Saturday, July 16, 2016

California State Fair Winners

The California State Fair wine competition announced the winners of its 2016 wine competition earlier this week. More than 2,800 wines were submitted from 750+ California wineries.

A total of 55 judges tasted the wines (with the help of 170 volunteers), awarding 115 Double Gold medals ands 230 Gold medals.

The oldest wine competition in the U.S., the event dates back to 1854.

The state fair continues through July 24. Some of the wines will be available for sale at the fair. And wine slushies ($5) will be served.

For a list of all the competition results, click here.

Here are some of the top wines from organic vines that took home medals:

Cucamonga Valley, South Coast

One of my favorite wineries, this Riverside County wonder has 300+ acres of old vines, including some that date back to the 1920's. Its history runs deeps, and it's one of the few wineries left that makes sweet wines - like port and sherry - of distinction. Along with Zinfandel.

Zinfandel, 98 pts., Double Gold ($35)

Port (NV), Best of California, Fortified Dessert Wine

Ancient Angelica, 91 pts., Silver ($33)

Sonoma County, North Coast

The Biodynamic pioneer in Sonoma has some amazing terroir - estate vineyards on Sonoma Mountain and out in Freestone - which is reflected in these Biodynamic Wines, made without additives of any kind (save for sulfites to preserve the wine). You're tasting the actual grapes!

Tribute, 95 pts., Gold, Best of Class of Region ($80)

Pinot Noir-Terra Neuma, Gold ($75)

Cooper Garrod
Santa Cruz Mountains, Central Coast

A Saratoga horse ranch and a winery, created on a former apricot farm, the Cooper Garrod's family winemaking hobby turned into a commercial enterprise - and a medal-winning one at that.

Test Pilot, 2010, 95 pts., Gold, Best of Class of Region ($39)

Syrah, 2012, 95 pts., Best of Class of Region ($33)

McFadden Vineyards
Potter Valley, Mendocino AVA, North Coast

A perennial favorite. From one of my favorite wineries, their best wine.

Brut, 95 pts., Gold, Best of Class of Region ($25)

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