The results are in from this weekend’s Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in Rochester, and it’s good news for the region. A dozen wines from the Finger Lakes came away with coveted double-gold medals -- twice as many as last year.
The competition began 13 years ago as a fundraiser and attempt to draw attention to New York wines. About one-fifth of the 3,500 entries came from the Finger Lakes, and in addition to the double-gold, many more took home gold and silver medals as well.
But with entries from all 50 states and 20 countries, this competition is important beyond New York state. It is one of the biggest wine competitions in the U.S., and growing. It’s already billed as the world’s largest charitable competition, with proceeds going to a local summer camp for children with cancer.
Competition founder Peter Parts says that cause is also the reason organizers have been able to attract such a strong panel of judges: restaurant owners, sommeliers and wine writers from around the world.
"I mean it’s amazing because some of these guys rent out their time for a thousand, two thousand dollars a day or more, and they’re working here for free because it’s for Camp Good Days. All we do is cover their hotel and their travel expenses," he said.
Parts says the top 250 wines from the competition will be served at a dinner and wine auction in Rochester on May 4.
All told, he says, this will enable 400 children to attend Camp Good Days for free -- all while providing just one more reminder that the Finger Lakes has become a wine region of note.