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Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley Wins Major Awards at Sonoma County Harvest Fair

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Cameron Mauritson Awarded 2014 Outstanding Young Farmer Award; David Stare Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

HEALDSBURG, Calif. (September 23, 2014) — Winners of the Sonoma County Harvest Fair Professional Wine Competition were announced last Sunday, and Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley® (WDCV) wines came out on top, with six Best-In-Show awards. The two wineries with the most gold-level awards were WDCV members Wilson Winery (18 awards) and Mazzocco Winery (9).  In addition to the slew of awards that the WDCV wineries received, two members will be honored with personal awards at this year’s Sonoma County Harvest Fair. WDCV President Cameron Mauritson will receive the 2014 Outstanding Young Farmer Award and WDCV founding member David Stare, of Dry Creek Vineyard, will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Cameron Mauritson
Cameron Mauritson, pictured on his family’s property

There will be an Awards Night with Harvest Fair Honorees on Sunday, September 28th at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts and the fair takes place October 3rd-October 5th. The central highlight of the Sonoma County Harvest Fair is its Tasting Pavilion, in which guests can taste the award-winning wines alongside award-winning local foods.

Cameron Mauritson is a sixth generation grape grower in his family. His family has been growing grapes in Dry Creek Valley since 1868. To be eligible for the Outstanding Young Farmer Award, one must be under 40; at age 30, Mauritson is even five years younger than the zinfandel vines surrounding his home. He lives in Dry Creek Valley with his wife, Ashley. He and his two brothers, Bob and Blake, manage 310 acres of vineyards with their father, Thom Mauritson. Cameron Mauritson’s expertise comes not only from his family, but also from his formal education–he attended California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo for a Bachelor of Science in Wine Business and for a Master of Science in Agriculture, emphasizing Crop Science.

Cameron Mauritson is the third member of WDCV to receive his award, and the second in his family. In 1983, Thom Mauritson was also honored with the Outstanding Young Farmer Award and in 1981, Dane Peterson of Fall Creek Vineyards earned the title.

David Stare founded Dry Creek Vineyard in 1972, making it the first new winery in the Valley after the Prohibition. Stare’s contributions to the Valley are immense.  He was the first to plant Sauvignon Blanc in Dry Creek Valley, the first to coin the term “Old Vine” to describe pre-Prohibition Zinfandel plantings, the first to use the term “Meritage” on a wine label, and his wines were the first to use the Dry Creek Valley Appellation name. In 1989, he helped found WDCV.  He has devoted much of his life to Dry Creek Valley and to increasing Sonoma County’s reputation for world-class wines.

Many WDCV vintners received high honors in the Sonoma County Harvest Fair Professional Wine Competition. Top wines from Dry Creek Valley included:

Best of Class Winners

  • Mazzocco Sonoma          2012   Zinfandel Smith Orchard Reserve $52.00
  • Mazzocco Sonoma          2012   Zinfandel Sullivan $34.00
  • Hawley                                 2010   Estate Meritage $52.00
  • Dutcher Crossing             2012    Kupferschmid Red $38.00
  • Mill Creek Vineyards     2013    Estate Dry Gewürztraminer $23.00
  • Wilson Winery                  2011    Dorothy’s Vineyard Syrah $32.00

Double Gold Winners

  • Mazzocco Sonoma           2011          Cabernet Sauvignon $30.00
  • Mazzocco Sonoma           2012          Zinfandel Briar $29.00
  • Mazzocco Sonoma           2012          Zinfandel Pony Reserve $60.00
  • Mazzocco Sonoma           2012          Zinfandel Maple Reserve $60.00
  • Pedroncelli                         2013          Sauvignon Blanc East Side Vineyards $14.00
  • Peterson Winery              2011          Petite Sirah $32.00
  • Trattore Wines                 2013           mR. $24.00
  • Wilson Winery                 2011           Molly’s Vineyard Petite Sirah $40.00
  • Wilson Winery                 2012           Molly’s Vineyard Single Vineyard Reserve Zinfandel $50.00
  • Wilson Winery                 2012           Molly’s Vineyard Estate Single Vineyard Zinfandel $36.00
  • Wilson Winery                 2012          Carl’s Vineyard Estate Single Vineyard Zinfandel $36.00

Gold Winners

  • Dry Creek Vineyard                 2013          Sauvignon Blanc $18.00
  • Dry Creek Vineyard                 2011          The Mariner Meritage $45.00
  • Dutcher Crossing                       2011          Taylor Reserve Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon $46.00
  • Forchini Vineyards and Winery    2012          Papa Nonno    $26.00
  • Mazzocco Sonoma                   2012          Briar Petite Sirah $35.00
  • Pedroncelli                                 2009          Four Grapes Vintage Port $19.00
  • Sbragia Family Vineyards    2012          La Promessa Zinfandel $48.00
  • Trattore Wines                          2012          Viognier $26.00

The 2014 Sonoma County Harvest Fair marks its 40th year of showcasing the county’s grand harvest which continues to result in world-class wines, award winning beer and a plethora of culinary wealth. Each October, thirsty travelers from over thirty different states, are beckoned to Santa Rosa to participate in a complete farm to table experience, inspired by the county’s hard working farmer’s, ranchers, vintners and producers. For more information about attending the Awards Night With Harvest Fair Honorees or the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, visit

http://www.harvestfair.org/.

About Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley

The Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley® (WDCV) is an association of more than 60 wineries and 150 growers, of which more than 95 percent are small, family-owned operations. WDCV is dedicated to advancing the recognition, enhancement and preservation of Dry Creek Valley as a premium winegrowing region. Anchored by the charming town of Healdsburg, the Dry Creek Valley appellation was officially designated in 1983. Known as a premier zinfandel growing region, Dry Creek Valley is one of California’s oldest wine producing regions and is home to many heritage vineyards ranging in age from 50 to 120 years. To preserve this history and the valley’s pristine beauty, the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley supports sustainable viticulture and low-impact farming practices. www.drycreekvalley.org

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