Verde Valley wineries earn top awards

PHOENIX - Verde Valley winemakers took several top honors at the 2015 Arizona Republic Wine Competition, including Best in Show, Best Red Wine and Best Desert Wine.

Over 220 entries were judged by a panel of 20 wine experts at a competition held at Tarbell's restaurant in Phoenix on Oct. 26.

Earning Best in Show was a 2014 Malvasia Bianca sourced from a vineyard owned by Caduceus Cellar's Maynard James Keenan (front man for the rock group Tool). Meanwhile, top honors for Best Red Wine as well as Best Grenache went to Page Springs Cellar's Grenache AZ White Oak, 2013. The competition's Best Dessert Wine award went to Arizona Stronghold Vineyard's Muscat, 2014.

Other top honors included Best Merlot to Arizona Stronghold Vineyard's Bonita Springs Merlot Pick1 Free Run, 2014; Best Petite Sirah to Pillsbury Wine Company's Petite Sirah, 2013; Best Non-traditional Red Blend to Pillsbury Wine Company's Diva, 2013: Best Rose Varietal to Page Springs Cellar's Counoise Rose House Mountain Vineyard, 2014 and Best Sangiovese to Freitas Vineyard's Bellocchio, 2012.

Page Springs Cellars also earned Growers Cup Awards for its Vino del Barrio Blanca, 2014 as well as its Counoise Rose House Mountain, 2014. Winemaker's Awards went to Burning Tree Cellar's Jespersen Ranch Syrah, 2013 and Passion Cellar's Malvasia Bianca, N.M., 2014.

Also taking home honors was the wine program at the Verde Valley campus.

"Yavapai College Vineyard Southwest Wine Center student-crafted wines won Silver medals for our Viognier and Grenache and Bronze medals for Syrah and Petite Syrah," announced Kim Kapin, marketing specialist, Yavapai College.

Here's a complete list of awards won by Verde Valley wineries:

Gold medal winners

Arizona Stronghold Vineyard's Buhl Memorial Vineyard Syrah Clone 383, 2014; Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, DIYA, 2014; Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Tazi, 2013: Freitas Vineyard's Bellocchio, 2012: Javelina Leap Vineyards and Winery's Cabernet Franc, 2014 and Prospectors Blend, 2014: Merkin Vineyard's Chupacabra Blanca, 2014; Page Springs Cellar's Counoise Rose House Mountain Vineyard, 2014; Grenache AZ White Oak, 2013 and Vino del Barrio Blanca, 2014; Pillsbury Wine Company's Diva, 2013 and Viognier, 2014.

Silver medal winners

Alcantara Vineyards and Winery's Sauvignon Blanc, 2014 and Syrah, 2012: Arizona Stronghold Vineyard's Dayden, 2014; Bonita Springs Vineyard Muscat, 2014; Bonita Springs Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Pick 4 Free Run, 2014; Bonita Springs Merlot Pick 1 Free Run, 2014 and Bonita Springs Vineyard Malvasia Bianca, 2014: Burning Tree Cellar's Jespersen Ranch Syrah, 2013: Caduceus Cellar's Dos Ladrones, 2014; Kitsuné, 2013; Le Cortigiane Oneste, 2013; Velvet Slippers Club: Viognier, 2014 and Marzo Rosé, 2014: Chateau Tumbleweed's Rose, 2013; Arneis, 2014; Dr. Ron Bot, 2013 and Syrah, 2013: Four Eight Winework's Four Eight Red, 2013: Freitas Vineyard's Mesa, 2010: Javelina Leap Vineyards and Winery's Syrah, 2014: Page Springs Cellar's Grenache Neutral Oak Page Springs Vineyard, 2013 and Syrah Clone 470 Dos Padres Vineyard, 2014: Passion Cellar's Malvasia Bianca, 2014 and Passion Cellars, Sauvignon Blanc, 2014: Pillsbury Wine Company's WildChild White, 2013 and Petite Sirah, 2013: Salvatore Vineyard's Viognier, 2014: Southwest Wine Center at Yavapai College's Viognier, 2014 and Grenache, 2014.

Bronze medal winners

Arizona Stronghold Vineyard's Bonita Springs Vineyard Gewurztraminer, 2014; Mangus, 2013 and Nachise, 2014: Burning Tree Cellar's Spanish Springs Chardonnay, 2012: Caduceus Cellar's Velvet Slippers Club: Aglianico, 2013; Nagual del Marzo, 2013 and Velvet Slippers Club: Malvasia Bianca, 2014: Chateau Tumbleweed, Dr. Ron Bot, 2013: Javelina Leap Vineyards and Winery's Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013; Legacy Zinfandel, 2014 and Rock Slide, 2013; Merkin Vineyard's Chupacabra, 2014: Page Springs Cellar's, Mertis Ap, 2013: Passion Cellar's Heaven's Half Acre, 2013 and Pillsbury Wine Company's Symphony, 2014; Chardonnay Reserve, 2014; Symphony Sweet Lies Reserve, 2014; Shiraz Guns and Kisses, 2013 and Chardonnay, 2014.

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