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Nominations Open for 2018 Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge Associate Judging Program


In 2017 the Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge Associate Judging Program was launched, specifically designed to educate and introduce future winemakers and young industry professionals to how wine competitions are conducted. The program was warmly received and endorsed by our professional judges and loved by the Associate Judges that participated.

For this year’s competition, 10 new associate judges will be invited. They will all have the opportunity to:

  • LEARN & INTERACT fully with their judging team comprised of three experienced wine judges – one winemaker, on buyer, and one media professional.
  • TASTE all of the wines with their judging team.
  • SCORE the wines as if they were a judge.
  • NETWORK with all of our experienced judges during the competition and at the Judges’ Dinner.


Judging takes place at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, April 11th. Associate Judges are asked to arrive at 8:15 am and be available until 4:30 pm. Lunch will be provided. Associate judges will also be invited to the Judges’ Dinner that evening at Clos du Bois Winery. Associate Judges are also invited to participate in the Sweepstakes round judging on Wednesday, April 12th from 9 am to 11:30 am.

If you have an employee or colleague you would like to nominate (it is also okay to nominate yourself if you fit the criteria), please email your nomination to our Chief Judge Daryl Groom at [email protected]. In your message, please include one brief paragraph explaining:

  • The nominee’s name, current position and their aspiration(s)
  • Why you would like them to be considered
  • How to contact the nominee should they be selected

We envisage the nominees to be in the early stages of his or her career where this experience may be of future benefit from competition style tasting, education and one-on-one exposure with experienced industry professionals. Nominees do not need judging experience. Our goal is simply to enhance their knowledge, passion, and hopefully confidence.

Please enter your nominations to Daryl Groom by Friday, February 12th, 2018.

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