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      Leigh's Garden Winery wins silver and bronze awards

      Leigh's Garden Winery in downtown Escanaba is a silver and bronze winner in the 2013 International Cold Climate Wine Competition held at the University of Minnesota's Conference Center this month in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

      A panel of experts judged nearly 300 wines for the 5th annual competition. Sixty-six commercial wineries in 12 states and Canada competed. The competition is the only event for wines specially made from fruit grown in cold climates.

      Leigh's Garden Winery's winners were Old Escanaba (dry red), Marechal Foch (dry red) and Bay de Noc Red (sweet red).

      Leigh Schmidt, owner of Leigh's Garden Winery, located at 904 Ludington Street, said, "The Old Escanaba, in the past, had received bronze medals for two years in a row. Now, it moved up to silver. The Marechal Foch, which is another dry wine, received a bronze this year. And our very sweet Bay de Noc Red has received a bronze, also."

      Leigh's award winning wines were made with grapes aged up to 10 years.

      Millner Heritage Vineyard and Winery in Kimball, Minnesota won the Governor's Cup trophy for its Little Iza wine.

      The competition is a partnership between the Minnesota Grape Growers Association and the University of Minnesota. There were blind tastings by 21 judges, which included wine writers, restaurateurs, retailers and wine educators.