Home Industry News Releases 2022 International Women’s Wine & Spirits Competition Winners Announced

2022 International Women’s Wine & Spirits Competition Winners Announced


May 31, 2022 (Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Winners have been announced in the 2022 International Women’s Wine & Spirits Competition, the only competition in the United States (possibly the world) to feature exclusively female judges. The competition is open to makers of all genders, with its focus on identifying specific wines and spirits that women consumers will enjoy and, ultimately, purchase. 

This year, Louis M. Martini 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma County, Calif.) was chosen as  Best of the Best wine, with judges commenting: “Rich, concentrated”; “nice berry”; “Complex  and lengthy.” 

Now in its fifteenth year, this prestigious international challenge this year added spirits to its lineup. The first-ever winner in this category is Oregon City, Ore.-based Trail Distilling’s Trillium Pink Pinot Gin, which, judges raved, is “spicy, complex and creamy.” 

The competition brings together esteemed judging panels made up exclusively of professional women winemakers, distillers, sommeliers, retail buyers, beverage industry educators and journalists. The judges identify not only the best wines and spirits submitted, but also those they feel would appeal most to women buyers and consumers. 

“Every year, I’m impressed with the dedication our judges bring to their task,” says Debra Del Fiorentino, founder of Wine Competitions Management & Production, which organizes and hosts the competition. “Most [of them] are long-time, experienced judges, but there’s something different about the atmosphere at this competition. I don’t know that I would call it ‘female energy,’ but there’s definitely much more collaboration and discussion before choosing winners.”

In addition to its traditional medals and Best Of Show awards — and despite being open to all winemakers and distillers regardless of gender — IWWSC also presents an extra honor to Woman Winemaker and Woman Distiller of the Year.  

Sue Tipton, owner/grower/winemaker from Acquiese Winery & Vineyards in Lodi, Calif., is this year’s top woman winemaker. Her 2021 Pipcoul Blanc impressed judges with its “Tangy, juicy, European style and minerality.” The Best Woman Distiller is Trail Distilling’s co-owner Sara Brennan, who created the overall spirits winner, Trail Distilling Trillium Pink Pinot Gin. 

Below is a list of all Best of Show winners from IWWSC 2022. For a full list of medals, go to www.winecompetitions.com


Best of the Best, Best of Show Red Wine 

  • Louis M. Martini 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon (GG, 99 pts.) 

Best of Show White Wine 

  • Matrix Winery Estate Chardonnay (GG, 99) 
  • Judges: “It’s classic”; “Silky, long and complex”; “Supple and rich.” 

Best Woman Winemaker 

  • Acquiese Winery & Vineyards 2021 Picpoul Blanc (GG, 98) 

Best of Show Sparkling Wine (tie) 

  • Domaine Carneros Estate Brut (GG, 97) 
    • Judges: “Nice, traditional, well balanced”; “Quince paste, pear, yellow delicious apple”; “White cherry.” (and) 
  • Bryn Mawr Vineyards Sparkling Rosé (GG, 97) 
    • Judges: “Elegant purity of fruit”; “Strawberry”; “Balanced, lingering finish”; “Aromatics jump out of the  glass.” 

Best of show Dessert / Late Harvest Wine 

  • Gallo Family Vineyards Sweet Peach (GG, 96) 
    • Judges: “Peachy keen!” “Fun confetti”; “Party.” 

Best of Show Rose’ Wine 

  • Sonoma-Cutrer Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir (GG, 96)
    • Judges: “Berries, plum and citrus”; “Nice amount of CO2”; “Pleasant mouthfeel.”

Best of Show Cider 

  • Urban Tree Cidery Orange U an IPA? (GG, 95) 
    • Judges: “Mandarin orange, distinctive hops”; “Nice effervescence and balance, beautiful texture.” 


Best of Show Gin 

  • Trail Distilling Trillium Pink Pinot Gin (GG, 98 pts.) 

Best of Show Vodka 

  • Royal Mash Potato Vodka (GG, 98) 
    • Judges: “Clean, smooth”; “Vegetal notes”; “Clean, silky.” 

Best of Show Mezcal  

  • Pechuga Fosforo Mezcal (GG, 97) 
    • Judges: “Creamy vanilla nose”; “Pretty fruit and florals.” 

Best of Show Agave / Tequila

  • E & J. Gallo Winery Familia Camarena Tequila Silver/Plato (GG, 96) 
    • Judges: “Pretty floral nose”; “Nice agave quality”; “Smooth, malty, nice fruit.”

Best of Show Liqueur 

  • C88 Holdings, LLC Rivulet Artisan Pecan Liqueur (GG, 96) 
    • Judges: “Beautiful natural toasty pecan”; “Delicious!” 

Best of Show Ready to Drink (RTD) 

  • Charles Jacquin et Cie Bartenders Trading Company Espresso martini (GG, 96) Judges: “High quality, perfectly balanced.” 

Best of Show Whiskey 

  • The Brand Guild Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey (GG, 95) 
    • Judges: “Sweet white corn”; “Light stone fruit”; “Light floral and spicy.”
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