Surry Cellars, the label for wine produced through Surry Community College’s Viticulture and Enology program, was awarded three titles in the N.C. Fine Wines Competition.
The awarded wines were Best Sparkling for Blue Ridge Bubbles 2016, Best Dessert for Iced Petit Manseng 2013, and a Silver Medal for Blue Ridge White.
There were 115 wines entered in 2018; Surry Cellars claimed two of the top 12 spots. The top 12-rated wines become known as the N.C. Case Wines and are showcased at events throughout the year. Surry Cellars’ 2013 Specialty Lot 152 Sparkling was included in the inaugural competition’s case, winning in the category of Best Hybrid.
Surry Cellars is the teaching winery on the campus of Surry Community College, and is housed in the Shelton-Badgett NC Center for Viticulture and Enology. The wines are produced by students under the direction of faculty members.
The N.C. Fine Wines Competition is run by the N.C. Fine Wines Society, a non-profit organization that seeks to promote the quality of North Carolina Fine Wines and to fund a scholarship for North Carolina students, attending North Carolina colleges or universities, pursuing careers in enology, viticulture, and wine-related hospitality and agritourism programs.
This was the second year of the competition, which Surry Community College officials said is recognized as the toughest state specific competition. All wines submitted for consideration must be 100-percent grown and produced in North Carolina. The competition uses the Wine Spectator Scoring method, the most widely recognized scoring method in the industry. The wines are blind-tasted by advanced level sommeliers with no discussion during the competition.
As the only licensed, bonded winery run by a community college in the Southeast, those at Surry Community College were excited to receive recognition from a society with a cause so in line with the work done at Surry.
“These awards are about more than wine excellence. It showcases that Surry Community College’s Viticulture and Enology program produces quality graduates skilled in growing and making award-winning wines,” said Ashley Morrison, Sciences Division chair at the college.
“One of the purposes of this competition is scholarship; it is fitting that SCC’s students would be honored for wines they crafted from grapes that they grew in our vineyard. Our viticulture and enology program provides the knowledge and hands-on training that our students need to achieve their dreams; therefore, seeing the success of our graduates and current students is the greatest award.”
Surry’s viticulture and enology program offers a degree, diploma and certificate options with tracks in viticulture, enology, and marketing. Surry offers additional viticulture and enology workshops throughout the year through the Corporate and Continuing Education department. To learn more about SCC’s VEN program, visit www.surry.edu/wine. Follow the program on Facebook @ncviticulturecenter or Instagram @surrycellars.