Congratulations to Jim & Mabel Bond of Paso Robles for winning Best of Show with their 2010 Syrah in the Home Winemaking Competition.. Special thanks to all the volunteers and judges from our local wine community for making 2013 contest a great success! Please find the results through the link below and congrats to all who entered.
Hey there CCWC fans!
If you have a minute or two and don’t mind helping us out, please take this short little survey. It takes about two minutes and will be a great help to us here in the program. Thank you!
And don’t forget…Entries are being accepted until May 24! Don’t be the last one to enter your wines!
Monday, June 18, 2012
By Mike Dunne
Random thoughts from the competition circuit over the past week:
- The Central Coast Wine Competition in Paso Robles covers a slice of the California landscape about as long and slim as Chile, from Monterey to Ventura. Within that spread is a diverse range of sub-appellations that reflect just how varied the Central Coast is in terms of terrain and climate. One is Edna Valley, a tiny region that runs up against the Pacific Ocean just south of considerably warmer Paso Robles. Because of frequent and dense morning fog and cool marine temperatures, Edna Valley has built its reputation on pinot noir and chardonnay. That standing was reaffirmed when the rich and peppery Alapay Cellars 2010 Edna Valley Jamieson’s Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir won Best of Show honors at the Central Coast Wine Competition. But it wasn’t the only wine in the judging to enhance the reputation of Edna Valley. The best white wine to emerge from the field of 560 entries was the vital and lasting Zocker 2009 Edna Valley Paragon Vineyard Riesling. Other cool-climate varietals from Edna Valley up for best white were the forward and nicely balanced Claiborne & Churchill 2011 Central Coast Dry Gewurztraminer, the lean and sharp Zocker 2011 Edna Valley Paragon Vineyard Gruner Veltliner, the relaxed Tangent 2011 Edna Valley Paragon Vineyard Viognier, and the trim and feathery Trenza 2011 Edna Valey Paragon Vineyard Blanco, a blend of grenache blanc and albarino. Want to escape the heat of Sacramento this summer? Edna Valley looks to offer some mighty fine summer wines as well as a respite from high temperatures.
- Though vintners complain at length about how difficult it is in a varietal-centric market to sell wines blended from a variety of grapes, and bearing unfamiliar proprietary names, they also recognize that such blends often represent their craft at its most inventive and expressive, thus they can’t resist the challenge. As a consequence, the range of proprietary blended wines is on the rise. Our panel at the Central Coast Wine Competition judged a class called “Other Blends.” These weren’t blends based on grape varieties long identified with the Rhone Valley or Bordeaux; they had their own classes. We had 37 “Other Blends.” The term “Other Blends” suggests uncharitably that these could be desperation wines, made by vintners tossing together whatever wines were left over when they finished bottling their varietals. Some tasted like it; most didn’t. We gave five of the wines gold medals, a respectable proportion. Our Best of Class – the plummy, lush and long Shale Oak Winery 2009 Paso Robles Ku, a blend of zinfandel, syrah and petite verdot – didn’t win Best Red Wine, but it was a contender in a tight field of 17 candidates, affirmation that there is a place in the market for well-conceived proprietary blends.
- At the San Francisco International Wine Competition, as at most competitions, a “double-gold medal” is awarded when all judges of a panel agree that a wine deserves a gold medal. Most gold medals are the result of split votes. And most double-gold medals come about only after some discussion. Rare is the double-gold medal that develops spontaneously and instantly, with each judge around the table saying “gold” in succession, without any additional talk. That’s why I especially loked forward to learning the identity of the wine in glass “L” of our first flight of varietal roses. We only knew that it was a pink wine made from grenache grapes harvested in 2011. It’s the kind of spicy, crisp, slightly sweet and persistent rose that explains why pink wines are so popular nowadays, and not just during the summertime. It was our best of class, qualifying it for Sunday’s sweepstakes finale, which involved 90 other wines whittled from an opening field of some 4,500 entries. Alas, it not only didn’t win the sweepstakes, it wasn’t even named best rose. That honor went to the delicate Pech Merle Winery 2011 Dry Creek Valley Ivy Rose of Syrah ($17). Our double-gold rose turned out to be a local wine, the Midsummer Cellars 2011 Yolo County Grenache Rose ($19).
