Westwood Estate, 2014 Sonoma Valley, Annadel Gap Vineyard, Clone 37, Pinot Noir takes “Best of the Best of the Best”
Santa Rosa, Calif. – From the heart of North Coast wine country, Vineyard & Winery Management magazine (V&WM) and The Press Democrat have concluded the fourth annual North Coast Wine Challenge, a wine competition focused exclusively on wines produced in this prestigious region. Wines were judged from a field of nearly 1,050 entries.
In the good nature of competitive spirit and ultimate bragging rights, this challenge rated wines produced and bottled by wineries with grapes grown only in North Coast AVAs. The challenge was created to highlight the best of each county and ultimately, the entire region. The North Coast served as its own jury in the decision-making, with competition judges representing the best sommeliers, winemakers, retail buyers and media.Top wines received prestigious rankings of Best of Class by Category, Best of County, and ultimately one wine took the Best of the Best Award.
This year’s highest honor went to Westwood Estate, 2014 Sonoma Valley, Annadel Gap Vineyard, Clone 37, Pinot Noir receiving 99 out of 100 points and taking home the Best of Show Red, Best of Sonoma County and ultimately the Best of the Best. Judges described it as “an absolute stunner. Wow!” “It’s always a nail-biter to discover the winner from a field of so many spectacular entries,” according to Wine Competition Director Debra Del Fiorentino.
Other 2016 “Best Of” winners include:
Best of Lake County: Hagafen Cellars, 2015 Lake County, Clearwater Ranch, White Riesling
Best of Marin County: DeLoach Vineyards, 2013 Marin County, Pinot Noir
Best of Mendocino County: Navarro Vineyards, 2015 Mendocino County, Pinot Blanc
Best of Napa County: Amizetta Estate Winery, 2013 Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon
Best of Solano County: Cairdean Vineyards, 2014 Suisun Valley, Riesling
Best of Sonoma County: Westwood Estate, 2014 Sonoma Valley, Annadel Gap Vineyard Clone 37, Pinot Noir
Only wines rating 90+ points were awarded gold medals and were eligible to move on to the ‘Best Of’ Category. “Our criteria is to only announce gold medal winners and above. This enables us to keep the prestige level high in this exclusive and wine judging,” added Del Fiorentino. All gold medal winners were featured in the Sonoma Feast section of The Press Democrat on Wednesday, April 20.
Chief Judge Daryl Groom said, “This Challenge just keeps getting better and better. Wines were tasted and evaluated by a very diverse, talented pool of influential judges. And the real stars of the show…the wines themselves. Over 18% gold. Wow! Congratulations to all our gold medal winning winemakers.”
New this year was the addition of young Associate Judges to the judging panels. Groom added, “I feel proud that not only is The Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge an awesome wine competition but it will also be known as a fostering and education platform for our next generation of wine professionals.”
Daryl Groom’s expertise includes serving as wine judge in more than 150 wine shows across the United States, and he has made many award-winning wines in California’s North Coast and his native Australia. He was named Winemaker of the Year by eight publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times.
The Press Democrat will subsequently host a trade and public tasting of North Coast Wine Challenge gold medal winners on May 15, 2016 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Sonoma Mountain Village Event Center in Rohnert Park. Tickets and information are available at NorthCoastWineEvent.com. Guests may taste wines paired with delicious food bites prepared by iconic North Bay chefs. “From the start of this competition four years ago we talked about a first class, quality experience for all involved and we not only met, but exceeded those expectations!,” said Steve Falk, CEO of Sonoma Media Investments, owners of The Press Democrat.
For more details about the tasting, contact Ginger Hopkins, Events and Sponsorships Manager for The Press Democrat (see contact information above) or visit NorthCoastWineEvent.com for full details.
Sponsors of Vineyard & Winery Management’s Competition: www.northcoastwinechallenge.com
Judging event sponsors include Penta Water, Wine Country Shipping, Alsco, Graber Olives, Sonoma Wine Country Hilton, Costeaux French Bakery, Sonoma Cider, Chris’s Stuff, Pasta Sonoma, Bottle Barn, Traditional Medicinals, Guayaki Yerba Mate, G&G Supermarkets, Sonoma Spice Queen, Sungo, Govino, Mycopia Mushrooms, Mezzetta, Comet Corn, Bella Rosa Coffee Company, North Coast by Manzana, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Wine Country Chocolates, Mateo Granados, and Pamela’s.
About Vineyard & Winery Management
Based in Santa Rosa, Calif., Vineyard & Winery Management is an independently owned and operated multimedia company that produces a leading international wine trade publication, conferences, and wine competitions. See vwmmedia.com for more information.
About The Press Democrat
Based in Santa Rosa, Calif., The Press Democrat is the North Bay’s most-read provider of up-to-the-minute local news. It is a recognized leader in the development of highly effective integrated media solutions for its business clients. The Press Democrat is owned by Sonoma Media Investments LLC, a multimedia company that provides world-class local news, information and entertainment to audiences throughout San Francisco’s North Bay. See pressdemocrat.com for more information.