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Monterey County Winery from Santa Lucia Highlands AVA Wins Best Sparkling Wine in USA and Three of the Four US Sparkling Wines Awarded Gold in the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships 2022


December 6th – Caraccioli Cellars was recently awarded three of the four gold medals to United States wineries in the world’s most prestigious sparkling wine competition, The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships 2022 (CSWWC). Scott Caraccioli, General Manager of Caraccioli Cellars, was in attendance at the CSWWC’s 2022 Awards Ceremony in London on November 3rd.

Created by one of the most esteemed experts in the world of bubbles, Tom Stevenson, CSWWC represents the diversity of international champagne and sparkling wine production, with over 1,000 sparkling wines from 21 countries.

 “Certainly, these cuvées [Caraccioli Cellars’ cuvées] demonstrate a degree of class rarely seen in California Sparkling Wines,” shared Tom Stevenson in The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia.

The awards for Caraccioli Cellars follow:

  • Best USA Sparkling Wine, Best Californian, GOLD, Best in Class California Blanc de Blancs Vintage:
    • Caraccioli 2016 Blanc de Blanc, Santa Lucia Highlands, California, United States (75cl, 12%)
      • 100% Chardonnay (White, 6g RS)         
  • GOLD, Best in Class California Brut Vintage,     
    • Caraccioli 2016 Brut Cuvée, Santa Lucia Highlands, California, United States (75cl, 12%)
      • 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir (White, 6g RS)  
  • GOLD, Best in Class California Rosé Vintage   
    • Caraccioli 2016 Brut Rosé, Santa Lucia Highlands, California, United States (75cl, 12%)
      • 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir (Rosé, 6g RS) 

“The primary grapes in sparkling wines are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Monterey County’s two most grown winegrape varietals,” shared Kim Stemler, Director of the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association. “With the success of the Caraccioli’s, I’m hopeful we’ll see an expanded emergence of world-class sparkling wines from Monterey County.”

All the winners can be found at this link. https://www champagnesparklingwwc.co.uk/results/results-2022/

About Caraccioli Cellars

Caraccioli Cellars, a family-run winery founded in 2006, is committed to creating wines that express true to vintage and vineyard wines. Their recent vintages are sourced from their sustainably grown Escolle Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. The winery is in Gonzales, only a few miles from their vineyard, and their tasting room is in Carmel-by-the-Sea. 

Internationally renowned winemaker, the late Michel Salgues developed the foundational techniques for their winemaking practices. Under the direction of Scott Caraccioli and the guidance and daily practices of Greg and Chris Vita, Salgues legacy lives on. Today the Caraccioli family continues to produce Brut Cuvée, Brut Rosé, and Blanc de Blanc sparkling wines, as well as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gamay, and Syrah still wines.

About Monterey Wine Country

Monterey County is a large wine-growing region, made unique in California due to the alignment of mountains with the deepest submarine canyon on the west coast of the Americas. This alignment creates an array of micro-climates and a cooling-down effect allowing grapes to ripen more slowly and evenly. Each year Monterey growers produce between 170,000 to 200,000 thousand tons of wine grapes of 48 different varietals.

The Santa Lucia Highlands AVA is on the east-facing terraces of the Santa Lucia mountain range to the south of breezy Monterey Bay on California’s central coast. In 1992, the federal government officially approved the Santa Lucia Highlands as an American Viticultural Area (AVA). Today, the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA includes approximately 5,700 acres of grapevines, producing predominantly world-renowned Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.



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