Michigan Wine Competition : Michigan Wines
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2019 Michigan Wine Competition

Wine Competition - Michigan Wines

The 2019 Michigan Wine Competition is coordinated through a partnership between Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Michigan State University (MSU), The School of Hospitality Business at MSU, Michigan Wine Collaborative (MWC), and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). Read the press release for more information.

Stay tuned for entry material and 2019 Competition information.

2018 Medal Winners

View the results of the 2018 Michigan Wine Competition - by Category

View the results of the 2018 Michigan Wine Competition - by Medal

Search the complete list of awards received by Michigan wines from competitions around the world.

Judges for the 2019 Competition will be posted shortly.

Judges for the 2018 Michigan Wine Competition

2018 Judges Booklet (PDF)

Chris Cook

Christopher Cook, Superintendent and Chief Judge
Chris' career spans 25 years as a wine writer, restaurant critic, restaurant guide editor, and wine competition superintendent and judge. He is currently Chief Restaurant Critic and Wine Writer for HOUR Detroit magazine. For 12 years, he was wine columnist for the Detroit Free Press. metrocook@earthlink.net

Dan Berger

Dan Berger, Sonoma County, CA
Dan Berger, former Los Angeles Times Wine Columnist, earned a degree in Journalism and spent the next ten years as a general assignment reporter and editor for The Associated Press. He began writing about wine in 1976 and has been nationally syndicated since 1979. He and his wife, Juliann Savage, publish a private weekly wine newsletter, Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences, which began in 1996. He has contributed articles to Wines & Vines, Decanter Magazine in London, Wine Press Northwest, Tasters Guild Journal, Sommelier Guild Journal, California Grapevine, trade journals Cheers and Beverage Dynamics, and numerous others. He has been a keynote speaker at wine marketing seminars as well as a speaker at the Australian Technical Symposium in Adelaide and the License to Steal Marketing Conference in Ohio. He also presents a lecture each year at the OIV Wine Marketing Course at UC Davis. In 2010, Dan was inducted into the Wine Media Guild Hall of Fame in New York. He is vice president and on the board of directors of the International Riesling Foundation. Among the other honors he has received are the Wine Literary Award, the Wines and Vines Magazine award for "Wine Writer of the Year," and the Father Junipero Serra Award for contributions to the wine industry. He is also an internationally respected wine judge, having judged at wine competitions throughout North America, Europe and Australia. His books include Readers' Digest's "Wine Routes of North America"; "Beyond the Grapes: An Inside Look at Napa Valley"; and "Beyond the Grapes: An Inside Look at Sonoma County." Dan is also the host of a one-hour radio show on wine every Wednesday afternoon on KSRO, the largest AM radio station in Santa Rosa. winenut@gmail.com

Jill Blume

Jill Blume, Purdue University, IN
Jill is the enology specialist in the Department of Food Science at Purdue University. As a member of the Purdue Wine Grape Time she is responsible for enhancing the quality of Indiana wines through workshops, sensory evaluations and laboratory analyses. Jill is executive director of the INDY International Wine Competition and assistant instructor for FS470 Wine Appreciation, voted Best Class at Purdue. She manages the enology laboratory and pilot winery, and enjoys judging wine at several competitions each year. blume@purdue.edu

Joe Borrello

Joe Borrello, Grand Rapids, MI
A wine journalist, consultant and educator, Joe has long been a driving force for promoting wines, and Michigan as a wine producing state. He has judged this competition since its inception forty years ago at the old Michigan State Fair grounds. In addition, Joe is president of Tasters Guild International, and runs its annual wine competition, one of the largest in the country. joeb@tastersguild.com

Mary Campbell

Mary Campbell, Ann Arbor, MI
The longtime resident launched Everyday Wines in the Kerrytown Market area in Ann Arbor, close to downtown. The store's award-winning store design was created by two professors in the University of Michigan's Graduate School of Architecture: Neil Robinson and Jason Young. Her inventory is concentrated on great value in unique, eclectic wines. everydaywines@gmail.com

Cortney Casey

Cortney Casey, Detroit, MI
Cortney is a certified sommelier and co-founder of MichiganByTheBottle.com, a website and online community that has promoted the entire Michigan wine industry since 2009. She's also co-owner of Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room, tasting rooms operated in partnership with multiple Michigan wineries, located in Shelby Township, Royal Oak and Auburn Hills. She writes the monthly Michigan wine blog for HourDetroit.com and is a contributing writer for the state's annual Michigan Wine Country magazine. She previously has served as a judge at the Michigan Wine Competition and the Great Lakes Wine Competition. cort@michiganbythebottle.com

