Coyote Moon Wins New York State Winery of the Year

Coyote Moon Vineyards won New York Winery of the Year Award from the New York International Wine competition Monday. Photo by Stephen Swofford, Watertown Daily Times.

Coyote Moon Vineyards won New York Winery of the Year Award from the New York International Wine competition Monday. Photo by Stephen Swofford, Watertown Daily Times.

Coyote Moon Vineyards won New York Winery of the Year Award from the New York International Wine competition Monday.

The town of Clayton winery won nine awards at the competition, including the NY Winery award, along with three gold medals, three silver and two bronze. According to the New York International Wine Competition website, some of the winery’s award winners included their Riverrun, Brianna and Marquette vintages.

Tasting room manager Elena Comiskey said the winery has won 779 awards and medals over the years, with Twisted Sister red topping the list.

“It is absolutely wonderful to see that our small town, upstate New York farm winery has won all of these awards,” Ms. Comiskey said.

Coyote Moon also received 24 awards at the Dan Berger International Wine Competition in California on on June 2.

The winery won five Best of Class awards, seven Chairman’s awards, two gold medals and multiple silver and bronze medals. The Vineyard’s “Island Mama” won both the Best in Class and the Chairman’s awards for the “White and Rosé Wines from Minnesota Grape Varieties” category.

“Very clean, complex, well-made wine,” said Debra del Fiorentino, the wine competition director.

Coyote Moon attributes its recent successes to the care and implementation of its cold-hearty variety hybrid grapes.

Ms. Comiskey said the cold-hearty variety hybrid grapes were developed by the University of Michigan. Many of Coyote Moon’s recent award winners in these competitions were made with these hybrid grapes.

Phil Randazzo, owner of Coyote Moon, said the wines made with hybrid grapes are more popular among customers than their wines made from vinefera grapes.

“I intend to make hybrids really well-known,” Mr. Randazzo said.

No tricks or secret techniques are used when growing and fermenting their cold-hearty variety hybrid grapes, Mr. Randazzo said.

Coyote Moon’s hybrid grapes are hand-picked, Mr. Randazzo said, and thoroughly washed with steam and ozone. Very few chemicals are used for cleaning due to their stong resilience towards diseases. Only common chemicals that are not chlorene-based are used. Their wines are then fermented in $1,200 barrels.

“I treat them like the finest vinifera grapes,” Mr. Randazzo said.

These award-winning wines and many others will be featured at Coyote Moon’s Classic Cars Classic Wines Car Show and Cruise In on June 18 at their vineyard and during their Weekend Wine Cruises, which run from June 24 to Sept. 3.

“A big thanks to all of my local grape growers along the river,” Mr. Randazzo said. “The community support has been tremendous.”

By Marcus Wolf, Watertown Daily Times