Wine has been called “poetry in a bottle.” If that’s the case, then the results of the 2014 wine competition season make it clear that St. James Winery’s Executive Winemaker, Andrew Meggitt, is a wine poet laureate.
“Last year during harvest, the fruit quality from our vineyards was superb, and I thought we could expect some excellent wines, but one would never imagine the record number of awards we have won this year,” said Andrew.
Outstanding is the word that describes the year Andrew and the St. James Winery winemaking team have had in international and national wine competitions in 2014, earning top honors at three international competitions, receiving 13 Best of Class awards, bringing home more than 70 gold medals. The winery was also named one of the Top 15 Wineries in the World.
“Our Riesling won the John Rose Award for the Best in Riesling at the Finger Lakes Wine Competition in March. In April, Friendship School White won Grand Champion at Pacific Rim. In May, it scored 95 points at Los Angeles, and in July, was named Best White Wine at Long Beach Grand Cru, “ Andrew said. “It’s been a very good year.”
In addition to the award winning Riesling and Friendship School White, St. James Winery’s Moscato earned Best of Class at three international competitions: Pacific Rim, Riverside, and Los Angeles. The 2013 Vignoles won two Best of Class awards: Riverside International and New World International. Friendship School Red and Riesling each won Best of Class at Pacific Rim, bringing the total for Best of Class awards to an impressive thirteen. Additional honors include two Double Gold medals for the 2013 Pioneer White at Finger Lakes and Florida.
“One thing worth noting is that we have a lot of different wines and flavor profiles that have been successful in competitions,” Andrew said. “ These wines are made from grapes grown and harvested here in St. James, proof that world class wines come from Missouri’s Ozark Highlands AVA.”
Andrew’s devotion to the Ozark Highlands AVA comes from his commitment to terroir: how the climate, soils and terrain affect the taste of wines from a particular region. Originally from New Zealand, Meggitt finished his university degree there before traveling the world for three years learning more about all the different winemaking styles and methodologies, and soaking in the way terroir influences the wine.
Andrew joined the winemaking staff at St. James Winery in 2002 and soon afterwards was named executive winemaker. Under his direction, St. James Winery has consistently been among the top four gold medal awarded wineries in the US. In 2013 he was named to IntoWine.com’s list of “Top 100 Most Influential U.S. Winemakers,” and in 2014 St. James Winery ranked in the top 15 on the World Association Wine and Spirits Writers and Journalists list of “Top Wineries of the World.”
Andrew quickly acknowledges the work of everyone at St. James Winery. “There are so many factors that have to come together to make a great wine. There’s the vineyard personnel whose work on the vines give us the best grapes possible. At harvest our crew brings the grapes in quickly and at the peak of flavor. Without all of them, I’m just a guy standing in front of a big empty tank. Then there’s the rest of the winemaking team, and the cellar staff and bottling line staff – our entire team plays a role in the wine that goes into the bottle.”
St. James Winery is the largest and most awarded winery in Missouri. Founded by the Hofherr family in 1970, St. James Winery celebrating more than 40 years as a family owned and operated winery; St. James Winery wines are sold in 18 states. Find the winery online at www.stjameswinery.com.