Campus: CSU Fresno -- March 5, 2004

Fresno State Enology Wins International Wine Awards for Fourth Year

California State University, Fresno student-produced wines have again won international acclaim – including four gold medals, three best of class, and two best of variety -- all from grapes grown in the San Joaquin Valley. Leading the vintage awards are several new releases.

The 2002 Fresno County Orange Muscat and 2003 San Joaquin County Primitivo Rosé — each with a gold medal, best of class and best varietal — led ten Fresno State wines that won honors at the 14th Annual 2004 New World International Wine Competition in Ontario.

Another highly-decorated wine was the 2002 California Syrah, winning a gold medal and best of class honors. The fourth wine to receive a prestigious gold medal was the California Port Dessert Wine.
A total of 14 awards will be presented to Fresno State’s Department of Viticulture and Enology representatives at the Inland Empire Wine Extravaganza, Gold Medal Showcase and Auction in Ontario later this spring.

Winemaster Kenneth Fugelsang plans to attend this wine tasting and auction, limited to only medal winning wineries, and will accept any medals and trophies on behalf of the university’s winery.

The New World Wine competition held in February 2003 was open to wines produced anywhere in the "New World" including all of North America, Central America and South America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Over 3000 entries compete for honors.

Fugelsang said the 2002 Orange Muscat was produced from Muscat Canelli grapes grown in the John Diener Vineyard in Fresno County and from Muscat Canelli brandy. The distillation of the Muscat Canelli was donated to the university by St. George Spirits in Alameda, California.

“This succulent wine features honey, hazelnut, apricot and citrus flavors,” Fugelsang said. “Look for this wine to continue to garner more awards.”

The 2002 California Syrah was also produced from grapes grown in the John Diener Vineyards in Fresno County. According to Fugelsang, this Syrah is a rich full-flavored style that will appeal to those who appreciate wine.

“Our gold medal California Port dessert wine, made in the traditional solera style, was aged in 60-gallon American oak cooperage for one to four years prior to bottling,” Fugelsang said. “The result is a medium-bodied dessert wine with abundant black fruit, licorice, caramel, chocolate and brown spice flavors.”
He said the 2003 Primitivo Rose is a unique wine with an abundance of berry aromas and flavors that is sure to be a popular choice for celebrations and light meal venues.

“We are very pleased at our student’s performance at the New World Wine Competition. We have exceeded our previous best record in terms of gold and other super awards for our wines,” Fugelsang added.

Robert Wample, chair and director of the Department of Viticulture and Enology and Viticulture and Enology Research Center at Fresno State is also proud of this accomplishment. “We have demonstrated once again that growers in the valley, using proper management practices, are capable of producing fruit that, in the hands of outstanding winemakers, can be made into award-winning wines,” he said.

Fresno State’s 2004 New World International best of class, best of variety, gold and silver medalists:

  • The 2002 Fresno County Orange Muscat (Best Muscat, Best of Class, Gold Medal) — produced from grapes grown by the John Diener Vineyard in Fresno County.
  • The 2003 San Joaquin County Primitivo Rosé (Best of Rosé/Blush, Best of Class, and Gold Medal) – from the Duarte Linden Hills Vineyards in San Joaquin County.
  • The 2002 California Syrah (Best of Class, Gold Medal) — produced from grapes grown by the John Diener Vineyard in Fresno County.
  • The university’s non-vintage California Port Dessert Wine (Gold Medal) – from a blend of three vintages produced from grapes grown in Fresno and Madera counties.
  • The 2002 San Joaquin County Petite Sirah (Silver Medal) – from the Duarte Linden Hills Vineyards in San Joaquin County.
  • The 2001 California Muscat Canelli (Silver Medal) — produced from grapes grown by John Diener in Fresno County.
  • The 2001 San Joaquin County Barbera (Silver Medal) — produced from grapes grown by Duarte Nursery’s Linden Hills Vineyards near Stockton in San Joaquin County.
  • The 2002 San Joaquin County Barbera (Silver Medal) – from grapes grown by Duarte Nursery’s Linden Hills Vineyards near Stockton in San Joaquin County.
  • The university’s non-vintage Red Wine Vinegar (Silver Medal) — produced from grapes grown in Fresno State Vineyards.

Fresno State is the first university in the nation to establish a bonded winery on campus as part of its overall educational program. Operated independent of the university by the Agricultural Foundation, the state received its license in 1998 and now also sells its products in local retail outlets. All proceeds from the market benefit the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology programs.

For more information on the Department of Viticulture and Enology, call 559 278-2089 or visit http://cast.csufresno.edu/ve.

For more information about the Fresno State winery and wine events, including Vintage Days (April 17) and Vino Italiano (Apr. 22), visit the winery’s web site, visit www.FresnoStateWinery.com.

Media Contact: Tom Uribes (559) 278-5366 or 246-1717


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