Amanda Danielson

Amanda Danielson, Traverse City, MI
In July of 2004, Amanda and her husband opened Trattoria Stella on the old state hospital grounds in Traverse City, which in 2018 made the list Wine Enthusiast 100 Best Wine Restaurants in America. She passed the Advanced Sommelier exam in 2007 and took her first crack at the Master in 2012. In 2014, Amanda and her partners celebrated ten years at Trattoria Stella by opening their second restaurant in the heart of downtown Traverse City: The Franklin. Also in 2014, Amanda launched the City of Riesling symposium, which brings Riesling makers from all over the world to Traverse City for an ambitious weekend of wine tasting and education. Amanda directs the beverage and staff development programs at both restaurants and the newly resurrected Blue Goat Wine & Provisions, a retail shop dating back to 1974 that she opened anew in 2017. Amanda regularly works with young sommeliers and servers to keep the service in hospitality and mentors those who choose to attempt the Court of Master Sommeliers examinations. amanda@stellatc.com

Jill Ditmire

Jill Ditmire, Indianapolis, IN
Jill is a Broadcast Journalist and Omnimedia Wine Specialist who uses her wine wit and wisdom in print, radio, television and retail. An AWS Certified Wine Judge, she has judged wine competitions for 20 years. Jill's television and radio news career includes work in Detroit and Indianapolis for both commercial and public broadcasting stations. jaditmire@mindspring.com

Doug Frost

Doug Frost, Kansas City, MO
Doug is a Kansas City author who is one of only four people in the world to have achieved the remarkable distinctions of Master Sommelier and Master of Wine. He has written three books: Uncorking Wine (1996), On Wine (2001), and the Far From Ordinary Spanish Wine Buying Guide in its third edition (2011); is the global wine and spirits consultant for United Airlines; and writes about wine and spirits for many publications. Frost is the director of the Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition, the Mid-American Wine Competition, the Washington Cup Spirits Competition, the host of the Emmy Award winning PBS-TV show FermentNation, and is a founding partner of Beverage Alcohol Resource, an educational and consulting company whose other partners include Dale DeGroff, Steve Olson, Paul Pacult and David Wondrich. dougmsmw@gmail.com

Scott Harvey

Scott Harvey, St. Helena, CA
As a European trained wine maker, Scott has been producing wines in America for 45 years. He has produced wines from Michigan, New York and California. His tenure includes Montevina, Renwood and Folie a Deux where he created Menage a Trois. He and his wife Jana currently produce "Old World" style wines in Amador County and Napa Valley under the Scott Harvey and Jana labels. scottharveywines@comcast.net

Ellen Landis

Ellen Landis, Vancouver, WA
Ellen is a Certified Sommelier, wine journalist, wine educator, and wine event moderator. She was sommelier at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay, and owner/wine director/sommelier at Landis Shores Oceanfront Inn on Miramar Beach (prior to selling the hotel to devote more time to the world of wine). Ellen's wine education includes the University of California at Davis, the Society of Wine Educators Certified Specialist of Wine program, and the Court of Master Sommeliers Certified Sommelier program. She judges several regional, national and international wine competitions each year. ellen@ellenonwine.com

Rick Lopus

Rick Lopus, Detroit, MI
Rick is a longtime fixture in the Detroit area's fine wine scene. He has been a wine educator, wine judge, a counselor to restaurants on their wine lists, and a force in the area's wine importing and distribution business. Rick is currently vice-president of Great Lakes Wine and Spirits. rlopus@GLWAS.com

Roz Mayberry

Roz Mayberry, Grand Rapids, MI
Roz is the wine buyer and consultant at D&W Fresh Market chain. Roz s interest in wine began when she was a 10-year-old living in France, and found herself immersed in a culture where even the schools served wine at lunch. After spending 20 years teaching English and French Literature at the university level, Roz made a midlife career change and pursued her passion for food and wine with D&W. roz_mayberry@spartanstores.com

Tim McNally

Tim McNally, New Orleans, LA
Tim hosts the two-hour radio program, broadcast every weekday on WGSO 990AM in New Orleans, The Dine, Wine and Spirits Show. He and his wife, Brenda, were founders of the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, an annual festival that attracts more than 14,000 wine lovers, 800 wineries and over 125 New Orleans restaurants to the city in May. Tim is the Wine & Spirits Editor for New Orleans Magazine, monthly feature writer, and author of the weekly blog, Happy Hour. He is honored to be invited to judge wines in competitions all over the U.S. and Europe. timideas@bellsouth.net

Dick Peterson

Dick Peterson, Napa, CA
Dr. Richard Grant Peterson, an Iowa native, began his career when a jug of fermenting homemade Concord grape juice exploded in the back of his car, as he was driving. From that experience, he eventually received a Ph.D. in Agricultural Chemistry from U.C. Berkeley in 1958. He worked 10 years with the E. & J. Gallo Winery, becoming Research Director and Assistant Production Manager. He was hired at Beaulieu Vineyards by the legendary Andre Tchelistcheff. He later held the top positions at Monterey Vineyard, and Atlas Peak Vineyards. Dick also invented the steel palate to stack barrels so that they don't roll, now commonplace throughout the industry. winemaker@aol.com

Paolo Sabbatini

Paolo Sabbatini, East Lansing, MI
An Associate Professor in Michigan State University's Department of Horticulture and a native of Italy, Paolo works with graduate students in the field of viticulture, which in Michigan is the study of practices that can improve the performance of assorted grape varieties in cooler climates of the United States, Germany and France. sabbatin@msu.edu

