A pair of northeast Ohio wineries have been recognized by the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Debonne Vineyards and Ferrante Winery and Ristorante both received awards for their wines out of 7,000 total entries, said Ohio Wine Producers Association Executive Director Donniella Winchell.

Debonne Vineyards, in Madison Township, won Best of Class for its unoaked 2017 Chardonnay in the $10-$13.99 category.

“It’s a huge competition,” said Tony Debevc, owner of Debonne Vineyards.

The $10-$13.99 category is a very competitive one, Winchell said.

“It is a huge coup,” she added.

Debevc praised Debonne Vineyards’ manager Gene Sigel and wine maker Michael Harris for their work.

“I think both those gentlemen, Gene Sigel and Michael Harris, are responsible for the quality of that wine,” Debevc said.

The wine was successful because of the use of a number of different chardonnay grapes planted by Siegel and blended by Harris, Debevc said.

“You blend those individual characters to make an excellent wine, and I think that’s what Michael’s done, taken some of the different [grape] selections that we have in the vineyard that Gene planted back 10, 15 years ago and blended that together to a finished product,” Debevc said.

Geneva’s Ferrante Winery and Ristorante’s win was for its 2017 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine.

“It’s a huge medal to win,” said Nick Ferrante, owner and winemaker at Ferrante Winery.

The wine won a sweepstakes for best specialty wine, which covered dessert wines, Ferrante said.

“It’s like a best of class award,” he added.

“We are truly a vinicultural region the world is beginning to recognize,” Winchell said.

The judges of the competition are huge names in the wine world, Winchell said.

The awards are a good thing for the region, Debevc said.

“Everybody’s going to race to the top.

“This could not have happened at a better time,” Debevc said.

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