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John Ernest wins in Mid-American wine competition

July 20, 2010
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald
TOLEDO CHRONICLE - John Ernest Vineyard & Winery, rural Tama, received one silver medal for their Hillside Heaven Rosé, and one bronze medal for their Bohemie Blush Rosé in the Fourth Annual Mid-American Wine Competition held at the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Ankeny Campus.

“These wines were top notch,” said Bob Foster, Director of the Mid-American Wine Competition (MAWC.) “Consumers ought to track them down and enjoy them.”

The competition was held July 9-11 and included wines from 15 Midwestern states. Over 550 wines were entered by 96 different wineries. Professional wine judges from throughout the United States awarded 40 gold medals, 98 silver medals, and 185 bronze medals. Full results can be found at

“The quality of the wines from the Midwest is very impressive,” said lead judge Doug Frost of Kansas City. “It conclusively demonstrates that the Midwest is making top notch wines.”

In selecting judges, emphasis was placed upon finding experts in wine production, wine service and wine distribution. The judges were selected by Chief Judge Doug Frost of Kansas City, who is one of only three persons in the world to earn both the coveted Master of Wine degree and the Master Sommelier title. The judging panel included a mix of seasoned professionals and a select group of local wine aficionados who passed a strenuous Judges Qualifying Exam. The judges included Richard Peterson, famed California wine maker who was born and raised in Iowa and made his first wine on a farm less than ten miles from the competition’s site; Ellen Landis, California wine writer and Sommelier; Wayne Belding, Master Sommelier from Colorado; Dr. Murli Dharmadhikari, Iowa State Extension Enologist. The judges have over 200 years of cumulative judging experience.

“The beauty of this competition is that every year we find wines that are exceptional not by Midwest standards, but wines which are exceptional by any standard” said Paul Gospodarczyk, DMACC Enology Instructor and Certified Sommelier.


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