Winston-Salem, N.C. (September 16, 2021) — Three hundred fifty-three wines from commercial and amateur winemakers competed in the 27th Annual Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition as part of the Carolina Classic Fair in Winston-Salem, NC. The competition began in 1995 to showcase the best winemakers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia or West Virginia.

All submissions were evaluated by three-judge panels in categories from classic cabernet sauvignon to sparkling wines, along with specialty categories like fortified wines, ciders and fruit wines.

In less than two years of operation, Effingham Manor Winery, Nokesville, VA, has won more than 100 medals including 50+ gold awards. Now, they can add “Best in Show” in the commercial category for its 2018 Tannat, a multi-award-winning red wine with notes ofblack currant and cherry that are met with strong, velvet tannins and savory notes of smoke, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice that linger on the palate. This wine also won the award for Best Red Dry Wine.

Sea Cabin Wine’s Noble 2019 took the honors for Best Amateur Wine. Sea Cabin Wines are a joint effort of husband and wife wine makers, Wayne and Penny Merricks, in Danville, VA. Their Noble 2019 is a sweet wine made from the red Muscadine grape that is native to North America.

The Best Dry White Wine was showcased by Laurel Gray Vineyards. Their 2019 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay is aged in French oak barrels for15 months. Apple, butter, vanilla and pineapple flavors are the high notes in this smooth wine that pairs with fruit plates, hard cheeses, light pasta dishes, chicken or seafood.

If you are looking for the Best White Sweet Wine, Rock of Ages Winery & Vineyard Flat River White tastes like eating fresh grapes off the vine at grandma’s house. On the front side of your taste buds, you get sweet delicious fresh fruity flavors, in the middle you taste the classic white Muscadine grape flavors, and then there is a slight tartness at the end.

The Best Red Sweet Wine was made by Old Homeplace Vineyard. Their Sangria impressed the judges with its fruity blend of Merlot and Riesling grapes that result in just the right sweetness (10% alcohol). 

To finish off your evening, the Best Dessert and Fruit Wine was awarded to Childress Vineyards’ for their Starbound Blueberry Dessert Wine,a port-style wine made with blueberries.

After 15 years as Superintendent for the Mid-Atlantic-Southeastern Wine Competition, Jim Collins announced that this year will be his last. “It has been a great fun ride all these years for me and my wife, Cheryl,” said Collins. “She has been there keeping me straight all the way.  What I will miss most is the camaraderie and great friendships that I have developed with the wineries, wine makers, judges and volunteers. They all made me look good. Cheers!!”

Total results will be on the Carolina Classic Fair website, CarolinaClassicFair.com, prior to opening of the Fair. The Carolina Classic Fair is the second-largest attended agricultural Fair in North Carolina and runs from October 1 to 10 at the fairgrounds in Winston-Salem. Advance Sale Discount Tickets are available online through the Fair’s web site, www.CarolinaClassicFair.com and Ticketmaster. The Advance Sale ends on Thursday, September 29 at 11:59PM. Advance Tickets can be purchased with no convenience charges at the Annex Box Office located at 414 Deacon Boulevard, Winston-Salem; hours are Monday to Saturday from 10:00AM to 5:00PM.

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