- As befits a competition that calls itself the San Francisco International, more than half of the 91 sweepstakes nominees came from regions beyond California. Two were from the Czech Republic. One was from Brazil. Australia, Argentina, Germany, Portugal, Canada, Italy, France and Spain were well represented. States other than California that sent wines to the finale included South Dakota, Washington, Florida and New York. The Best of Show Dessert Wine was from Virginia, the nutty and citric Barboursville Vineyards 2007 Malvaxia Passito ($30). Five of the seven sauvignon blancs in the sweepstakes round were from New Zealand, reaffirming that that country pretty much sets the standard for the varietal. The sauvignon blanc to be elected the best in the judging, however, was Californian – the assertive and snappy South Coast Winery 2011 Temecula Valley Musque Clone Sauvignon Blanc ($14). It wasn’t the only bargain wine to perform well. The best chardonnay was the Five Rivers 2010 California Chardonnay ($11). The best viognier was the Honey Moon 2011 California Viognier ($6). The best-of-show white wine was the sweet and lively Maryhill Winery 2011 Columbia Valley Riesling ($10). The best moscato was the Cameron Hughes 2010 Sori Lot 319 Moscato from Italy ($14). The best gewurztraminer was the floral, spicy and sweet Vinarstvi Libal 2011 Select Gewurztraminer from Czech Republic ($14).
- The local angle: The Bumgarner Winery 2008 El Dorado County Tempranillo ($27) was elected the best example of the varietal in the competition. Eighteen other tempranillos were in that class, including five from Spain, where the varietal long has been entrenched. McManis Family Vineyards of Ripon had two candidates in the sweepstakes round, its 2011 California River Junction Chardonnay ($10), and its 2010 California Petite Sirah ($11).
- One final note: The Hearst Ranch Winery 2009 Paso Robles Three Sisters Cuvee ($20), which was named Best of Show Red Wine at the California State Fair commercial wine competition less than two weeks ago, was named the Best Red Rhone Wine in San Francisco. At the Central Coast Wine Competition in Paso Robles immediately before the San Francisco judging, it won a silver medal.
The Central Coast Wine Competition has announced that the Contra Costa Fair will be joining the family of California fairs that encompass the competition. “We are thrilled to add one more location for the award winning wines to be displayed, noted Chief Judge Bob Foster. “Contra Costa County winemakers are making some superb wines from the grapes grown in the region. Our panel of judges are anxious to evaluate wines from another segment of the Central Coast AVA.”
The Central Coast Wine Competition is the largest evaluation event for wines produced exclusively on California’s Central Coast and is hosted by five Central Coast fairs: the California Mid-State Fair, Santa Barbara County Fair, Monterey County Fair, Ventura County Fair, San Benito County Fair and the Grand National in San Francisco. With the addition of Contra Costa County, the region of grape growing will expand slightly outside the Central Coast AVA to include all parts of the county.
“Fairs were built on the foundation of agriculture and education”, stated Robert Williamson, CEO Contra Costa County Fair. “We are excited to add this key agriculture component to our fair program and hope to expand the locally grown awareness of our area.”
The 2013 competition features an internationally renowned panel of judges including wine writers, winemakers, sommeliers and wine buyers. New this year all Gold Medal wines will receive a point score, as well as, the medal award. The competition staff strongly encourages wineries to take advantage of the opportunity to enter the competition online at http://cmsfw.fairmanager.com/. The entry book, which details the entry classes and guidelines, can be found at the California Mid-State Fair webpage or the CCWC blog at http://centralcoastwinecomp.com.
For a complete list of judges, further information regarding the competition and to submit online entries, please refer to the competition’s blog at www.centralcoastwinecomp.com. Entries will be accepted through May 24, 2013.
