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Rooster Hill Takes Double Gold in NY State Fair Event

July 18, 2014


PENN YAN, NY (Friday, July 18) ­ Rooster Hill Vineyards' 2013 Traminette won a Double Gold Medal in this year's New York State Fair commercial wine competition.

Double Gold is the highest possible designation that a wine can receive in the New York competition, which was based on tastings by professional judges from throughout the East Coast in early June. Officials said this year¹s results reflect the soaring quality of New York wines.

"The popularity of Rooster Hill Traminette is undeniable," said Doug Dello Stritto, the winery's general manager. "The wine is everything you crave in a summer wine. Bright flavors of citrus and fresh, crisp acidity wrapped around a spiced core that shows its Gewurztraminer heritage.

"It has the ability to stop you in your tracks," he said. "It makes you consider Traminette as a perfect pairing for the fleeting days of summer."

It¹s fitting that Rooster Hill has a stellar Traminette. In September 2013, Rooster Hill president and co-founder Amy Hoffman conducted a monthlong promotion to raise the visibility of Traminette wine in the Finger Lakes. During the "Try on Traminette" promotion, guests in the tasting room were given a brief review of the Traminette grape, its origins, characteristics and suggested food pairings.

Traminette is a white wine with strong local roots, but it has long stood in the shadow of its popular parent in the Finger Lakes, Gewurztraminer, as well as the Rieslings.

Hoffman explained that the Traminette grape is a cross of the French American hybrid Joannes Seyve 23.416 and the German Vitis vinifera cultivar Gewurztraminer made by Herb C. Barrett in the mid-1960s at the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign. Barrett¹s intention was to produce a large,
clustered table grape with the flavor of Gewürztraminer.

When he left Illinois, Barrett sent the cross to the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station grape breeding program in Geneva so scientists at the Cornell University station could develop the grape, Hoffman said.

Grape breeders in Geneva found Traminette to have excellent wine quality, good productivity, partial resistance to fungal diseases, and cold hardiness superior to Gewürztraminer, while retaining a similar character to its parent.

Rooster Hill Traminette's medal was among 43 Double Golds awarded to wines in the competition, nearly triple the 15 wines and spirits that received the designation last year. Twenty-five percent of entries this year won Gold or Double Gold, up from 15 percent in 2013.

"These results confirm what we have been hearing from wine enthusiasts everywhere: New York wines are among the very best, and they¹re getting better every year," Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said on the competition's website.

Harvey Reissig, a Geneva resident and chairman of the competition, said, "In talking with our judges, they mentioned the overall outstanding quality of wines in this year's competition. It's not just one or two wineries. Many are making rapid growth and raising the benchmark for New York wines."

Rooster Hill won two other awards at the State Fair competition: a Silver Medal for its 2013 Chardonnay and a Bronze Medal for its 2013 Sauvignon Blanc.

Rooster Hill has been cited by Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator magazines for the quality of its wines and has been awarded more than 250 medals in its 13-year history. For more details, call 315-536-4773, e-mail or visit the web site at

Rooster Hill, which grows its own Estate grapes, is in the heart of Finger Lakes Wine Country in upstate New York. Finger Lakes Wine Country is the largest concentration of wineries east of California, boasting more than 100 wineries producing world-class wine. For more about the region, go to

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