Congratulations to Jonathan Oakes, the Oakes family and everyone who pitched in to make the 2008 Icewine of Vidal Blanc the very best in New York State after winning the Best In Show at the 4th annual New York Icewine Competition.

This isn’t shocking news to anyone that’s followed the trail of this wine’s previous double gold medal awards and high wine ratings but it does reinforce that in only a few years time, Leonard Oakes Estate Winery has proven itself to be one of the best Icewine producers in the country – and some would argue the world.

Winemaker Jonathan Oakes sees the acknowledgment as an indicator of the region’s future.

“I think there’s just unlimited potential in our area,” said Oakes. “It’s going to rely heavily on who jumps out and makes a distinct claim as to what is what our region can be known for.”

Oakes, who also leads the winemaking team at Schulze Vineyards & Winery, is pushing ahead while reaching out to other winemakers in the area to share knowledge and collaborate on how the region as a whole can raise the bar for quality Icewine in Niagara, USA.

As a consumer the best way support the local Icewine industry is to buy a bottle and see for yourself what all the fuss is about. Oakes’s 2008 vintage is almost sold out and he has the 2009 ready to go after the 2008 is no more.

For more on Icewine click here, here and here for past links and stories on the subject.