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California GUIDE TO THE BEST OF

Award winning OLIVE OIL, CHEESE, WINE & CRAFT BEER

THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR

2018 COMMERCIAL COMPETITIONS


California is the nation’s #1 Agriculture

State, with more than $47 billion in annual agricultural production. California is home to nine of the ten most productive agriculture counties in America. Since the high level of competition at the State Fair establishes benchmarks for consumers and inspires competitors to further enhance their products, if it’s made, raised or grown in California, you’ll likely find it competing for recognition at the California State Fair. When competing alongside of quality food and beverage products of the largest agricultural producing State in America, it’s a tremendous honor to be selected as the “Best of California.” Judging - Thousands of professional companies vie annually to be recognized by the California State Fair. To help insure our prestige and credibility, hundreds of esteemed expert judges came together to preside over the State Fair’s competitions this year in four key commercial product categories: Wines, Cheeses, Craft Beers, and Extra Virgin Olive Oils. With more than 20,000 competitive entries, respected judges sorted, sniffed, sipped and tasted top products, with an eye toward awarding the State Fair Golden Bears, Gold Medals and Blue Ribbons - coveted symbols of excellence in California. Feed Your Tastes - As the State Fair, we take pride in helping to make connections between the people who enjoy these uniquely California products and the creative artisans that bring them to life. Our top award-winners are highlighted on the following pages, and many other winners can be found at our website, CAStateFair. org. Our new searchable data base system helps consumers find their favorite Wine by region or price point or search for the best Cheese by type. We believe the more information you have about a specific style of Beer or the more you know about the qualities that make California Extra Virgin Olive Oil some of the best in the world, the more pleasure you will get from these products. We invite you to use this magazine as a guide all year long to fill your table with the best that California has to offer. Uniquely California - As you savor these award winning products, remember that you are enjoying the richness of the Golden State, its pristine water, fertile soils, abundant sunshine, rich technology, creative spirit, and the collective work of those who call California home!

Enjoy! - Rick K. Pickering CEO, California State Fair

California GUIDE TO THE BEST OF

2018 COMMERCIAL

COMPETITIONS

GOVERNOR

Edmund G. Brown Jr.

CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Chair Rima Barkett

Vice Chair Rina V. DiMare Sonney Chong Jess Durfee Corny Gallagher Rex S. Hime David Mallel K. Mark Nelson Tony Ortiz

EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS

Senator Richard Pan M.D.

Senator Anthony Cannella Assembly Member Kevin McCarty Assembly Member Susan Eggman

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Rick K. Pickering

PUBLISHER

California State Fair

1600 Exposition Boulevard Sacramento, CA 95815 CAStateFair.org (916) 263-FAIR (877) CAL-EXPO


Contents

6 Commercial Extra Virgin Olive Oil 8 Best of Show: Extra Virgin Olive Oil Wild Groves: No matter where life takes you. 10 Best of Show: Flavored Olive Oil Sciabica’s California Olive Oil Flavor your life. 14 Commercial Cheese 15 Best of Show: Cheese - Cow Milk Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co., Can we say Gouda! 16 Best of Show: Cheese-Mixed Milk Type Moonside Creamery: Smoke Ring cheese 20 Commercial Wine 24 California Vineyard of the Year Paraiso Vineyard 28 California Winery of the Year Imagery Estate Winery 36 Best of Show: Red Wine St. Amant Winery 2016 The Old Soldier Touriga 42 Best of Show: White Wine Picchetti Winery 2017 Sauvignon Blanc 44 Best Value Wine Collier Creek 2016 Front Coach Chardonnay 62 Commercial Craft Beer 66 Brewery Of The Year Mraz Brewing Company of El Dorado Hills 62 Best of Show: Craft Beer Captain Fatty’s Brewer of Santa Barbara


2018 California State Fair Competition Facts

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Commercial Cheese

Commercial Craft Beer

144 Cheeses entered 23 Cheese producers awarded 134 Medals 44 Gold Medals 57 Silver Medals 33 Bronze Medals

1580 Craft Beers entered 110 Breweries awarded 185 Medals 62 Gold Medals 62 Silver Medals 61 Bronze Medals

Commercial Olive Oil

Commercial Wine

189 Olive Oils entered 68 Olive Oil producers awarded 141 Medals 1 Double Gold Medal 48 Gold Medals 60 Silver Medals 32 Bronze Medals

2705 Wines entered 691 Wine companies awarded 2554 Medals 98 Double Gold Medals 267 Gold Medals 1033 Silver Medals 1156 Bronze Medals

2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine


Please enjoy our wines responsibly. © 2018 7 Moons Wine Co., Oakville, CA

Please enjoy our wines responsibly. © 2018 Clos du Bois, Geyserville, CA

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Please enjoy our wines responsibly. © 2018 Robert Mondavi, Acampo, CA


Commercial Extra Virgin Olive Oil

T

he California Commercial Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition features two Shows. The Extra Virgin Olive Oil Show has divisions for varying intensities of single varieties and blends of olive oil, and classes in varietals of olives. The Flavored Olive Oil category has divisions in co-milled and infused olive oil, and classes for flavor varieties. Three special awards honor olive oil producers of each production level: Best of California Extra Virgin Olive Oil by a Large Producer (over 5,000 gallons), an Artisan Producer (500-5,000 gallons) and a Microproducer (less than 500 gallons). This year, 15 Judges awarded 1 Double Gold, 48 Gold, 60 Silver, 32 Bronze awards, 9 Best of Class ribbons, and 9 Best of California plaques. Two Best of Show Golden Bear Trophies are awarded each year, one for Best of Show Extra Virgin Olive Oil and one for Best of Show Flavored Olive Oil.

