March 22, 2016

Finnish wines take top spots at California wine competition

Finnviini winery specialises in dessert wines made from Finnish berries.
Finnviini winery specialises in dessert wines made from Finnish berries.
iStock.com/Marek Mnich

Finnish Finnviini’s wines with Arctic flavours have been awarded shiny medals in the International Eastern Division at the 2016 East Meets West Wine Challenge.

The East Meets West Wine Challenge is held every year in Sonoma Valley, California. This year the competition attracted nearly 1 300 entries from around the world.

Finnviini’s Sametti dessert wine made from wild bilberries won a gold medal and Valokki, made from cloudberries was awarded with silver.

Finnviini was founded by Paola Guerrero de Cohen and David Cohen, who moved to Finland from the US in 2008.

Finnviini was founded by Paola Guerrero de Cohen and David Cohen, who moved to Finland from the US in 2008.

Finnviini

Finnviini was founded by Paola Guerrero de Cohen and David Cohen, who moved to Finland from the US in 2008. Guerrero de Cohen has a certification in Wine Production and Cohen has been making wine and brewing beer as a hobby for almost 15 years. Cohen started by using California grapes and later began experimenting with local ingredients after coming to Finland. After years of trials, the pair felt they had something exceptional and founded Finnviini to promote wines from Finland to the world.

Finland is not widely known for producing wines, so already being recognised as “world-class” is a great milestone for the Finnish winery.

So, does this make Sametti the best wine in the world?

“No, but it does mean that the judges found our wines to be of exceptional quality, and they gave Sametti a rating that placed it in the top 10 per cent of all the wines entered,” says David Cohen, chief winemaker of the company. “That means it scored better than a thousand grape wines that competed.”

Finnviini winery was granted a license to produce wines in July 2014 and is now looking for investors, evaluating distributors and focussing on exporting their product. Currently Finnviini produces wines in small batches at the Lepaa winery in Hattula.

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