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Oregon Winery Wins 2024 Winery of the Year in California Dominant Competition


ROSEBURG, Ore., March. 13, 2024 — Umpqua Valley winery Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards has recently been awarded 2024 Winery of the Year and ‘Best White Wine’ at Toast of the Coast International Wine Competition, held in Del Mar, California. In total, Reustle claimed 4 Double Gold and 3 Gold Medals, including 3 ‘Best of Class’ distinctions.

Toast of the Coast is an annual event hosted by the San Diego County Fair, aiming to recognize wineries producing the highest quality wines from around the world. Out of over 320 wines honored in the competition, with a majority hailing from California, Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards dominated several varietal categories. 

Their 2021 Syrah was crowned ‘Best Syrah’, the 2022 Grenache clinched ‘Best Grenache’ and their 2022 Gruner Veltliner Green Lizard was awarded the ‘Best White Wine’ of the competition and 95 points. 

According to Stephen, the Green Lizard was fashioned in the traditional ‘Smaragd’ style of Austria’s Wachau region and was labeled accordingly for 3 consecutive vintages before the Austrian authorities intervened with a cease and desist letter. 

The Wachau region uses an exclusive 3 tiered designation system for its wines: Federspiel, Steinfeder, and Smaragd. Smaragd (pronounced Smar-ock) is considered the highest quality distinction. The term itself  literally translates as ‘emerald’ and is a reference to the emerald ‘Smaragdeidechse’ lizards that reside in the vineyards of the Wachau.  

“We’ve since resolved the issue with Austria on good terms,” Reustle says, “and we’ve discontinued calling it ‘Smaragd’ on our labels preferring instead the ‘tongue and cheek’ alternative… Green Lizard. 

While typically featuring an international roster of entries, this season’s Toast of the Coast competition saw an overwhelming majority of submissions from California producers. “I believe this sets a precedent for the quality of Oregon wines,” Stephen remarked, “particularly when competing against California which produces some of the most expensive and coveted wines in the United States.”

“We are beyond blessed to win such a prestigious title as ‘Winery of the Year’,” Reustle says… “To garner three ‘Best of Class’ awards and ‘Best White Wine’ in a California dominant competition not only highlights the quality of our wines, but shows there’s more to the Umpqua Valley than meets the eye.”

About Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards

Five-time Winery of the Year… Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards has earned countless awards for its wines including Dan Berger’s Int’l 2023 & 2020 Small Winery of the Year, Winepress NW’s 2017 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year, and Riverside Int’l 2010 Small Winery of the Year. Other noteworthy achievements include Top Syrah at the Six Nations Wine Challenge and securing ‘Best White Wine’ in North America for its 2021 Gruner Veltliner – Green Lizard at the 2023 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Producing roughly 7,500 cases annually, Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards is family owned and 100% estate-grown and produced in Oregon’s Umpqua Valley.