2021 New York Wine Classic

Organized annually by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, the New York Wine Classic celebrates a diverse selection of world-class wines from producers within the State. Judging for this year’s competition was conducted over a 4-month period, from November 1, 2020 – February 15, 2021 and included 607 entries from 96 wineries from across the state.

New this year, NYWGF partnered with the Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) to judge wines submitted from across New York state. A total of 1 Platinum, 138 Gold, 355 Silver, and 104 Bronze medals were awarded by BTI’s trained sensory panel comprised of beverage directors, sommeliers, top bartenders, retail buyers and educators.

The Governor’s Cup, a large silver chalice, recognizes the “Best of Show” or top prize of all entries in the New York Wine Classic.  This year, the Governor’s Cup was presented to Pindar Vineyards for its 2019 Dr. Dan’s Signature Collection, Gewurztraminer from the Long Island region. In addition, Paumanok Vineyards from Long Island was presented with the ‘Winery of the Year’ award, for the best overall showing based on the level and number of awards in relation to entries.

In addition to winning the Governor’s Cup, Pindar Vineyards, based in Peconic, also received the only Platinum Medal of the competition for Best White Wine. Pindar Vineyards was founded by Dr. Herodotus “Dan” Damianos – a pioneer that helped create the winemaking industry on Long Island in the early 1980’s—and continues today to be a family-run operation. Pindar produces over 70,000 cases of wine a year, making them the largest vineyard on Long Island.

Paumanok Vineyards, located in Aquebogue, also took home from the New York Wine Classic Gold Medals in Best Vinifera Red Blend; Best Traditional Method Sparkling Wine and Best Sauvignon Blanc.  Paumanok’s 127-acre estate is owned and managed by Ursula and Charles Massoud, and their three sons.  At Paumanok, premium vinifera grapevines are planted, consisting of Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The traditional dense planting of the vineyards at 1100 to 1400 vines per acre produces more concentrated fruit and therefore higher quality wines.

2021 New York Wine Classic
Awards Presentation

NYWC 2021 Medal - Governor's Cup

Governor’s Cup

Pindar Vineyards
Dr. Dan’s Signature Collection
Gewurztraminer 2019

NYWC 2021 Medal - Winery of the Year

Winery of the Year

Paumanok Vineyards
Aquebogue, NY, North Fork of Long Island

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation is proud to announce the following “Best of Category” winners:

NYWC 2021 Medal - Best White

Best White Wine

Pindar Vineyards
Dr. Dan’s Signature Collection
Gewurztraminer 2019

NYWC 2021 Medal - Best Sparkling

Best Sparkling Wine

Paumanok Vineyards
Blanc de Blancs 2016

Best Red Wine

Paumanok Vineyards
Assemblage 2015

Best Pink Wine

Ryan William Vineyard
Pinot Noir Rosé 2019

Best Dessert Wine

Boundary Breaks
Riesling Ice Wine

Scroll down for the list of “Best in Class” winners, and a link to download the full list of competition results.

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation is proud to announce the following “Best of Class” winners:

Best Cabernet Franc Lamoreaux Landing 2019 T23 Unoaked, Cabernet Franc, Finger Lakes.
Best Ice Wine (frozen on the vine) Boundary Breaks 2019 Ice Wine, Riesling, Finger Lakes.
Best Lemberger/Blaufränkisch Adirondack Winery 2018 Stargazer, Lemberger, New York State.
Best Merlot Goose Watch 2015 Merlot, Finger Lakes.
Best Pétillant Naturel (Pét-Nat) Fossenvue Winery 2018 Eighteen Forty-Eight Pétillant Naturel, Diamond, Finger Lakes.
Best Riesling (Medium Dry) Rooftop Reds 2017 Riesling, New York State.
Best Riesling (Medium Sweet) Wagner Vineyards 2019 Select, Riesling, Finger Lakes.
Best Riesling (Sweet) Penguin Bay 2019 Sweet, Riesling, Finger Lakes.
Best Cabernet Sauvignon Brotherhood 2017 New York Premium Selection, Cabernet Sauvignon, New York State.
Best Chardonnay (Oaked) Millbrook 2019 Proprietor’s Special Reserve, Chardonnay, Hudson River Region.
Best Force Carbonation/Transfer Method Stony Lonesome 2019 Sec, Chardonnay, Finger Lakes.
Best Gewurztraminer Pindar Vineyards 2019 Dr. Dan’s Signature Collection, Gewurztraminer, North Fork of Long Island.
Best Gruner Veltliner Dr. Konstantin Frank 2019 Gruner Veltliner, Finger Lakes.
Best Other Red Hybrid Varietal Northern Cross Vineyard 2018 Estate, Frontenac, Upper Hudson.
Best Other Red Vinifera Varietal Dr. Konstantin Frank 2018 Saperavi, Finger Lakes.
Best Pinot Gris Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards 2019 Pinot Gris, Finger Lakes.
Best Pinot Noir McCall Wines 2014 Reserve Corchaug Estate, Pinot Noir, North Fork of Long Island.
Best Red Blend (Vinifera & Non-Vinifera) Atwater 2019 Stone Bridge Red Blend, Finger Lakes.
Best Red Blend (Vinifera) Paumanok 2015 Assemblage Red Blend, North Fork of Long Island.
Best Riesling (Dry) Anthony Road 2019 Dry, Riesling, Finger Lakes.
Best Rosé (0 to 2% RS) Ryan William Vineyard 2019 Rosé, Pinot Noir, Seneca Lake.
Best Sauvignon Blanc Paumanok 2019 Sauvignon Blanc, North Fork of Long Island.
Best Traditional Method Paumanok 2016 Blanc De Blancs, Chardonnay, North Fork of Long Island.
Best Traminette Johnson Estate 2018 Estate Grown, Traminette, Lake Erie.
Best White Blend (Vinifera) Pindar Vineyards 2019 Dr. Dan’s Signature Collection White Blend, North Fork of Long Island.

