The college's Gather 2015 dry Riesling captures a top award in the New York State Wine and Food Classic

HOPEWELL — Sure, it was a big win, if unexpected.

The Finger Lakes Community College’s Viticulture and Wine Tech. Corp. won the Best Limited Production Wine award for its 2015 Gather dry Riesling in the New York Wine and Food Classic competition.

Because this was a limited production — 10 bottles, according to Paul Brock, assistant professor of viticulture and wine production at the college — the win came as somewhat of a surprise.

But it’s also important to note that all eight FLCC wines under the Gather label that were entered in the competition held Aug. 9 and 10 in Watkins Glen earned medals, Brock said.

“It’s really a credit to our students and how they responded to education and worked as a team,” Brock said. “It’s good for us. It’s good for our students. And it’s good for New York state.”

The awards were based on blind tastings by 22 judges — five from California, nine from New York, seven from other states and one from England — who are wine writers, restaurateurs, retailers and educators. The competition is organized by Teresa Knapp of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation.

This was the first licensed, complete production since the FLCC center opened for classes in January 2015. The grapes were grown at Anthony Road Wine Co., the college’s teaching and demonstration vineyard in Yates County.

Every bottle from the 2015 vintage was entered in the competition, said Gina Lee, viticulture and wine technology specialist.

“This is a huge honor for our students, who can use this as bragging rights in their future endeavors,” Lee said.

And there was more good news for the FLCC program.

August Deimel, an adjunct faculty member who assisted Brock in the 2015 harvest, is a winemaker at Keuka Springs Vineyard, which was named Winery of the Year in the competition.