SWISHER, IA, August 5, 2010—Cedar Ridge Vineyards, Winery & Distillery, Iowa’s first micro-distillery, was notified by the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition that its flagship product, Clearheart Triple-distilled Fruit and Grain Vodka, was awarded a Gold Medal at this year’s competition, beating out many of the world’s best-known vodka producers. Within the unflavored vodka sector, Cedar Ridge’s Clearheart Vodka was further designated “Best in Category”.
Shortly after Clearheart was first introduced in 2006, the product caught the attention of New York Times’ About.com cocktails editor Colleen Graham, who gave Cedar Ridge its first excellent review for its vodka. Clearheart vodka is produced from 90% grains and 10% apple, all sourced from within the state of Iowa. Ms. Graham was the first to suggest this product may ultimately compete on an international scale. Since that review, Cedar Ridge has made significant additional investment in a custom German-constructed dedicated distillation column just for this product.
Jeff Quint, Cedar Ridge’s Master Distiller is honored by the recognition and sees this as just the beginning. “With these Gold and Best in Category honors, our Clearheart has become an even stronger competitor among the world’s best producers. This is evidence that Iowa can and will become an exporter of high-end distilled spirits products.”
Quint noted that Cedar Ridge only submitted two products to the LA Competition this year, Clearheart Vodka and Cedar Ridge Dark Rum. The Dark Rum also was awarded a Gold Medal in its category. “We had a feeling that the Dark Rum was going to bring home the Gold, but to think our vodka is worthy of a ‘Best in Category’ designation was beyond our dreams. Our efforts and investments are really beginning to pay off for Cedar Ridge,” Quint stated.
On July 1st, Cedar Ridge released its first 250 cases of Iowa’s first bourbon whiskey, which also recently received a Five Star rating from Colleen Graham, Cocktails Editor for the New York Times’ About.com. It sold out of stores within a few days of its release. Quint said the Company will be able to continue to release this same amount at the beginning of every month without depleting its supply.
Cedar Ridge is open to visitors Wednesday through Sunday at 1441 Marak Road, off Highway 965 near Swisher, Iowa. Their winery and distillery are available for tours. New Iowa law now permits visitors to purchase up to two bottles of spirits per visitor, per visit, direct from Cedar Ridge. More information can be found at www.crwine.com. About Cedar Ridge Vineyards, Winery & Distillery Cedar Ridge Vineyards, Winery & Distillery is a small, family-owned winery and distillery nestled in the beautiful Iowa countryside between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, in Swisher, producing over a dozen wines from its own estate-grown grapes, As Iowa’s first distillery since Prohibition, it also crafts spirits, including a suite of dark spirits, clear spirits and fruit liqueurs, in small batches in its European-engineered 80-gallon pot still. At first just a dream of Proprietor and Master Winemaker and Distiller, Jeff Quint, the now lush 5,000 vines and 7,000 square foot winery, distillery, tasting room and event center provide the highest quality wines, spirits and entertainment experience in Eastern Iowa. Visit www.crwine.com