|53rd Winery And Vineyard Edges Out Competition In Homestead Norton Cup Challenge |
Hot Springs, VA (November 6, 2023) â€“ In a very close final round tasting, Fifty-Third Winery and Vineyardâ€™s 2021 Norton edged out Chrysalis Vineyards at The Ag District, CANA Winery, and Casanel Vineyards and Winery to win The Homestead Norton Cup Challenge for 2023. Ten wineries competed for this yearâ€™s title with six esteemed judges evaluating the wines in multi-flight tastings on November 3. The challenge was held at The Omni Homestead as part of the 2nd anniversary celebration of the resortâ€™s Virginia Wine Experience.
â€śWeâ€™re proud to shine a spotlight on Virginiaâ€™s incredible wine industry and the Norton grape,â€ť said Mark Spadoni, managing director of the resort. â€śFor more than two centuries, these grapes have symbolized the Virginia wine industry and the hundreds of wineries throughout the Commonwealth,â€ť continued Spadoni.
The Norton Cup Challenge was coordinated by Dr. Bruce Zoecklein, Emeritus Professor of Enology at Virginia Tech University and Fred Reno, founder of Thomas Jefferson Wine Company and host of the Fine Wine Confidential podcast. The blind tasting placed wines from Barrel Oak Winery, CANA, Casanel, Chrysalis, DuCard Vineyards, Fifty-Third, The Homesteadâ€™s private label Norton, Horton Vineyards, Rappahannock Cellars, and The Williamsburg Winery in head-to-head flights.
In addition to Zoecklein, the judges included Todd Kliman, author of The Wild Vine and two-time James Beard award-winning writer and food critic; Frank Morgan, wine columnist and founder of DrinkWhatYouLike.com; Dr. Joy Ting, Exchange Director of the Virginia Winemakers Exchange; Paul Ting, WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) Level 3 certified and Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW); and Erin Scala , DipWSET, wine journalist and owner of Market Street Wine in Charlottesville.
Two centuries ago, the Norton grape was first cultivated in Richmond, Virginia with native American vines. Dr. Daniel Norborne Norton introduced the grape and it soon thereafter became the dominant wine production in the eastern and midwestern United States. Its popularity was ensured when it was awarded a Gold Medal at the Vienna Worldâ€™s Fair of 1873. Norton wines are richly colored with fruity aromas and often paired with red meat, wild game, or hearty cheeses.
About The Omni Homestead Resort
Welcoming travelers since 1766, The Omni Homestead Resort is one of America's most storied resorts, offering unparalleled hospitality and southern charm in a 2,300-acre setting within the Allegheny Mountains of southwestern Virginia. The Omni Homestead Resort is distinguished by 483 luxurious guest rooms and suites, 72,000 square feet of meeting space, an array of fine and casual dining choices, and more than 30 recreational amenities. The resort offers an expansive, luxurious spa with an exclusive, adults-only Serenity Garden, two championship golf courses including The Cascades, one of the nation's finest mountain courses and family-friendly attractions like a ski area, Equestrian Center, Shooting Club, falconry, water slides and lazy river. The Homestead became part of Omni Hotels & Resorts on July 1, 2013.