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Carroll County wineries win medals at Indy competition

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By Phyllis McLaughlin

Some fine wines are produced in Carroll County and the surrounding area.

Two local wineries and two wineries just over the river in Vevay and Madison, Ind., won awards at the 2008 Indiana State Fair’s 17th annual Indy International Wine Competition this past weekend.

River Valley Winery, owned by Vicky and Krasi Georgiev, took home four medals.

The winery, which operates the Mehana at the corner of Sixth Street and Highland Avenue in Carrollton, took three bronze medals and one silver.

Vicky Georgiev said they received bronze medals for the 2006 Cynthiana in the Norton/Cynthiana class, the 2006 Bobby’s American Blush in the American Blush/Rosé class and the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon in that class. The silver medal went to their 2005 Mendovina in the Pure Honey Wines/Meads class.

The Indiana State Fair competition bills itself as one of the largest in the United States, this year drawing 3,200 entries in amateur and commercial categories from winemakers from 15 countries.

Previously, the Georgievs won medals at the Indy competition for their Marechal Foch, which took bronze medals in 2004 and 2006, and for their 2003 Cynthiana, which took a bronze in 2005 and a silver in 2006. They’ve also received bronze medals for their Concord and Vidal Blanc wines at the 2004 Northern Kentucky wine competition at the Alexandria, Ky., fairgrounds.

Georgiev said six of the eight wines they produce are now award winners. The two wines without that distinctions haven’t yet been entered into competitions, Krasi Georgiev said.

Another local winemaker, Shandio Valley, which operates a tasting room and wine-making supply store at 108 Court St., earned two bronze medals – one for its 2007 Bear’s Blush in the American Blush/Rosé class and another for its 2007 Riesling in the Riesling class.

Shandio owner Harold Olminsky, who moved to Carroll County near English with his wife, Jami, from Northwest Ohio, said they are very happy with the wins

This was the first time they have entered their wines in the Indy competition – in fact, it’s the first time they entered in the commercial wine category.

Previously, in Ohio, they had won awards for their wines in the amateur category.

The couple just started the commercial operation a year ago, and opened their store in April.

“It was an interesting experience, getting everything up and running and getting a couple medals right off the bat,” Olminsky said.

Other winners

in the region

Two of the four wineries in the Madison, Ind., area also won awards at the Indy competition.

The Ridge Winery in Vevay, Ind., located about two miles west of the Markland Dam bridge, took home three silver medals – the first for its 2007 Switzerland County 200th Anniversary Red in the Concord class, the second for its 2007 Blackberry in the Berry category and the third for its 2007 Wild Cherry in the Naturally Flavored Fruit Wines category.

Thomas Family Winery on Second Street in Madison took two bronze medals, one for its 2006 Pinot Grigio and one for its 2006 Riesling, and a silver for its 2006 Cabernet/Petit Sirah in the Red Vinifera Blend category.