Moersch reigns at wine competition

Published 9:11 pm Thursday, February 23, 2012

Round Barn Winery

Matthew Moersch, winemaker at Free Run Cellars and Round Barn Winery, took first place in three of the categories, including Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and Riesling, at the fifth annual Southwest Michigan Wine Evaluation, hosted by the Michigan Grape Society on Feb. 8.

The wine-tasting event was led by three master sommeliers, Ron Edwards, Kathy Morgan and Matthew Citriglia, who guided participants through blind tastings of wines from the Lake Michigan Shore Appelation, along with examples of wine styles from their traditional “home” regions.

At the end of the blind tasting evaluation, the sommelier panel provided feedback and ranked the local Michigan wines alongside their benchmark wines.

Free Run’s Dry Gewurztraminer took first place in its category. Free Run’s Dry Riesling was also rated first out of the Rieslings, placed better than 11 other wines in the category, with Citriglia hailing it as his “favorite of the flight.”

The Round Barn Winery’s Chardonnay tied for first with two other local Chardonnay’s beating out six other local wines and two benchmark wines.
In all three winning categories, Moersch’s wines beat the benchmark wines.

“I couldn’t have made these wines without the help of those around me so I have to give credit to my assistants, Isaac and Robbie, and, of course, my dad, who has taught me so much,” Moersch said.  “Our hard work is paying off when three of the four wines we entered in the tasting were ranked first.  We are really pleased with those results.

Our goal is to continue to work hard and make really great wines.”

One of Moersch’s areas of expertise is producing wines from the Alsace region of France, where he has traveled and studied and which shares similar growing conditions to the Lake Michigan Shore Appelation.