Yavapai College student-crafted wines win double-gold, silver at Jefferson Cup

The Jefferson Cup honors “the best of the best” among American wineries. The 19thannual competition took place in Kansas City, Mo., late last month.

The Jefferson Cup honors “the best of the best” among American wineries. The 19thannual competition took place in Kansas City, Mo., late last month.

Add two more Yavapai College student-crafted wines to the list of prestigious award winners.

The Southwest Wine Center’s 2017 Red Storm won a double-gold medal and the 2017 Malvasia Bianca earned a silver medal at the 2018 Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition.

The Jefferson Cup honors “the best of the best” among American wineries. The 19thannual competition took place in Kansas City, Mo., late last month.

The SWC last year earned the competition’s top award – the Jefferson Cup – for a 2016 Mourvedre.

Although not a Jefferson Cup winner, the 2017 Red Storm, a Grenache-based red blend, was a finalist for the top award and one of only 24 double-gold medalists in the 2018 competition that drew 740 participating wines.

The SWC’s Red Storm also was the highest-rated Arizona wine in the competition, said Michael Pierce, director of the viticulture and enology programs at the YC Verde Valley campus in Clarkdale.

Although the SWC has chalked up multiple trophies and medals in wine competitions since the first grapes were planted on its estate vineyard in 2012, Pierce said the latest recognition is especially gratifying for him and his students.

“They were inventive and wanted to try many different things. We created 21 or 22 unique wines with them last year – a good diversity of wines.”

Pierce also is grateful for the attention SWC students are generating for their wines and the school.

“It’s continued notoriety on a national scale. That’s a very valuable way to showcase the education and what we’re offering to people. We are making wines that compete well on a national scale.”

A number of YC alumni who have launched their own labels also were recognized at this year’s Jefferson Cup competition, adding to the SWC’s standing in the industry.

Pierce brushes off the pressure to continue producing stalwart wines. “We’re going to keep trying. I don’t know what the result will be.”

The SWC’s latest award-winning wines are available to taste and purchase.

The SWC Tasting Room adjacent to the YC Clarkdale campus, 601 Black Hills Drive, is open from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

Learn more about the SWC and YC certificate and degree programs by visiting the website: southwestwinecenter.com. Spring classes are now enrolling. Register at www.yc.edu.

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