Whitewater winery among winners of fair competition

Reeder Mesa Winery won the best of show award along with six medals at an annual commercial winemaker’s competition conducted as part of the Mesa County Fair.

Reeder Mesa won the top overall award and a gold medal for its 2011 Tempranillo. The Whitewater winery also won silver medals for its 2009 Petite Syrah and 2011 Petite Verdot as well as bronze medals for its 2009 Land’s End Red, 2011 Cabernet Franc and 2014 Riesling.

Eighteen commercial winemakers from around Colorado entered the 2015 competition. Entries were required to have 75 percent of its ingredients grown in Mesa County.

The panel of judges included sommeliers, wine columnists, wine critics and food and beverage directors. Steve Menke, an associated professor of enology at Colorado State University, facilitated the blind tasting.

“The wines in this year’s Mesa County wine competition highlighted the talents of the winemakers, who captured the varietal qualities of grapes or offered attractive blends,” said Shirley Nelson, a wine writer and repeat judge for the Mesa County fair competition as well as the Governor’s Cup competition for Colorado wines. “In the exploding world of wines, Mesa County wines certainly hold their own.”

The panel awarded four gold medals, 25 silver medals and 34 bronze medals.

Mesa Park Vineyards in Palisade won a gold medal for its 2012 Merlot as well as silver medals for its 2013 Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, Barn Owl Red and Family Reserve Red and a bronze medal for its 2014 Viognier.

Whitewater Hills Vineyards in Grand Junction won a gold medal for its 2012 Ethereal as well as silver medals for its 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Shiraz, 2014 Sweetheart Red and Riesling and bronze medals for its 2012 Cabernet Franc and 2014 Riesling and Meritage Rose.

Talon Winery in Palisade won the fourth gold medal awarded in the competition for its 2013 Riesling. The winery also won a silver medal for its 2012 Viognier and bronze medals for its 2012 Gewurtztraminer and 2013 Rosato.