On Friday, October 19 the most prestigious award at the 19th Annual Canberra International Riesling Challenge (CIRC)—Best Wine of the 2018 Challenge—was given to the Black Star Farms 2017 Arcturos Dry Riesling. This is only the second time in CIRC’s 19-year history that an American wine has come out on top.

Hosted in Canberra, Australia, the CIRC was created to highlight the grape that defines white wine, riesling. This challenge attracts wines from riesling producing countries around the world and is the most significant event of its type. A record number of rieslings, 567, from six countries—Australia, New Zealand, USA, Germany, France and the Czech Republic—were judged at this year’s Challenge.

Kerm Campbell, Black Star Farms grower/owner says, “This medal is a compliment for our growers, our vine care managers and our winemaking team, and on a broader scale, a game changer for Northwest Michigan in particular.”

The Black Star Farms 2017 Arcturos Dry Riesling was awarded Best Riesling in the World, scoring 98 points in addition to taking home Best Dry Riesling and Best American Riesling. All six rieslings Black Star Farms submitted took home medals.

Professional Wine Judge Jim Trezise, who is also the founder of the International Riesling Foundation and president of WineAmerica says, “This is a huge accomplishment for them, for Michigan wines, and for American rieslings. The fact that they also won medals for every wine entered is also amazing, showing consistent quality across styles and vintages. I have judged at the CIRC for four years, and it is the most rigorous and competitive event I’ve experienced. This year there were more than 500 rieslings from several countries, and Black Star Farms came out on top. Congratulations to the Black Star team, and thanks for making America proud.”

Black Star Farms Award-Winning Rieslings
  • 2017 Arcturos Dry Riesling trophy for Best Riesling in the World (98 points). Also received Best Dry Riesling and Best American Riesling.
  • 2016 Arcturos Winter Harvest Riesling received an Elite Gold (96 points). Only 18 wines at the Challenge were awarded an Elite Gold.
  • 2017 Arcturos Semi-Dry Riesling received a Gold (95 points).
  • 2016 Arcturos Dry Riesling got Silver (90 points).
  • Both the 2016 Arcturos Semi-Dry Riesling and the Sparkling Riesling have been awarded Bronze medals (89 points).

“It’s always an honor to be recognized for the quality of our region. 2017 was certainly an exemplary vintage showcasing many of the best attributes of riesling growing in this climate. This honor will further raise the standards by which we continue to create our wines,” says Lee Lutes, head winemaker at Black Star Farms.

Black Star Farms has yet to release 2017 vintages but is taking pre-order requests via email at chrisl@blackstarfarms.com.

Visit Black Star Farms

Black Star Farms is a 20-year-old, grower-owned winery located in the heart of Northwest Michigan’s Traverse Wine Coast with more than 160 acres of vineyards on both the Old Mission Peninsula and the Leelanau Peninsula. Featuring two wine processing facilities, three tasting rooms, a distillery, luxury inn, farm-to-table café, equestrian center and meeting and event spaces, it’s a truly unique expression of the region.

Upcoming Events at Black Star Farms

Premium Wine & Cheese Tasting — Now thru December
Harvest Dinner — November 10
Brunch With Santa — December 16
New Year’s Eve Wine Dinner — December 31
Weekend Dinner at the Inn — January thru April

Northern Michigan Wine