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Bella-Brooke Vineyard takes home awards from Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

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St. Lawrence County’s sole vineyard and winery is also an international award winner after March’s 2014 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in Rochester.

Besting more than 3,756 wines from 887 wineries, 20 countries and all 50 states, three of the four wines produced at the Bella-Brooke Vineyard, Edwardsville, took home medals from the March 29-30 competition.

The 2012 vintage Frontenac Gris, a semi-dry wine with notes of citrus and lemongrass, took home the gold in its category.

“I was very surprised,” Co-owner Gary L. Davis said of the results.

Besides the gold for their Frontenac Gris, the Black Lake vineyard also won silver for their Frontenac – featuring a sweet blackberry, black current and plum flavor – and bronze for their Marquette – which is a semi-dry wine with a slight cherry flavor.

All of the wine is grown, processed and bottled on location in Edwardsville with wine tasting available for those who want to taste some of the best the county has to offer.

Mr. Davis said despite the awards, his favorite wine is the yet-unrecognized La Crescent which offers a honey, citrus and apricot flavor.

“Our best wine didn’t win anything,” he joked.

With three out of the four wines the vineyard entered winning awards this year, Mr. Davis said Bella-Brooke is ready to expand its selection with four additional wines.

The vineyard is owned by Gary and Carol Davis and Larry and Jodi Hollister, who started the business as a labor of love in 2008.

Based in a refurbished barn with eight acres of hearty vines capable of withstanding north country winters, the vineyard and winery have become a staple in the region offering a venue for private parties, live music and weddings near on the lake.

Mr. Davis said their location has afforded them the opportunity to interact with many of the region’s summer residents who come to enjoy Black Lake’s fishing opportunities and have made Bella-Brooke part of their routine.

Beginning May 1, Mr. Davis said, the winery will be open Sunday through Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. and from noon to 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

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