New Awards and Recognition

In 2016 and 2017, late February and March have been groundbreaking times for us.  In 2018, that trend continued.

In February 2016 our wine Sametti became the first Finnish wine to win a gold medal in an international competition, at the Eastern International Wine Competition in Sonoma California.  In March 2017 Vaapukka was awarded a gold medal, a trophy for best of class, and the 11th highest rating of the 3500+ entries in the Vinalies Internationales Competition in Paris, recognizing it as one of the best wines in the world.  These results were not a fluke.  This March this year we entered two major French competitions, and were honored to receive medals in both.

The Vinalies Internationals, run by the French Union of Oenologists with the purpose of identifying the 1000 best wines of the world, awarded silver medals to Sametti and Vaapukka on March 6, recognizing both as belonging on the top 1000 list.

The Concours International de Lyon, a celebration of gastronomy that gathered some of the top talent in France to judge over 6000 wines, beers and spirits awarded silver medals to Valokki and Vaapukka on March 24.  This is the first time this competition has ever found wines made from berries worthy of medals.

Just two years ago, this level of international recognition for Finnish wines would have been shocking.  But this year, we received an even greater honor; not for our wines, but for us.  And not in a far place, but in Finland.

On Kalavala Day February 28th, we received the Suomalainen Ruokakulttuurirahasto (food culture fund award) at the Helsinki Finnish Club for “innovative, creative and ground-breaking activity that has had a major impact on the development of Finnish food culture.”  As Professor Johanna Mäkelä of the executive committee said in her statement explaining why we were chosen:

”Finnviini on yllättänyt rypäleviinien asiantuntijat ja portinvartijat pohjoisilla marjoilla. Perustajat, kalifornialainen (sic) David Cohen ja ecuadorilainen Paola Guerrero de Cohen ovat Suomi-hulluja maahanmuuttajia, jotka ovat nähneet potentiaalin siinä, missä me muut olemme liian lähellä tajutaksemme luontomme aromaattiset ja laadulliset mahdollisuudet maailmalla.”

(Finnviini has been surprising the experts and guardians of grape wines with the potential of the northern berries. Founders Californian (sic) David Cohen and Ecuadorian Paola Guerrero de Cohen are crazy immigrants who have seen the aromatic and quality potential to be found in the Finnish forests where we natives have been too close to recognize it.)

We are grateful for the support we have received, proud that we have been able to demonstrate in our own way just how special the Finnish nature is, and glad that we are able to contribute to building on the sterling international reputation of our adopted home.

Finland, source of world class wines - from the forests.

David Cohen