For the second straight year, a dry riesling from Finger Lakes won the coveted Governor's Cup as the best wine in the New York Wine & Food Classic, which concluded this afternoon at Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food & The Arts in Napa.
The winning wine is the Thirsty Owl Wine Co. 2006 Cayuga Lake Dry Riesling ($14). In the final round of balloting, it beat out four other finalists that through a series of elimination votes gradually had been chosen from an original field of 39 best-of-show candidates. The competition began with 790 wines, all from New York.
The other finalists were the Pindar Vineyards 2005 Cabernet Franc (best red wine), the Barrington Cellars 2006 Buzzard's Blush (best blush wine), the Mazza Chautauqua Cellars 2005 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine (best dessert wine), and the Swedish Hill Vineyards Spumante Blush (best sparkling wine).
A year ago, the Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyards 2005 Finger Lakes Dry Riesling won the Governor's Cup. At that time, the competition was held at one of its usual staging grounds, Canandaigua, N.Y. This year's win by Thirsty Owl should further secure the standing of Finger Lakes as the country's premier appellation for riesling.
The Thirsty Owl riesling isn't likely to be found in California, but it can be ordered direct by visiting the winery's Web site.