April 05, 2013

Montelle Winery Wins Missouri's Award for Best Norton

C.V. Riley Award Recognizes Top Vintage Using State Grape

Montelle Winery received Missouri's top honors for Norton wine this morning, as Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler and Jim Anderson, executive director of the Missouri Wine and Grape Board presented Tony and Cindy Kooyumjian, owners of Montelle Winery, with the 2012 C.V. Riley Award.

"Missouri's wine industry continues to grow as consumers discover the outstanding quality and variety available in our state," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "The men and women of Missouri's wineries work extremely hard to produce outstanding grapes and wines and this award highlights Montelle Winery's commitment to excellence."

Norton wine, a red wine also known as Cynthiana, is made from Missouri's State Grape, Norton. The wine is often described as powerful and bold, with dark berry flavors and spicy overtones. It pairs well with smoked meats, barbecue, spicy seafood, strong cheeses and dark chocolate.

Montelle Winery's 2012 award for their Norton wine was only the second annual C.V. Riley Award. C.V. Riley was Missouri's first state-appointed entomologist and is credited for salvaging the French wine industry with his Phylloxera resistant rootstock. The award was established by the Missouri Wine and Grape Board in 2011.

Montelle Winery was founded in 1970 as Montelle Vineyards. In 1998, owner Tony Kooyumjian purchased the facility from founder Clayton Byers and began expanding the operation. Today, Montelle Winery produces red, white and blush wines, as well as fruit brandy. The winery also includes a tasting room, restaurant and event space.

Montelle Winery's 2009 Norton was also recognized as a top wine during the 2012 Governor's Cup Competition, tying for first-place in the Dry Red Wine category.

Missouri is currently home to more than 120 wineries, which employ more than 14,000 Missourians. The Missouri Wine and Grape Board was formed in 1984 to support the research, development and promotion of Missouri's grapes, wines and juices.

For more information on the Missouri Wine and Grape Board and the Missouri Department of Agriculture, visit mda.mo.gov.