Round Lake Vineyards & Winery was among wineries who shined in the Mid-American Wine Competition July 12-14 in Ankeny, Iowa. Round Lake earned a Gold for Brianna, a Silver for La Crescent and a Silver for Frontenac Gris with smoked salmon food pairing.
The contest’s focus on Midwest wineries is especially meaningful to owner Scott Ellenbecker, who said, “We’ve placed well just recently in international competitions against grapes that can’t be grown here, so it’s great to ‘compare grapes to grapes’ and be judged against people producing the same cold-climate wines that we are.”
The Mid-American Wine Competition is open to commercial wineries of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
Ellenbecker said, “We like the format of this competition because it includes judging with food pairings and we know how important it is to have good flavor characteristics to complement a dish.”
Chief Judge Doug Frost said, “Typically wine competitions judge wines only against other wines, and typically the biggest wine wins. But wine is supposed to be consumed with food. So we are going to judge these wines in a setting more conducive to wines of balance, and by judging the wines in a setting more receptive to wines of balance, and by judging the wine with food, we think we will see a different outcome than the usual ‘bigger is better’ response.”
The competition is held on the campus of the Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa, which is just north of Des Moines. The college has the longstanding Iowa Culinary Institute which provides the infrastructure for the competition.