After receiving 6,960 entries from 35 states across the country, the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (SFCWC), presented by BevMo!, has once again successfully narrowed thousands of wines down to an exclusive few.
In the second week of January, 67 independent judges from a variety of fields including trade, education, media, retail and hospitality traveled to the Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds in Sonoma County to determine the best wines in the USA. Utilizing an extensive process that divides the varietals into several categories and subcategories, the event gave the panels the chance to rate entries as Bronze, Silver, Gold or “Double Gold”(equivalent to a unanimous rating by all panel members).
Three full days of judging were followed by the Sweepstakes judging, which took place on Friday morning. 47 judges participated in this portion, and an astounding 3,478 glasses were used in the final tasting for the best of the best. Only 7 entries were honored with the prestigious Sweepstake Award in the categories of Label, Sparkling, White, Pink, Red, and Dessert/Specialty wines. For the first time, in 2018 the SFCWC has also added a Cider Sweepstake winner.
The 2018 Sweepstake Award Winners are:
Red Sweepstake Winner
O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery (CA) 2014 Napa Valley Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
White Sweepstake Winner
Brick Barn Wine Estate (CA) 2016 Santa Ynez Valley Vermintino
Sparkling Sweepstake Winner
Rack & Riddle (CA) NV Sonoma County Blanc de Noirs
Rose Sweepstake Winner
Barnard Griffin (WA) 2017 Columbia Valley Rose of Sangiovese
Dessert/Specialty Sweepstake Winner
Merritt Estate Winery (NY) 2015 Lake Erie Vidal Ice Wine
Wine Label Sweepstake Winner
Rodney Strong Vineyards (CA) 2015 Sonoma County Upshot
Cider Sweepstake Winner
Goose Watch Winery (NY) NV Finger Lakes Flying High Semi-Sweet Cider
Some amazing American Viticultural Areas are bringing in wines of extraordinary quality, resulting in 173 Best of Class awards. In addition to California and Oregon, major regions which won numerous awards and Best of Class designations include New York, Washington, and Texas. Each of the Best of Class winners have been categorized to provide consumers with an easy reference guide to delicious and affordable wines based on insights from industry specialists.
Founded in 1983 as the modestly sized Cloverdale Citrus Fair Wine Competition, the SFCWC has expanded tremendously over the years, finally gaining title sponsorship from the San Francisco Chronicle in 2000 and bringing on BevMo! as a presenting sponsor since 2013. Now celebrating the 18th anniversary of the competition, the SFCWC is considered the barometer of how consumers select and measure their wine.
The public will have a chance to taste many of these award winning wines at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition’s Public Tasting, happening February 17 from 1:30-5pm at the Fort Mason Center’s Festival Pavilion in San Francisco.
WHAT: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Public Tasting
WHEN: Saturday, February 17, 2018
WHERE: Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
TIME: 1:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
COST: $70 Advance Purchase, $95 at the door (the event has sold out for the past eight years; advance ticket purchase is recommended.)