Black Star Farms is proud to be part of a wine region that has repeatedly received notoriety for its quality wines and food destinations. Further adding to this notoriety the winery is honored to announce that the 2008 Leelanau Sparkling Wine and the 2009 Arcturos Riesling have earned two medals for American Examples of Greatness at the recent Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition.

Of this recognition head winemaker at Black Star Farms Lee Lutes notes, “these wines are showcase examples of what we in this region do so well.  The sparkling wines only continue to improve, as we take on ever-greater knowledge of our fruit sources and sites, and the Rieslings continue to benefit from our lengthy cooler seasons and mineral driven soils.  What these accolades do is reinforce so much of what we are striving for in this dynamic grape growing region.”

The Jefferson Cup Invitational is a competition founded by Doug Frost, one of only three individuals in the world to have achieved the titles of Master Sommelier and Master of Wine. Of this year’s competition Frost notes, “With 606 wines tasted there was a great diversity of wines from every quality wine producing region in the country; including representation from Washington, Michigan, Virginia and Texas as well as some standout wines from California, New York and Oregon.” 

This competition is unique in that wineries’ wines are selected and invited to participate. Wines range from regions all across America. The Jefferson Cup Invitational does not award golds, silvers and the like. Rather, the invited wines have all proven their excellence in competitions and tastings throughout the last year. The intent and belief of the competition is that these are wines that are extremely deserving of the nation’s attention.

This year’s judges included the following industry luminaries: Wayne Belding MS (past Chairman of the Court of Master Sommeliers and a Boulder, Colorado wine merchant), Laura dePasquale MS (one of the world’s few female Master Sommeliers), Ellen Landis (proprietress of Landis Shores Resort at California’s Half Moon Bay and long time California wine competition judge), Bob Foster (writer, The California Grapevine), Mendel Kohn (a San Francisco based industry professional and wine and spirits judge), Doug Frost MS, MW (author and consultant), Robert Noecker (a Midwestern wholesaler and thirty year veteran of the wine industry), Jeff Miller (a Kansas distributor of two and a half decades experience), Guy Stout MS (Texas-based Southern Wine Spirits education director), and Joyce Angelos (a Missouri wholesaler and industry veteran of twenty-five years).

 The Jefferson Cup Invitational has celebrated its eleventh year as the only competition that honors the best of the best among wineries from all of America’s wine regions. Each year select great wines from across America are selected; the 2010 competition included wines from twenty-one states. Best of all, this year’s Jefferson Cup coincided with the sixth annual fundraiser for Angel Flight Central, a charity that gives support for private pilots offering travel to people in medical emergencies. The Jefferson Cup fundraisers raised more than $90,000 for Angel Flight this year.