Home Wine Business Editorial Miro Tcholakov Named Honorary Chief Judge for 2023 Sunset International Wine Competition

Miro Tcholakov Named Honorary Chief Judge for 2023 Sunset International Wine Competition

Miro Tcholakov
Miro Tcholakov

May 2, 2023 (Santa Rosa, Calif.) – Winemaker Miroslav (Miro) Tcholakov has been named Honorary Chief Judge for the upcoming Sunset International Wine Competition, which takes place May 23-25, 2023, in Sonoma County, Calif. 

Sponsored by Western lifestyle brand and publication Sunset, the contest is expected to welcome more than 3,000 individual entries this year. Tcholakov, who began serving as a wine judge at numerous competitions close to 18 years ago, says, “It’s a very nice surprise. I’m honored to be asked to serve as head judge.”

“Judges play such an important role in the success of the wine industry, but they often go unmentioned. Naming Miro Honorary Chief Judge is, in large part, a way to honor his years of hard work and dedication to the industry as a whole,” says Debra Del Fiorentino, owner of Wine Competitions Management & Productions (WCMP), which presents the Sunset International Wine Competition. “He’s one of the most personable and conscientious wine judges I’ve ever worked with.”  

Born in Bulgaria, Tcholakov learned winemaking at the shoulder of his grandfather, and later studied viticulture and enology at the country’s Higher Institute of Agriculture in Plovdiv. He came to America in 1990 for an agricultural exchange program set up by The Future Farmers of America. What was supposed to be a temporary harvest job turned into a 9-year position at Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Vineyard. Tcholakov was then named winemaker for Trentadue Winery, where he remains today, creating world-class wines and overseeing many custom crush operations. In 2001, Miro became his own customer with his inaugural bottling of Miro Cellars’ Petite Sirah.  

As a winemaker himself, Tcholakov understands the role competitions play in the marketing of fine wine. “Wineries often need a third party endorsement for their wines and use the scores for marketing and sales support,” he says. “It’s very hard, especially for small wineries or those new to the business, to get the attention of conventional media or to get their wines tasted and evaluated. Wine competitions provide access and fair judgement by a larger group of professionals. Usually, judges are selected from and represent a diverse group of  professionals involved in many sides of the food and beverage industry.”

Deadline for entry to the Sunset International Wine Competition is May 8. Click here for more information.



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