wines scoring below an 80 are eliminated from the competition. While this system may seem very unusual in an arena where gold, silver and bronze titles are commonly used to distinguish the value a wine holds to the consumer, judging on a numerical scale is an equally effective process. Wines that scored an 80 and above were placed in to four distinct categories, divided by numerical ranges, and given a recommendation based upon their score.

            Merritt Estate Winery had two wines score above the 80 mark. Bella Ice scored 82, earning a spot in the level distinguishing “Good, Recommended” wines. Bella Rosa scored 85, earning a spot in the level distinguishing “Very Good, Strong Recommendation” wines.

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Merritt Estate is located in America’s Grape Country, the largest grape growing region of New York State located along the shores of Lake Erie. The grapes and wines produced under Merritt rival the quality of premium vintages throughout the world.


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