2018 Medal Winners

August 10, 2018
Charlottesville, VA–The third annual “Drink Outside the Grape” competition took place in Charlottesville, VA on August 8, resulting in 83 medals for fruit wines, meads, ciders and fruit brandies; 21 golds, 33 silvers and 27 bronze medals in addition to the five Best of Category winners.

The Drink Outside the Grape competition is truly international; entries came from as far as India and Israel as well as the U.S. and Canada. In the U.S., high-quality, locally grown fruit wines came from as far apart as Alaska and Florida. The judges this year commented that quality and focus in winemaking were much higher this year than in the past.

Best of Category awards were: for cider, a varietal Gold Rush from Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar, Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA; for fruit wine, Montezuma Winery in Seneca Falls, NY for their “dragonfly”, an apple wine and black currant blend; for mead, Haymaker Meadery of Pennsylvania for their “Montgomery”, a traditional style mead; for liqueurs, Morad Winery of Israel for their double espresso liqueur; and for distilled, Laird’s Distillery of Scobeyville, NJ and North Garden, VA for their “straight applejack 86”. Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar also won the most medals in the competition with 13 total.

The Drink Outside the Grape competition takes place in early August, and was judged by industry professionals from a variety of specialties and wine and beverage writers. Two judges have authored books on fruit wine production and one has patented a dozen briar fruit varieties through the University of Western Maryland. Judges were: Dr. Joseph Fiola, Small Fruit Specialist and enologist at the University of Western Maryland; Robert Harllee, former owner of the Market Street Wineshop in Charlottesville, Doug Hotz, owner of the Rio Hill Wine & Gourmet in Charlottesville, Christine Iezzi of the Country Vintner (distributor) of Charlottesville, Dominic Rivard, author of the Fruit Winemaker’s Complete Guilde of Nova Scotia, and Amy Shumaker of Blue Bee Cidery in Richmond, VA.