The CCWC team will be promoting the Gold Medal Wine Tour in 2013. With the goal to increase tasting room traffic for the Central Coast Wine Competition winners, this marketing promotion uses PRP Companies technology with QR codes and the 92.5 The Krush’s radio muscle to generate one of the coolest off-site ticket promotions ever. And the fair industry agreed. Not only did the California Mid-State Fair win a first place in the 2012 WFA Achievement Awards for Excellence in Fairtime Innovative Marketing Strategy for the Gold Medal Wine Tour, but PRP Companies were awarded a first place for Excellence in Sponsorship.
From Buellton to Monterey, winning wineries will be asked to participate in this free marketing campaign. Visitors who make their way along the participating Gold Medal Wine Tour can use their smartphones to scan a QR code (similar to a bar code) of a display poster at the wineries’ tasting room. The scans will be tracked by the Central Coast Wine Competition and once a visitor has scanned three different Gold Medal winery codes, they earn a free admission ticket to the 2013 California Mid-State Fair. Check back after June 17, 2013 for a full list of participating wineries.
Online entries for the 2013 Central Coast Wine Competition are available now through May 24, 2013.
Why EVERY winery in the Central Coast AVA should enter the 2013 Central Coast Wine Competition:
- The Central Coast Wine Competition staff is fun and provides excellent customer service.
- The 2013 competition features a prestigious panel of internationally renowned judges, including Doug Frost, Dan Berger, and Madeline Triffon.
- Gold medal winners are showcased at not just one venue but five- the California Mid-State Fair, Monterey County Fair, San Benito County Fair, Santa Barbara County Fair, and the Ventura County Fair.
- The 2013 competition will offer an enhanced marketing element for award winning wines through publicity in renowned food and beverage publications, promotions at participating Albertson’s stores, and exclusive pouring events, offering valued publicity and exposure.
- Our Gold Medal Tour promotion will be back again will offer incentives for consumers to visit wineries and tasting rooms of gold medal wines.
- Unknown and unrecognized wines receive the opportunity to receive recognition and publicity through blind tasting and innovative changes such as the division of the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon classes, which create opportunities for more wines to receive acknowledgment.
- Competition publicity, including results, are released to print and news publications throughout California and the United States.
- Entries are accepted online and by mail for winery convenience.
- The California Mid-State Fair hosts a tasting following the competition for industry professionals from wineries, restaurants and retail establishments to sample all entries, including medal winners and best of class wines.
- The Central Coast Wine Competition is the largest evaluation event for Central Coast wines, featuring over 600 wines.
Access the official competition handbook, which outlines entry classes and guidelines, here. http://www.prpcodigital.com/250901CalMidstateFair/
The Central Coast Olive Oil Competition, hosted annually by the California Mid-State Fair, is now accepting entries. The fifth annual competition will take place in July 2013 and will feature over 150 olive oils produced in California.
The overall goal of the Central Coast Olive Oil Competition is to provide a venue for California olive oils to be professionally judged and to educate consumers regarding the quantity and styles of olive oil produced in California.
Olive oils are divided into extra virgin, flavored extra virgin, organic extra virgin, and flavored organic extra virgin olive oil and are separated into classes by varietal. The panel of competition judges evaluates each entry according to aroma, taste, and intensity ranging from delicate to robust.
Entries that earn medals will be showcased in Mission Square during the 2013 California Mid-State Fair. Entries for the competition can be found now at http://cmsfw.fairmanager.com/ and will be accepted online and by mail until Friday, May 24.
Online entries are now being taken for the 2013 California Mid-State Fair Home Winemaking Competition.
Enter Online – http://cmsfw.fairmanager.com
Competition Info – http://www.midstatefair.com/files/13-HOMEWINEFORM.pdf
Congratulations to the winners of the 2012 Central Coast Wine Competition!
Click on the link below to view the Bronze, Silver, Gold and class winners.
Thank you to all the wineries, volunteers, judges and staff for creating another successful contest.