2017 Maple Syrup Contest Winners

2017 Maple Syrup Judging Contest Winners Announced

The 6th Annual Phelps Maple Syrup Fest has come and gone, and it was a beautiful day enjoyed by many. The Phelps School was busy all day with visitors excited to learn more about maple syrup on the sugar bush tours and in the new educational classes, and to shop over 70 vendors in the Arts & Crafts fair. But one of the most popular parts of the day is always the Maple Syrup Judging Contest.

2017 Maple Syrup Contest JudgesWe were joined by some wonderful judges for the event, including Alice in Dairyland (Ann O’Leary), Representative Swearingen (R – Rhinelander), Susan Visner (Mrs. Wisconsin 2003) and Geoff Weller from WJFW Channel 12’s own weather team. Expert judges included Polly Johnson (Fox Hill Photo), Renee Snook (Creatively Yours DIY Studio), Theresa Baroun (Wisconsin Maple Syrup Producer’s Association) and Angela Schumacher (Smoky Lake Maple Products).

Maple Syrup Contest WinnersThis year, the judges were busy testing 39 different syrups, the most that has ever been entered in the contest. For those of you that missed the winning announcements, here are the top scores:


JEROME AND STEPHANIE WOTACHEK OF HINTERLAND TAPS, LOCATED IN MINOCQUA, WI. They had the highest score of the entire event: 93.66 out of 100!

The contest is divided into four different categories, based on color and taste.

Grade A: Golden Color & Delicate Taste (7 entries) 

1st Place: John Paquet, Paquet Excavating from Phelps, WI

2nd Place: Tom Wojnowski, Mullski’s T & R Maple Farm from Crandon, WI

3rd Place: Ed Staats, CVF Maple LLC from Sturgeon Bay, WI

Grade A: Amber Color & Rich Taste (18 entries)

1st Place: Greg Michne, Flower City Maple from Rochester, NY

2nd Place: Jon Podgorski, Ski’s Sugar Shack from Merrill, WI

3rd Place: Gerry Meyer, Meyer’s Maple Syrup from Brownsville, WI

Grade A: Dark Color & Robust Taste (12 entries)

1st Place: Jerome & Stephanie Wotachek, Hinterland Taps from Minocqua, WI

2nd Place: Jennifer Manning, Old Mill Sugar Shack from Mauston, WImaple syrup judging winner

2nd Place: TIE! Brandon Hacker, B&H Honey and Maple Syrup

3rd Place: John Niemela, Niemela Hilltop from Wakefield, MI

Category: Grade A: Very Dark & Strong Taste (2 entries)

1st Place: Mark Wright, Wright’s Maple from Davenport Center, NY

2nd Place: Pete Davison, Lucerne Sap Shack from Crandon, WI

Congratulations to all that entered for all of your hard work! We look forward to seeing you at next year’s Phelps Maple Syrup Fest on Saturday, April 7th!


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