Home Industry News Releases Results from the 3rd Annual Foothill Wine Festival Competition

Results from the 3rd Annual Foothill Wine Festival Competition

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3rd Annual Foothill Wine Festival Competition Crowns 2019 Gwinllan Estate Sparkling Rosé Best Sparkling and Best Of Show; 2022 Casino Mine Ranch “Flicka” Named Best White; 2021 Jeff Runquist Charbono Named Best Red; 2022 Rosa-Lucca “Sweet Ayla” Named Best Rosé; and 2021 Jeff Runquist “Sisney” Port Named Best Dessert Wine

Folsom, Calif., Sept. 14, 2023— Gwinllan Estate’s 2019 Sparkling Rosé from Fairplay once again took Best Sparkling for the second straight year. The dazzling pink sparkler also garnered the highest score, earning it Best of Show honors. 

Casino Mine’s Best White, the 2022 “Flicka,” is made from Greco di Tufo, but this grape varietal may not be used on US wine labels. Similar to the usage of “Champagne,” the name is proprietary to a region in Campania, Italy, and cannot legally appear on labels outside the region.

This is the first time a Charbono took Best Red at this competition, with honors going to Jeff Runquist. Rosa-Lucca Estates, a first-time entrant, took three Best of Class honors, for their 2022 Rosé, 2019 ‘Grandpa’s Field’ Zinfandel and 2022 Falanghina. 

From 378 entries by 23 wineries, the judges, which included media, sommeliers and wine buyers from throughout California, awarded 36 Double Golds, 103 Gold, 168 Silver, and 54 Bronze medals. In 2022, 34 Double Gold, 85 Gold, 146 Silver and 60 Bronze medals were awarded out of 347 entries. To win a Double Gold, all judges on a panel must concur that the wine is of superior quality. Scores of 95 points and higher are awarded to Double Gold wines. 

This year, 14 wineries entered for the first time, including these new ones: 

  • Happy Dayz – Placer County
  • Smokin’ Barrel – Placer County
  • Corkwood Cellars – Amador County
  • Rubidoux Ridge – Fiddletown, Amador County
  • Dora Dain – Placer County 
  • J & M Fenaux – Amador County
  • Wolfe Heights Estate- Sacramento County

Competition Coordinator, Coleen Schwietert, noted, “This significant growth in new wineries proves that the Foothills region is truly on the rise.” She also noted that many wineries were unable to enter this year, due to the devastating frosts last spring. Some portions of the region were also hard hit by the Mosquito Fire of September, 2022 and the Caldor Fire of August, 2021.

The Foothills Wine Competition was co-created by Mike Owen, President & CEO of Crystal Basin Cellars, and Joe Gagliardi, CEO of Choose Folsom. It is open to wines bearing labels from any District 10 county, including Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer and Tuolumne. Held in Folsom on Saturday and Sunday, September 9 & 10, at the SAFE Credit Union building, the competition is sponsored by Choose Folsom, which will host the upcoming consumer tasting on November 11, 2023, at the Palladio event center in Folsom. Tickets: www.foothillwinefest.com.

Best of Show and Best of Class winners for the 2023 Foothill Wine Competition:

BEST OF SHOW

Rosa-Lucca Estates

2022

Rosé Wine; Sweet; Ayla Rosé

Best of Show Rose

Casino Mine Ranch

2022

Flicka

Best of Show White

Gwinllan Estate

2019

Rosé sparkling wine

Best of Show Sparkling

Jeff Runquist

2021

Charbono

Best of Show Red

Jeff Runquist

2021

Sisney

Best of Show Dessert Wine

BEST OF REGION

Le Casque

2020

Cabernet Franc

Best Cabernet Franc of Region

Rosa-Lucca Estates

2019

Zinfandel – “Grandpa’s Field”

Best Zinfandel of Region

Amador Cellars

2019

Teroldego

Best Blended Red Italian Varietalsof Region

Vina Moda

2020

Red Blend: Rhone-based Blend- Vinas

Best Red Rhone Blend of Region

PleinAir Vineyards

2019

Cabernet Sauvignon

Best Cabernet Sauvignon of Region

Jeff Runquist

2021

Charbono

Best of Other Red Varietals of Region

Stevenot Winery

2020

Estate Grown Barbera

Best Barbera of Region

Skinner

2022

Grenache Blanc

Best Grenache Blanc of Region

Secret Ravine

2020

Merlot

Best Merlot of Region

PleinAir Vineyards

2020

Mourvedre

Best Mourvedre of Region

Wilderotter Vineyard

2018

Nebbiolo

Best Nebbiolo of Region

Di Arie

2019

Interlude

Best of Other Italian Blends of Region

Rosa-Lucca Estates

2022

Falanghina; “Cugini”

Best of Other White Varietal of Region

Drytown Cellars

2020

Petite Sirah

Best Petite Sirah of Region

Wise Villa Winery

2022

Pinot Gris 

Best Pinot Grigio of Region

Shenandoah Vineyards

2021

Red Blend: Proprietary- Zingiovese

Best Red Blend of Region

Steiner Family Vineyards

2022

Roussanne -Cooper Ranch

Best Rousanne of Region

Findleton Estate

2020

Syrah/ Shiraz

Best Syrah of Region

Belledor Vineyards

2020

Tempranillo

Best Tempranillo of Region

Ironstone Vineyards

2020

Reserve Viognier

Best Viognier of Region

Skinner

2022

Carignan

Best Carignane of Region

Cooper Vineyards LLC

2020

Sangiovese

Best Sangiovese of Region

Windwalker Vineyard

2020

Bordeaux Blend

Best Blended Red Bordeaux of Region

Bumgarner Winery

2022

Van Blanc

Best Blended White Wine of Region

1850 Wine Cellars

2020

Malbec

Best Malbec of Region

Casino Mine Ranch

2020

Grenache

Best Grenache of Region

SZABO Vineyards

2019

Primitivo

Best Primitivo of Region

Wilderotter Vineyard

2021

Sauvignon Blanc/ Fume Blanc

Best Sauvignon Blanc of Region

Wise Villa Winery

2022

Chardonnay California Style 

Best Chardonnay of Region

This year’s judges commented that Zinfandels are becoming far more elegant and
restrained than in the past. They also observed that Barberas are exhibiting better tannin
management, and that Rhones continue to impress. Further demonstrating the region’s grape-growing breadth, Italian varietals like Barbera, Charbono, Greco, Sagrantino,
Nebbiolo, Teroldego and Falanghina were prominent among the Best of Class winners.

Tickets to the Foothill Wine Fest, including overnight hotel packages and gift cards to the
Palladio shopping mall, are available on the Festival Website: www.foothillwinefest.com.

A complete list of winners can be found at the same website.

For more information, contact Coleen: ColeenS@choosefolsom.com

About Choose Folsom

Choose Folsom is a collaboration of the Folsom Chamber of Commerce, the Folsom
Tourism Bureau and the Folsom Economic Development Corporation. Representing
approximately 1,000 members, these organizations are the principal advocates for
business and a vibrant economy to support the quality of life in Folsom.
www.foothillwinefest.com

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