Special to the
Opelika Observer

Three local wineries and breweries performed well during the 4th Annual Alabama Commercial Wine Competition Aug. 11 in Huntsville.
Opelika’s Red Clay Brewing Company and Tallapoosa County’s Hodges Vineyards and Whippoorwill Wineries won a combined 12 medals during the competition.
Hosted annually by Alabama Wine, Inc. to promote Alabama wines, company founder Steve Young said the contest has helped promote the best beverages that the state has to offer.
“We’ve definitely seen greater interest in Alabama wines since we started four years ago –and that’s what we’re trying to accomplish,” Young said.
Three panels of 3-4 wine judges and local celebrities spent a morning at 1892 East Restaurant in Huntsville blind tasting award nominees to determine the placement and winners for each category.
In addition to gold, silver, and bronze medals, 11 “Best Of” awards, a Commissioner’s Cup for Best Alabama Wine and the 2018 Winery of the Year awards will be announced during the Big Spring Crush Wine Festival Sept. 29. The top award-winning wineries have been invited to be guests of Big Spring Crush and Alabama Wine to pour their winning wines at the Alabama Wine tent.
Following is a list of award winners for each business:
Hodges Vineyards
– Gold medal for the Sweet Blush with white muscadine and blueberry
– Silver medal for the 2017 Sweet White with white muscadine and yellow apple
Silver medal for the 2017 Sweet Blush with blueberry and strawberry
Bronze medal for Sweet Blush with pure strawberry
Red Clay Brewing
Silver medal for Lakeside
Bronze medal for 3 Ravens
Gold medal for Lenoir
Silver medal for Harvest Moon
Silver medal for Noble
Silver medal for Scuppernong
Bronze medal for Cynthiana.
It is rewarding to know that others appreciate your hard work. It also lets people know that wines don’t have to come from California to be good,” said Tim Watkins, owner of Whippoorwill Vineyards.
For more information or to read more about the competition, visit www.alabamawine.org.