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Kokomo’s 2016 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Takes First 100 Point Score Ever Awarded at the 2018 Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge


Santa Rosa, Calif. – Wine Competitions Management & Productions and The Press Democrat have concluded the sixth annual North Coast Wine Challenge, a competition focused exclusively on wines produced in California’s prestigious North Coast, arguably one of the finest winegrowing regions in the world. The judging, took place April 10-11, 2018 in Santa Rosa, Calif., awarding a total of 177 gold medals.

Only wines produced and bottled by wineries in California’s North Coast AVAs are eligible to compete. The top wines received prestigious rankings of Gold, Double Gold, Best of Class by Category, Best of County, and ultimately one “Best of the Best” award.  The criteria to only announce gold medal winners and above keeps the prestige level high in this wine judging. Only wines rating 90+ points were awarded gold medals and were eligible to move on to the ‘Best Of’ Category.

Healdsburg’s Kokomo Winery won the highest achievement in the competition’s history with its Pinot Noir, Single Vineyard, Gopher Hill, Peters Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, taking the coveted “Best of the Best” title. “This pinot was clearly a delicious well-made high-quality wine. It shined early on in its class, then went on to easily be voted best pinot, Best Red beating out 17 other red wine contenders and then ‘Best of the Best’ beating out the 4 other categories. The wine was seamless and achieved our first 100-point score!” according to Chief Judge, Daryl Groom. 

“This event offers winners the chance to boast to their North Coast winegrowing compatriots whose wine is better,” says Wine Competition Director, Debra Del Fiorentino.  She added that, “While the stakes are high, it’s all done in the good nature of competitive spirit and ultimate bragging rights.  But now with a 100-point winner, the bar on bragging rights has been raised to an even higher level.” 

All gold medal winners were featured in the Food and Wine section of April 18, 2018 edition of The Press Democrat and online at NorthCoastWineChallenge.com, NorthCoastWineandFood.com, PressDemocrat.com, and WineCompetitions.com.

Chief Judge Daryl Groom adds that “The competition ran very smoothly and was loved by all the judges with feedback that this is the best competition and of the highest integrity. With only 28 judges I believe we have close to 1000 years of expertise and industry experience. Medal winning wineries should be proud of their achievement that this hugely respected group of judges found their wines delicious enough to award the medals they did. The judges consist of influential media, major wine buyers (both local and across the USA) and prominent winemakers and sommeliers which will hopefully drive more business and consumers to their wineries.” Groom’s expertise includes serving as wine judge in more than 150 wine shows across the United States, and he has made many award-winning wines in California’s North Coast and his native Australia. He was named Winemaker of the Year by eight publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times.

The Press Democrat will subsequently host the North Coast Wine & Food Festival on Saturday, June 9 at Sonoma Mountain Village in Rohnert Park, Calif. featuring the highest scoring Gold Medal winners from this year’s challenge, along with 20 top chefs from the region. “This event continues to be a first-class, quality experience for all involved.  The public looks forward to sampling these stand-out wines paired with inventive and delightful local fare,” said Steve Falk, CEO of Sonoma Media Investments, owners of The Press Democrat.

Guests will be able to explore Sonoma Mountain Village, meet gold-medal-winning winemakers and taste their wines paired with delicious food bites prepared by iconic North Bay chefs.  Complimentary trade and press passes are available.  For more details about the tasting, contact Ginger Hopkins, Events & Sponsorship Manager for The Press Democrat (see contact information above) or visit NorthCoastWineandFood.com for full details.

About Wine Competitions Management & Productions

Based in Santa Rosa, Calif., Wine Competitions Management & Productions is an independently owned and operated adult beverage competition company. Its wine competitions include The Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge, Harvest Challenge, East Meets West (formerly International Eastern Wine Competition and West Coast Wine Competition), and the International Women’s Wine Competition. See winecompetitions.com for more information.

Sponsors of Wine Competitions Management & Productions’ Competition  www.northcoastwinechallenge.com Judging event sponsors include Penta Water, Wine Country Shipping, Graber Olives, Costeaux French Bakery, Sonoma Cider, Guayaki Yerba Mate, and Lagunitas Brewery.

About The Press Democrat

Based in Santa Rosa, Calif., The Press Democrat is the North Bay’s most-read provider of up-to-the-minute local news. It is a recognized leader in the development of highly effective integrated media solutions for its business clients. The Press Democrat is owned by Sonoma Media Investments LLC, a multimedia company that provides world-class local news, information and entertainment to audiences throughout San Francisco’s North Bay. See PDmediaSource.com  and pressdemocrat.com for more information.

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