Gallo Recognizes America's Top Artisan Food Producers

Seven nationwide producers awarded for innovation and quality.

New York—Tender bison from Texas hedonistic baklava from Pennsylvania and a tantalizing vegetable dip from Georgia. These were some of the top-flight foods that Gallo Family Vineyards selected as the nation's best artisanal food products as part of the winery's 2nd annual Gold Medal Awards program.

At a luncheon held in New York, winners in six disparate categories were announced from more than 200 applicants nationwide. "Competition was thick this year," said Stephanie Gallo, director of marketing for the large family owned winery. "We are staunch supporters of America's growing commitment to quality food products, and this is our way of honoring the best."

The winners were:

  • Outstanding Bread/Baked Good: The Baklava Goddess Inc., Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania, for its baklava.


  • Outstanding Condiment/Oil/Vinegar: Bella Cucina Artful Food, Atlanta, Georgia, for its artichoke lemon pesto dip.


  • Outstanding Confectionary Good: B.T. McElrath Chocolatier, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for its passion fruit truffles.


  • Outstanding Dairy: Uplands Cheese Company, Dodgeville, Wisconsin, for its Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheese.


  • Outstanding Fruit or Vegetable: Kathie's Kitchen, Newtown, Connecticut, for its Superseedz sea-salt flavored dried pumpkin seeds.


  • Outstanding Meat and Charcuterie: Thunder Heart Bison, San Antonio, Texas, for its various bison products.


  • Winner of the All Artisanal Award: Thunder Heart Bison.



    "Each producer has a great family story to share, but Hugh Fitzsimmons of Thunder Heart Bison stood out as the most inspirational and impressive," noted Matt Gallo, Stephanie's cousin and a prominent member of Gallo's third generation of family members to run the winery. "It's a fourth-generation business, like ours, and the Fitzsimmons' passion for ranching permeates the entire business and every employee."

    All submitted products were judged by a panel of six prominent food professionals and journalists. Winners receive a $5,000 business development grant and are given the green light to use the award as a "seal of excellence" for the advertising and marketing of their product.

    For more details on this year's winners, judges and how the annual program works, go to


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