They’ll need to find more display space on the walls at Art of Brewing and Winemaking after winemakers Art Lindala and Dave Lamontagne won seven medals at the recent WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition.
Lindala and Lamontagne make their award-winning wines at the Ladysmith on-premise wine- and beer-making shop, owned by Lindala.
Lindala has entered the WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition every year since 2008 and has brought home medals each year.
This year, Lamontagne won two gold medals and two silvers, and Lindala won three silver medals.
Entering his first WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition, Lamontagne won gold for a plum wine he made from plums from his own backyard and to which he added strawberries and kiwis. His second gold medal came for an espresso coffee port.
Lamontagne won a silver medal for an apple tatin port and a silver for a strawberry hazelnut port.
Lindala won a silver medal for an urban spiced mead made with honey from Fredrich’s Honey, as well as a silver medal for a Lodi California zinfandel and a silver for a chocolate orange port.
“I’m really pleased with what Dave did,” said Lindala. “It’s the first time he’s entered, and to see him win two golds is fabulous. They don’t give them out very easily. Dave’s pretty particular about all the important parts of winemaking.”
Lindala says the WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition, run by WineMaker magazine in California, is the largest amateur winemakers competition on the planet, with more than 4,500 entries.
This year was the first year Lindala attended the competition and conference, which was held in Monterey, Calif.
Lindala sees competitions like this as a learning experience, first and foremost because the winemakers receive the judges’ comments afterwards.
“These are professional wine judges who have trained palettes,” he said. “When you get their comments back, they’re quite valuable. You can see if you are doing things right or wrong.”
Lamontagne started making wine at home about 20 years ago.
“The two most important people in winemaking are trial and error,” he laughed. “Hopefully not too much error.”
Lamontagne says winning two gold medals was “just a shock.”
“Art put my wine in there,” he said. “I would have never done it myself.”
Lindala started making wine and beer as a hobby about 20 years ago.