2021 Entry Classes


  • Albariño
  • Cayuga
  • Chardonnay (Oaked)
  • Chardonnay (Unoaked)
  • Diamond
  • Gewürztraminer
  • Grüner Veltliner
  • Niagara
  • Pinot Gris
  • Riesling (Dry)
  • Riesling (Medium Dry)
  • Riesling (Medium Sweet)
  • Riesling (Sweet)
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Seyval
  • Traminette
  • Valvin Muscat
  • Vidal
  • Vignoles
  • Other Vinifera White Varietal
  • Other Hybrid White Varietal
  • Other Native White Varietal
  • White Blend (Vinifera)
  • White Blend (Vinifera & Non-Vinifera)
  • White Blend (Non-Vinifera)


  • Rosé (0 to 2% RS)
  • Blush (> 2% RS)


  • Traditional Method
  • Force Carbonation/ Transfer Method
  • Pétillant Naturel (Pet-Nat)


  • Baco Noir
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Concord
  • Lemberger/Blaufrankisch
  • Léon Millot
  • Malbec
  • Maréchal Foch
  • Marquette
  • Merlot
  • Noiret
  • Petit Verdot
  • Pinot Noir
  • Syrah
  • Other Red Vinifera Varietal
  • Other Red Hybrid Varietal
  • Other Native Hybrid Varietal
  • Red Blend (Vinifera)
  • Red Blend (Vinifera & Non-Vinifera)
  • Red Blend (Non-Vinifera)


  • Late Harvest
  • Ice Wine (frozen on the vine)
  • Iced Wine (frozen after harvest)
  • Other Dessert Wine (over 14% alcohol)
  • Fortified (Port-like)
  • Sherry-style


  • Honey Wine/Mead
  • Fruit Wine
  • Sparkling Fruit Wine
  • Orange Wine

Competition Rules

The competition is open to any wine produced in and bearing an approved New York AVA as established by the TTB.

A complete listing of New York AVAs can be found here: https://www.ttb.gov/wine/established-avas#New-York

  • Finger Lakes/Cayuga/Seneca
  • Hudson River/Upper Hudson River
  • Lake Champlain
  • Lake Erie
  • Long Island/North Fork/Hamptons
  • New York/New York State
  • Niagara Escarpment OR a New York County

The competition is also open to specialty wines (non-grape wines) and mead produced in New York State.

Non-grape wines and mead will have their own award and are not eligible for the Governor’s Cup round.

  • All entries must be commercially available in New York state at the time of entry
  • All bottles must have a government-approved label attached
  • Varietal wines must contain 75% of the labeled grape variety, otherwise it must be entered as a blend
  • In order to be eligible for the Winery of the Year Award, a winery must enter seven (7) or more grape wines
  • There will only be a Best of Class winner for a given class if there are 7 or more entries in the class and at least one entry achieves a gold medal.


Enter online through the Beverage Testing Institute Client Portal HERE.

There are two entry options that provide different levels of promotional tools and deliverables detailed here. Both options are for the same competition, the New York Wine Classic.

NOTE: No paper entry forms will be accepted. You MUST enter online, directly through BTI in order for your wines to be judged in this years competition.

*NYWGF MEMBERS: Please contact Jennifer Cooper at [email protected] to obtain your code to receive a discount of $10 per entry.

**Be sure to click the 2021 SCHEDULE under the US Wine Review Schedule tab when you’re entering. The link for the Classic can be found in the January 1st block (please see below).

Ship Two (2) 750 ml bottles or equivalent to:

The Lab
OK Imports, LLC
4849 N. Milwaukee Ave, Suite 304
Chicago, IL 60630 USA
P: 773-930-4080

Please note: To comply with shipping regulations and to avoid a fine, you must include ASR (Adult Signature Required) in the reference field of your airway bill and affix an ASR sticker to the outside of your package.

Shipping info, FAQs and other handy info can be found here: https://bevtest.com/services/reviews/resources/#shipping

BTI’s Points-to-Medals conversion scale:

  • 96-100 – Superlative (Platinum Medal)
  • 90-95 – Exceptional (Gold Medal)
  • 85-89 – Highly Recommended (Silver Medal)
  • 80-84 – Recommended (Bronze Medal)
  • 79/NR – Not Recommended (No Medal)

For this engagement, BTI’s Platinum medal would be equivalent to a Double Gold medal.

You can read more about BTI’s methodology and judging panel at: https://bevtest.com/lab/

Entries are accepted and progressively reviewed starting November 1st, 2020 through January 31, 2021 with three submission deadlines on the first of every month. Individual wine results will be distributed directly to the wineries 45 days after the submission deadline.

Enter by:November 1stDecember 1stJanuary 1st
Results Received:December 15thJanuary 15thFebruary 15th

Still have questions?

If you have any questions regarding submissions reach out to BTI’s Client Marketing Manager via e-mail [email protected] or call 773-930-4080.

If you have any questions regarding your membership status with the Foundation, or how this year’s competition is different from year’s past, reach out to Jennifer Cooper, Membership & Events Manager at: [email protected] or call 315-924-3706.