Top Awards Announced from the 2021 New York Wine Classic

Governor's Cup Presented to Pindar Vineyards, Paumanok Vineyards Named Winery of the Year

Last night, the New York Wine & Grape foundation announced the top winners of the 35th annual New York Wine Classic, a nationally recognized competition highlighting the best of New York’s wine. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul made the announcement during a special live virtual event.  This year, the Governor’s Cup, the most esteemed award given at the Classic, 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.

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. The “Winery of the Year” award is presented to the winery with 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.

Samuel Filler, Executive Director of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, said, “We wish to extend our congratulations to all the winners, and recognize the two historic and important wineries that took home the Governor’s Cup trophy and Winery of the Year award. We had a particularly strong showing from the North Fork of Long Island this year. The results of the Classic shine a spotlight on the fact that New York produces amazing wine worth exploring in every region across the state. We are looking forward to weather turning warm, and safe travel returning soon. Going on an adventure to visit the winners of the New York Wine Classic will be a perfect way to explore New York wines from corner to corner.”

Pindar Vineyards Owner & General Manager Pindar Damianos said, “Pindar Vineyards is so proud to have won the 2021 Governor’s Cup for our 2019 Gewürztraminer. This has been a true testament to our dedication to winemaking on Long Island. We’re proud to release this wine with the Dr. Dan’s label in honour of our founder, Dr. Damianos, to celebrate our 40th anniversary. We thank the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, the New York Wine Classic and the Beverage Testing Institute for this great award.”

Paumanok Vineyards Winemaker Kareem Massoud said, “”We are thrilled and honored to receive the 2021 Winery of the Year award at the New York Wine Classic. We thank the New York Wine & Grape Foundation for producing this event. Above all, we thank our entire hard-working team at Paumanok Vineyards for their commitment to producing outstanding, delicious wines. We congratulate all of our colleagues for their awards.”

Judging for The New York Wine Classic took place from November 1, 2020 – February 15, 2021 and included 607 entries from 96 wineries from across the state. A total of 1 Platinum, 138 Gold, 355 Silver, and 104 Bronze medals were awarded. For the first time ever, the NYWGF partnered with the Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) to judge wines submitted from across New York State.

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

We are 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

2021 New York Wine Classic Awards Presentation

Picture of New York Wine & Grape Foundation

New York Wine & Grape Foundation

The mission of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation is to promote the world-class image of New York grapes and wines from our diverse regions to responsibly benefit farmers, producers and consumers through innovative marketing, research, communication, and advocacy.