Dick Scheer

Dick Scheer, Ann Arbor, MI
A wine educator and former Chief Judge of this competition, Dick owns Village Corner, one of Michigan's great fine wine shops. Scheer started in the wine business in 1964 in the heart of the main campus at University of Michigan, which for 40-plus years was home to 5,000 wines, 600 spirits, 150 beers, and 350 cigars. winerat@villagecorner.com

Eduard Seitan

Eduard Seitan, Chicago, IL
Eduard is a certified sommelier and head wine buyer for the famed restaurant group that owns the restaurants Publican, avec and Blackbird. He is a native of Romania, and floor manager and head server at Blackbird, manager at avec, and oversees their beverage programs. He developed the beer centric beverage program for The Publican to complement its more casual, beer-concept restaurant. seitan@me.com

Todd Steiner

Todd Steiner, Columbus, OH
Todd is the State of Ohio's Enologist, and has run The Ohio State University's Enology program since 2001. Todd received a B.A. in Biology from Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas. His research and extension efforts focus on various vineyard cultural practices and enological procedures enhancing wine quality and consistency for the Ohio grape and wine industry. steiner.4@osu.edu

Jim Trezise

Jim Trezise, Penn Yan, NY
Jim is President of WineAmerica, the National Association of American Wineries headquartered in Washington, DC which protects the business climate for the American wine industry. He previously founded and served for 35 years as President of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, and also founded and served for 10 years as President of the International Riesling Foundation. He has received many industry awards including the Grand Award of the Society of Wine Educators and the Wine Integrity Award of the Lodi Winegrape Commission. He lives and works on Keuka Lake in New York's fabulous Finger Lakes region. jimtrezise@wineamerica.org

Madeline Triffon

Madeline Triffon, Southgate, MI
Madeline joined Plum Market in 2011 as the in-house Master Sommelier. Plum Market is a full-service grocery retailer with stores in Southeastern Michigan and Metro Chicago. Madeline directs wine tasting events, hand selects wines for in-store and online retail sales, and serves as a corporate wine educator. Madeline is one of 149 professionals who have earned the title Master Sommelier as part of the American chapter; of these, 24 are women. Madeline was the second woman in the world to pass the M.S. exam. She is a Chairman Emeritus of the American Chapter of the Court of Master Sommeliers and has also served as Scholarship Chair. For over 30 years, Madeline has directed wine programs and events in the Metro Detroit area. She has mentored dozens of service professionals and enjoys nothing more than watching them grow and excel. Sante Magazine named Madeline Triffon Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year for 1999. Restaurant Hospitality awarded her their Vanguard Award in 2002 for industry leadership and vision. In 2008, WCR (Women Chefs and Restaurateurs) awarded her their Golden Goblet Award for "Women Who Inspire." Cheers Magazine gave Madeline their Award for Beverage Excellence in 2011. In 2012, Champagne Krug awarded her a Lifetime Achievement Award for exceptional achievement in wine service, education and hospitality. mtriffon@gmail.com

Claudia Tyagi

Claudia Tyagi, Detroit, MI
Claudia began her wine career as Madeline Triffon s assistant in Detroit and later became wine director at the Omni Hotel, the Whitney Restaurant, and the London Chop House. In 1997, she completed her Master Sommelier exam, and became sommelier at The Dorchester Hotel in London England. The following year she moved to the Rio Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, where she supervised its multi-million dollar wine collection, tasting lounge, retail operation, including that of Napa, the restaurant of chef Jean-Louis Palladin. Today, she consults for wine clients nationwide. claudia0316@comcast.net

James Van Der Kolk

James Van Der Kolk, Grand Haven, MI
James founded i-lixir Beverage in 2012, the realization of a long-time dream that began as a startling realization in a small winery in a small town in Southwest Germany. Now, some 20 years later, James has worked in every level of the wine market - winery, importer, distributor - and consulted with retailers and restaurateurs. i-lixir is his rebellion against the direction the consolidated wine business is going. It is fun, passionate, a bit quirky, and focused on great wine, grown in interesting places, made by great people. jamesv@i-lixir.com

Bill Ward

Bill Ward, Minneapolis, MN
Bill is a wine, food, travel and lifestyle writer. His "Liquid Assets" column runs in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and his work has appeared in the Wine Enthusiast, Sommelier Journal and Wines & Vines magazines and the Spanish Wine Lover and Wine-searcher websites. His website, decant-this.com, is a blog and a travel-itinerary service. He won a James Beard Award in 2004 for a series on Italian regional cuisine. bwdecant@gmail.com

Michael Welsh

Michael Welsh, Livonia, MI
Mike is officially the "Wine Expert" who heads up the wine and beer department at Joe s Produce, a renowned wine and food emporium in Michigan's second largest city. He also has served as a wine consultant at major one-off wine and food events in the Detroit Metro area. mwelsh3205@gmail.com