Paumanok, Pindar Win Top Wine Prizes in NY

Paumanok Vineyards, Photo: Nicholas Chowske
Paumanok Vineyards, Photo: Nicholas Chowske

Two North Fork wineries won the top prizes Thursday in the 35th New York Annual Wine Classic, the industry’s equivalent of the Oscars.

Paumanok Vineyards in Aquebogue was named Winery of The Year, which is presented to the vineyard with the best overall showing. And Pindar Vineyards in Peconic took home the Governor’s Cup, a large silver chalice that recognizes the best in show of all entries in the competition. 

“We had a particularly strong showing from the North Fork of Long Island this year,” said Samuel Filler, executive director of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, which hosts the event with the Beverage Testing Institute. “The results of the Classic shine a spotlight on the fact that New York produces amazing wine.”

Other East End wineries in the Finger Lakes and Hudson Valley also took home awards in the contest. New York State is home to more than 1,200 wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries, with dozens across the Twin Forks.

“We thank our entire hard-working team at Paumanok Vineyards for their commitment to producing outstanding, delicious wines,” Paumanok Vineyards Winemaker Kareem Massoud said.

Paumanok Vineyards also won Best Sparking Wine for its Blanc De Blancs 2016, Best Red Wine for its Assemblage 2015, Best Sauvignon Blanc for its 2019, and Best Traditional Method for its 2016 Blanc De Blancs Chardonnay. 

Pindar was equally thrilled.

“Pindar Vineyards is so proud to have won the 2021 Governor’s Cup for our 2019 Gewürztraminer,” Pindar Vineyards Owner and General Manager Pindar Damianos said. “This has been a true testament to our dedication to winemaking on Long Island.”

The winning wine was released with the Dr. Dan’s label in honor of Pindar’s founder, Dr. Damianos, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the pioneering winery that is now the largest on LI. Pindar also won the only Platinum Medal of the competition in the Best White Wine category for its 2019 Dr. Dan’s Signature Collection White Blend.

In addition, McCall Wines in Cutchogue won Best Pinot Noir for its 2014 Reserve Corchaug Estate.