Local winemakers are battling in the 2011 Iron Vintner Challenge, a month-long culinary competition.
Preliminary round 1 was held June 8 and pitted Chris Sparkman and Chris Gorman. Gorman of Gorman Winery was declared the winner of the round.
The competition is again led by Executive Chef Bobby Moore of Barking Frog and features winemakers John Bigelow of JM Cellars, Chris Gorman of Gorman Winery, Chris Sparkman of Sparkman Cellars and Chris Upchurch of DeLille Cellars.
The next cooking competition is set for June 15, 5:30-7 p.m., featuring Chris Upchurch and John Bigelow. The June 22 championship round will feature the winner of round 1 versus the winner of round 2. The challenge will conclude on Wednesday, June 29, at 7 p.m. with a Championship Winemaker Dinner at Barking Frog to benefit Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center. Chef Moore will prepare a four course dinner featuring wine pairings by the winner and the other participating winemakers.
Tickets for each of the cooking competitions in the Iron Vintner Challenge are $35 per person and include tastes from each winery competing that night. To attend the final Championship Winemaker Dinner, it is $135 per person. Willows Lodge will extend a special 15 percent discount on the best available room rate for Iron Vintner Challenge attendees to stay overnight on the Wednesday evening of the competitions. www.willowslodge.com for additional information and tickets.