Voted Ohio's Best Red Wine 2015
Raven’s Glenn R2 Noiret 2013 was honored in May with the Director’s Choice award for best red wine for 2015. A panel of judges evaluated more than 20 wines, and the awards were presented at a wine industry event at the Statehouse by Ohio Department of Agriculture director David T. Daniels.
“Years ago, my father had the dream of making a nice Ohio red wine,” said Beau Guilliams, owner of Raven’s Glenn Winery, who purchased the business from his father Robert Guilliams in July. R2 Noiret was the last wine his father created as proprietor of the winery.
“For him to receive the award on a red that we planted, grew and nurtured with two years of diligent work is an honor. We worked hard. I think it’s well-deserved,” Beau said.
The Raven’s Glenn R2 Noiret is a dry red wine that is named in honor of Beau’s parents and founders of Raven’s Glenn Winery, Robert and Renee Guilliams. Making an award-winning red wine with just the right qualities was a challenge, Beau said.
“There aren’t enough hot days here. The climate just isn’t suitable, so you have to pick the grapes wisely,” he said.
The difficulties that Ohio wine producers face when making red wine with precise flavor makes the coveted award that much more significant.
“It’s a proud honor, it’s monumental,” Beau said. “It makes me feel like we are doing things right.”
It’s common for many dry red wines made in Ohio to have grassy aromas, Beau said.
“In my personal opinion, it’s the toughest thing to do with a grape in Ohio. If you can get the grassy aroma out of the wine, that’s half the battle,” he said.
Beau said that R2 Noiret’s flavor can be described as fruity and smoky, with notes of black cherry, currants and chocolate.
Raven’s Glenn Winery has 20 acres of vineyards where the staff grows three types of grapes: chardonel, vidal blanc and the noiret which is used to make red wines. Beau explained his father planted eight different varieties of reds in test plots to find one that was perfect for developing the red wine he had envisioned.
“I’m happy for Beau and happy for his dad,” said Tonya Bevins, director of operations at Raven’s Glenn Winery. From those who tend to the grapes to the wine producers, the staff worked together as a team, she said.
“It’s a collaborative effort. Without everyone involved, it wouldn’t have happened. We are proud of them.”
Two other Raven’s Glenn wines also received distinctive recognitions in May during the Ohio Wine Competition. The Autumn Interlude received a gold medal in the vidal blanc category and the Moon Dreams sweet red was awarded a silver medal in the fortified category.
None of the awards would be possible without the dedicated staff, said Beau. Vineyard manager John McCoy has been dedicated to growing the grapes for the past 11 years, he said.
“Without someone taking a lot of time and attention to growing the grapes, it doesn’t happen.”
Beau said cellarmaster Bob Wilson, who has been at the winery for 12 years, works on the “rough end” of wine making, doing the prep work and crushing the grapes. “I make a plan and he implements it. I couldn’t do it without him,” said Beau.
Beau’s wife Tracy Guilliams, vice president of Raven’s Glenn Winery, said now that the operations of Raven’s Glenn Winery has passed from father to son, the legacy of producing quality wines will continue. R2 Noiret 2013 being recognized with the Director’s Choice award is a timely example of Beau and Robert’s dedication to wine making, and example of good things to come.
“The honor happened at a good time, and it is something that they both deserve. It’s a great send off for the future,” Tracy said.
Raven’s Glenn R2 Noiret can be purchased at winery at 56183 County Road 143 in West Lafayette or online at www.ravensglenn.com.