CIDER
Company Name State/Prov. Entry Name Retail $ Medal Best of Category
Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar, Inc. PA Gold Rush Cider 16.00 Gold Best Cider
Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar, Inc. PA Golden Delicious Cider 16.00 Gold
Chain Yard Urban Cidery NS Foundation 4.99 Gold
Howling Moon Craft Cider BC spiced cherry cider 9.00 Gold
Ragged Hill Cider Co. MA traditional semi-dry 14.00 Gold
Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar, Inc. PA Pink Lady Cider 16.00 Silver
Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar, Inc. PA Broken Hearts are for Apples 15.00 Silver
Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar, Inc. PA Spicy Archibald 15.00 Silver
Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar, Inc. PA Bootlegger’s Bourbon 18.00 Silver
Bishop Cider Co. TX OG 9.99/6 pack Silver
Bryant’s Cider VA Brite Good 10.00 Silver
Bryant’s Cider VA Chaider 12.00 Silver
Castle Hill Cider VA Levity 25.00 Silver
Chain Yard Urban Cidery NS Pippins 14.99 Silver
Chain Yard Urban Cidery NS Pippin Russet 14.99 Silver
Chain Yard Urban Cidery NS Ginxberry 12.99 Silver
Ragged Hill Cider Co. MA traditional dry 14.00 Silver
Russell Orchards Farm and Winery MA Uncle J’s ice cider 12.00 /375 ml Silver
Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar, Inc. PA Event Blend Cider 15.00 Bronze
Bryant’s Cider VA Hell Hop 12.00 Bronze
Bryant’s Cider VA Coolbanero 12.00 Bronze
Chain Yard Urban Cidery NS Hopped Up 4.99 Bronze
Kaneb Orchards LLC NY Raquette River Cider 14.00 Bronze
Kaneb Orchards LLC NY St Lawrence Cider 13.00 Bronze
Kaneb Orchards LLC NY Cranberry Crisp Cider 14.00 Bronze
Southbrook Organic Vineyards ON Wild Ferment Cider 15.95 Bronze
FRUIT WINE
Company Name State / Prov. Entry Name Retail $ Medal Best of Category
Montezuma Winery NY Dragonfly 14.00 Gold Best Fruit Wine
Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar, Inc. PA Zuzu Bone Dry Blueberry 18.00 Gold
Copper Beech Winery NH Wild Blue 16.00 Gold
Florida Orange Groves Winery FL Florida Fever 22.98 Gold
Forest Edge Winery MN aronia (chokeberry) wine 15.00 Gold
Glacier Bear AK Glacier Bear 27.00 Gold
Krause Berry Farms BC sparkling raspberry 25 Gold
Krause Berry Farms BC Cassis 30/375 ml Gold
Montezuma Winery NY Ice Apple Cider 25/375 ml Gold
Morad wine Israel Passion Fruit wine 19.00 Gold
Satek Winery IN Autumn Classic 10.99 Gold
Texas SouthWind Vineyard and Winery TX Red Raspberry Fruit Wine 20.95 Gold
Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar, Inc. PA Negley’s Nectar 15.00 Silver
Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar, Inc. PA Col. Symingtons Sour Cherry 15.00 Silver
Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar, Inc. PA Smiling Sam’s Battlefield Blueberry 18.00 Silver
Bear Creek Winery AK Glacier Bear Black Currant 27.00 Silver
Come On Charlie India strawberry wine 10.56 Silver
Copper Beech Winery NH Autumn Harvest 15.00 Silver
Florida Orange Groves Winery FL Hurricane Class 5 22.98 Silver
Forest Edge Winery MN Red, White & Blue 15.00 Silver
Krause Berry Farms BC blackberry 17.00 Silver
Maquam VT Pear Wine 14.00 Silver
Maquam VT Blueberry & Pure Maple Syrup Wine 16.00 Silver
Montezuma Winery NY Cranberry Bog 14.00 Silver
Russell Orchards Farm and Winery MA raspberry peach 20.00 Silver
The Lakehouse Inn OH apple wine 18.00 Silver
Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar, Inc. PA Ramrod Rhubarb 18.00 Bronze
Canada Berries BC Princess Raspberry 21.00 Bronze
Canada Berries BC Blue Queen Gold 34.00 Bronze
Copper Beech Winery NH Brilliant Cranberry 17.00 Bronze
Forest Edge Winery MN Chokeberry wine 19.00 Bronze
Forest Edge Winery MN rhubarb 15.00 Bronze
Fossenvue Winery NY Blueberry-apple 14.00 Bronze
Glacier Bear AK Bear Creek Spring Harvest 18.00 Bronze
Montezuma Winery NY Blue Moon 13.89 Bronze
Russell Orchards Farm and Winery MA Raspberry 20.00 Bronze
Russell Orchards Farm and Winery MA Sparkling pink lady apple wine 39.00 Bronze
Southbrook Organic Vineyards ON Canadian Framboise 19.95 Bronze
Texas SouthWind Vineyard and Winery TX Peach Fruit Wine 18.95 Bronze
MEAD
Company Name State / Prov. Entry Name Retail $ Medal Best of Category
Haymaker Meadery PA Montgomery 25.00 Gold Best Mead
Chain Yard Urban Cidery NS Rhubee Cyser 12.99 Silver
Haymaker Meadery PA Scythe 20.00 Silver
Haymaker Meadery PA Sickle 20.00 Silver
Howling Moon Craft Cider BC spicy ginger cyser 9.00 Silver
The Lakehouse Inn OH honey strawberry mead 28.00 375ml Silver
Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar, Inc. PA Murray’s Mead 20.00 Bronze
Black Willow Winery NY Freyja’s Passion 19.00 Bronze
Black Willow Winery NY Valkyrie’s Lure 19.00 Bronze
Prairie Bee Meadery SK traditional bee 25.00 Bronze
Prairie Bee Meadery SK raspberry rapture 25.00 Bronze
EAUX-DE-VIE, DISTILLED & LIQUEURS
Company Name State / Prov. Entry Name Retail Medal Best of Category
Morad Wine Israel Double Espresso 20.00 Gold Best Liqueur
Laird & Co. NJ Laird’s straight applejack 86 25.00 Gold Best Distilled
Montezuma Winery NY Queen’s flight 29/375 ml Gold
Laird & Co. NJ Laird’s Jersey Lightning 25.00 Silver
Montezuma Winery NY maple liqueur 25/375 ml Silver