Girouard Vines Receives Awards
Tulsa’s Girouard Vines Winery was recently awarded Gold and Silver medals in the 2018 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest competition of American wines in the world. Both are among the first wines produced from new wine-grape varietals, the emerging products from the family-owned winery.
“These wines are a product of a Girouard family project that began 50 years ago when our founder and my father-in-law George Girouard began growing grapes in his Oklahoma City backyard with the dream of cross-pollinating traditional European grapes with wild Native American grapes to breed a new hardy great tasting wine-grape,” explained Jan Girouard, president and .
After testing thousands and thousands of seedlings, George eventually selected four of the hybrids (now named Southern Cross, Valjohn, By George and Plymouth) for commercial testing.
“Those are the four varieties from which these newly released wines are produced,” Girouard added.
All four of the hybrids were crossed with the same Native American grape-parent. The other grape-parent varietal for the Southern Cross grape was Cabernet Franc, and for Valjohn it was Merlot.
Wine produced from the Southern Cross grape, grown in Girouard Vines Block, Heringer Estates Vineyard, Clarksburg, California, in 2014 received the Gold Award, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2018.
“This dark, ruby colored red wine is pleasant and friendly with no hard edges. It’s a classy wine in all aspects,” said Randa Warren, a Tulsa master sommelier.
Wine produced from the Valjohn grape, also grown in Girouard Vines Block, Heringer Estates Vineyard, Clarksburg, California, in 2014 received the Silver Award, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2018. “The medium ruby wine, with notes of cherry and raspberry, is an easy-to-drink wine that will be great with pizza, Italian charcuterie and burgers off the grill,” Warren said.
The third wine, Girouard Vines American Cuvée, is a red wine produced from a blend of all four of the new George Girouard Hybrid wine-grapes – By George, Plymouth, Southern Cross and Valjohn.
“A medium red-purple color with gentle aromas of vanilla and soft cherry fruit. On the palate, one finds flavors of blackberries and black cherries,” Warren said about American Cuvée. “I like the zinfandel-like sweetness and richness enveloped with medium tannin that linger for 7-8 seconds.”
The new wines were released to the market in January and are available for purchase in Oklahoma liquor stores.
The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition received 6,960 entries from 35 states across the country to name the best American wines of 2018. To view the full list of winners, visit winejudging.com/medal-winners/.