39th Annual Mendocino County Fair Wine Competition Awards
Friday, August 4th — The Mendocino wine community gathered this past Friday to celebrate the results of the 39th Annual Mendocino County Fair Wine Competition, one of the longest continuous running regional wine competitions in California. This year, there were 249 wine entries from 46 wineries. A record number of medals were awarded, with 52 Double Golds, 60 Gold Medals and 121 Silver Medals. After the Best of Show wines were selected, veteran wine judge Dan Berger concluded, “This was an impressive breakthrough for Mendocino County!”
Best of Show Awards, chosen from Best of Class winners are: Best of Show Sparkling – Roederer NV Brut Rose’, Best of Show White – 2016 Navarro Edelzwicker (Blended White), Best of Show Rose’ – 2016 Navarro Rose’, Best of Show Red – 2015 Lazy Creek Pinot Noir – Middleridge Ranch, and Best of Show Dessert – 2016 Navarro Late Harvest Riesling Cluster Select.
Navarro Vineyards was the big winner at the wine competition with an exceptional 3 Best of Show Awards, 9 Double Golds, 10 Golds and 6 Silver medals. Winemaker Jim Klein sources fruit from all over Mendocino County, and produces over 30 different wines most years. Vineyard and Winery Management Magazine recognized Jim as one of North America’s 20 Most Influential Winemakers, noting that “…he makes some of Mendocino County’s – and indeed, California’s – most beautiful wines. His pinot noirs, along with Alsace-style Rieslings, Gewürztraminers and Muscats, have earned Navarro countless medals in international wine competitions.”
One memorable flight was Petite Sirah with an unprecedented 9 Double Gold medals awarded out of 11 entries. The judges were awed by the finesse exhibited by these wines. “We had four vintages of Petite Sirah and they were all great!” commented Dan Berger. Powicana Farm, a small 10-acre organic Petite Sirah vineyard from Redwood Valley was awarded the Best of Class in this competitive flight.
This year’s distinguished judges were: Dan Berger, Dennis Martin, Larry Van Aalst, Mark Bowery, John Sverko, Mike Dunne, Chris Sawyer, Ziggy Eschliman, Laura Ness, Greg Richtarek, Debra Del Fiorentino, and Ellen Landis.
Returning wine judge Mark Bowery had this to say about the competition: “I’ve been doing this competition for over 20 years, and these are the best wines yet.”
Gold medal wines will be poured at the Mendocino County Fair in Boonville September 15-17, 2017.
A complete list of 2017 Mendocino County Fair Wine Competition Awards are available online at http://www.mendowine.com/events/wine-competition.php.