New York Governor Announces Winners of Wine Classic

Governor Hochul Announces Winners of the 2022 New York Wine Classic

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the winners of the 36th annual New York Wine Classic, a nationally recognized competition highlighting the best of New York State wines.  During a live virtual event hosted by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, Governor Hochul presented the Governor’s Cup, the competition’s most esteemed award, to two wineries in a surprise tie.  The award was presented to Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards’ Solera Sherry from the Finger Lakes region and Wölffer Estate Vineyard’s 2020 Diosa Late-Harvest from Long Island.  Additionally, Weis Vineyards from the Finger Lakes was awarded with “Winery of the Year”, which is presented to the winery with the best overall showing.

“The New York Wine Classic celebrates the very best of New York’s wine and grape industries, and this year’s winners are stellar examples of the high-quality wine we’ve come to know and love in our State,” Governor Hochul said.  “I congratulate Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, Wölffer Estate Vineyard, and Weis Vineyards on receiving these prestigious awards. The wine industry is an essential part of New York’s agricultural economy and I’m proud to support the continued innovation, growth, and success of our wineries and farmers.”

“New York is blessed with an abundant supply of fantastic wineries all across New York State from Long Island to Western New York,” Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado said.  “While the pandemic created extraordinary challenges for the wine industry, New York’s wineries and vineyards have adapted, and continue to create some of the country’s best wines.  These wineries have helped contribute to the economic vitality of this state and their communities and have made New York State a premier wine destination.”

Organized annually by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF), the New York Wine Classic celebrates a diverse selection of world-class wines from producers within the State.  For the second year, NYWGF has partnered with the Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) to judge wines submitted.  Scores were awarded by BTI’s trained sensory panel comprised of beverage directors, sommeliers, top bartenders, retail buyers, and educators.

In addition to winning the Governor’s Cup, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards also received a platinum medal and tied for Best Dessert Wine for their Solera Sherry.  Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, located in Hector, Schuyler County, was established in 1985 by the late Jerry Hazlitt and his wife Elaine.  The family has been growing grapes and orchard fruits as their business since 1852.  The winery and vineyards are now managed by sixth generation family members Doug Hazlitt and Leigh (Hazlitt) Triner.

In addition to winning the Governor’s Cup, Wölffer Estate Vineyard also took home a platinum medal and tied for Best Dessert Wine with their 2020 Diosa Late-Harvest.  Wölffer Estate Vineyard, located in Sagaponack, Suffolk County, has been known as one of the finest producers on the East Coast and a center for innovation and hospitality for over 30 years. Founded in 1988 by Christian Wölffer, the estate is currently owned and operated by his children, Marc and Joey Wölffer, and Winemaker/Partner Roman Roth.

In addition to Winery of the Year, Weis Vineyards, located in Hammondsport, Steuben County, also took home a platinum medal and Best Pink Wine award for their 2021 Dry Rosé, along with the Best White Wine award for their 2020 Winzer Select Riesling A which received a gold medal.  They also took home gold medals for their 2019 Merlot, 2021 Zweigelt Dry Rosé, 2017 Riesling Ice Wine, 2019 Riesling Ice Wine, 2020 Semi Dry Riesling, and their 2020 Dry Riesling. Winemaker Hans Peter Weis, owner of Weis Vineyards, was born in Zell Mosel, Germany and grew up in the vineyards and cellar of his family winery.  It is there that he gained his passion for wine.  In the spring of 2016, he and his wife Ashlee, a native of the Finger Lakes, decided they would begin this adventure together and open Weis Vineyards.  He found the Finger Lakes to be the perfect place to pursue his passion of handcrafting traditional German-style wines for all to enjoy.

The New York Wine Classic “Best in Category” winners were also announced today. They are:

Best Red Wine
Keuka Lake Vineyards 2020 Leon Millot

Best White Wine
Weis Vineyards 2020 Winzer Select Riesling A

Best Sparkling Wine
Dr. Konstantin Frank 2017 Blanc De Blanc

Best Pink Wine
Weis Vineyards 2021 Dry Rosé

Best Dessert Wine
Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Solera Sherry
Wölffer Estate Vineyard 2020 Diosa Late-Harvest

Best Specialty Wine
Winery of Ellicottville Red Raspberry Wine

“Best of Class” winners of the New York Wine Classic can be found here.

Judging for The New York Wine Classic took place from April 15 through June 15, 2022 and included 694 entries from 101 wineries from across the state.  A total of seven platinum, 234 gold, 324 silver, and 110 bronze medals were awarded.