–The Central Coast Wine Competition has announced the award-winning wines from its 16th-annual blind-tasting event, held June 20-21 at the California Mid-State Fair. The complete list of Double Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, as well Best In Class winners, is available here.
Best in Show went to Alara Cellars’ 2017 Grenache Blanc, sourced from San Benito County. The honor came after judges awarded it a Double Gold Medal and deemed it both Best in Class (Grenache Blanc) and overall Best White Wine.
Alara’s win marks the first time a Grenache Blanc – a variety that has become a fixture of Central Coast wine – has ever been bestowed Best in Show in the competition’s 16-year history. There were nine total Grenache Blanc entries this year.
“In recent years, Grenache Blanc has become synonymous with the Central Coast wine region. It (grows) extremely well in practically all the Central Coast appellations,” said Chief Judge Tim McDonald, who is also president of Wine Spoken Here. “It’s exciting to see Grenache Blanc get its rightful due.”
The Best Red Wine was awarded to Cass Vineyard & Winery’s 2016 Mourvèdre. The Paso Robles winery also won a Gold Medal and was awarded Best in Class for the same wine.
Best Pink Wine went to Opolo Vineyards 2017 Rosé. The Rosé from the Paso Robles winery also won a Gold Medal and was awarded Best in Class for the – Any Rosé Blends – category.
Best Sparkling Wine was awarded to Laetitia Vineyard & Winery’s 2015 Brut Rosé. The same bubbles from the Arroyo Grande winery also claimed a Gold Medal, and was awarded Best in Class in the Méthode Champenoise category.
Best Dessert Wine was awarded to Glunz Family Winery’s Mission Angelica. The wine from the Paso Robles winery also won a Gold Medal and was awarded Best in Class in the Fortified Wine category. This is the second year in a row that Mission Angelica has been awarded Best Dessert Wine.
Of the more than 700 wine entries, a record number, nearly 150 Gold Medals were awarded to wineries located in the Central Coast counties of Alameda, San Mateo, Contra Costa, San Benito, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.
“I think we saw the best entries to date, and it’s only getting better every year here at the California Mid-State Fair,” said returning Chief Judge, Tim McDonald.
The judging took place at Estrella Hall at the California Mid-State Fair over two days. On the first day, the 18 judges blind tasted more than 700 wines, rating and then voting on which should be awarded a Gold Medal and Best in Class honor. The following day, the 43 Best in Class wines were blind tasted and awarded best Red, White, Rosé, Sparkling, Dessert, and Best in Show.
Judge McDonald compiled an elite team of 18 judges, including industry leaders and journalists like Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast’s contributing editor, Bill Hayes, wine category manager of BevMo and Mark Chandler, chief judge of California State Fair Wine Competition.
The judges agreed the 2018 entries further prove the Central Coast has earned its rightful place among the best wine regions on the planet.
The awards for Winery of the Year, Winemaker of the Year, Wine Grower of the Year, and Wine Industry Person of the Year will be announced at the 2018 California Mid-State Fair Wine Industry Awards, July 20. Taking place during the annual Mid-State Fair (July 18-29), the public event allows fairgoers to sample this year’s nearly 150 Gold Medal-winning wines. Tickets are now on sale.
“The fact is, some of the best wines in the world are being made right here in the Central Coast,” said California Mid-State Fair CEO Michael Bradley. “And the Central Coast Wine Competition is the ideal way to highlight, celebrate and allow everyone to experience these world-class wines that are being crafted by our talented neighbors.”
For further information, visit centralcoastwinecomp.com.
The 2018 California Mid-State Fair runs July 18 through July 29. This year’s theme is “Ole! It’s Fiesta Time!”