STATISTICS: California’s extra virgin olive oil business is booming. The 2017 harvest has been estimated to have produced 3.5 million gallons of extra virgin olive oil. As of August 2017, over 40,000 acres of olive groves were in production in California specifically for olive oil, and it is estimated that 20,000 new acres will be planted in California by 2020. There are over 400 growers/ producers, utilizing over 40 mills in California with more under construction and/or expansion. Source: California Olive Oil Council

Almost 40% of California-produced olives and olive oil are exported. Not surprisingly, our neighbors, Canada & Mexico are the biggest importers. Source: CDFA 2017


Competition

Commercial Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Best of Show Best of California Best of Class Large Producr Robust Blend Any Other Cultivar Wild Groves Robust Blend wildgroves.com

Best of California Best of Class Artisan Producer Medium Blend Frantoio

Frate Sole Olive Oil Tuscan Blend fratesole.net

Best of California Microproducer

Ciarlo Fruit and Nut The ‘Hood CiarloFruitNut.com

Best of Show Best of California Best of Class Co-Milled Flavored Oil Herbal Flavored

Sciabica’s California Olive Oil Basil Olive Oil sunshineinabottle.com

Best of California Best of Class Delicate Blend Any Other Cultivar

Cloud 9 Orchard Classic Blend cloud9orchard.com

Best of California Best of Class

Best of California Best of Class

Frantoio Grove Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil frantoiogrove.com

Capay Gold Olive Oil Hojiblanca capaygold.com

Single Variety Medium Any Other Cultivar

Best of Class

Single Variety Robust Any Other Cultivar

Co-Milled Flavored Oil Chili-based Flavored

Best of Class

Best of Class

Medium Blend Any Other Cultivar

Blend Robust Mission

Calivirgin Olive Oil Hot Virgin Jalapeno calivirgin.com

IL Fiorello Olive Oil Company French Blend ilfiorello.com

Mangini Ranch Robust Blend manginiranch.com

Commercial Olive Oil, cheese, Wine, & Craft Beer | CAStateFair.org 7


Best of Show: Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Wild Groves No matter where life takes you. By Orietta Gianjorio

I

met Dewey a long time ago. In fact, when I first moved to America, about 10 years ago, Dewey was one of the first people I met. New to the olive oil industry, I made my way to Paso Robles where I had heard there was an important olive oil festival. Little did I know. Strolling around the park, meeting all the vendors and tasting the olive oil from my new country, I stumble onto Dewey’s welcoming and candid smile. Dewey and I tasted some of his oils and talked about his commitment to quality. We chatted about the new up and coming and fast growing olive oil industry in California, and how the trend of sending low quality olive oil to America from Italy had to change. It was a stimulating conversation that had a strong impact on me. Soon, I was on my way back to Sacramento with a new found resolve to make sure I was the representative of like minded Italian olive oil producers who also aim for quality and were not proud of the current situation. Like Dewey, I was committed to quality standards and excellent extra virgin olive oil.

While I had my work cut out for me, Dewey continued to do what he does best: state-of-the-art olive oil. With his never-ending energy and the support of his family he created Wild Groves, located in the northern California town of Newcastle. He and his family are all obsessed with premium olive oils. They believe extra virgin olive oil is a

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2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine

magical elixir for a happy and long life a valuable ingredient to living a healthier and happier life. Considering his high energy, it must be true. Dewey is the fourth generation of Lucero olive farmers, producers, tasters, and blenders. It’s safe to say that Dewey has olive oil running in his blood! For his reason, I was incredibly happy and Dewey Lucero proud of his victory for the Best of Show category at the 2018 California State Fair Olive Oil Competition. Exactly in the year when I am the competition Head Judge, Dewey’s olive oil wins Best of Show. What an honor! And I have to admit it, I was not surprised. Wild Groves Robust Blend is a 100% certified extra virgin olive oil, California grown and hand harvested. This oil is particularly special to Dewey because it includes Ascolano olives from the family’s grove in Tehama County that he helped to plant over 20 years ago. In fact, Dewey tells me that the Wild Groves Robust Blend may be his favorite blend. “When developing this blend, I had a goal in mind, but it literally took over two dozen different blends to perfect this one. A lot of work goes into making an award winning oil, from growing, to harvesting at the right time and then having it milled quickly. It truly takes an army. The family, the Wild Groves Team and myself are honored to receive the award”.


Competition

Commercial Extra Virgin Olive Oil Best of Show Extra Virgin Olive Oil Wild Groves

Robust Blend

wildgroves.com

Best of Show Flavored Olive Oil Orietta Gianjorio & Dewey Lucero

The Wild Groves Robust Blend extra virgin olive oil is fruity, with hints of apple, apricot and a big green herbaceous kick that includes fresh flavors of kiwi. As big as this oil is, it’s well balanced, with rich fruity flavors, a good pungency, and bitterness. And, if you look at the Wild Groves label and you wonder “why a fox,” apparently there is a fox family living among the wild groves of olive trees. Over the years, I would always meet Dewey at olive oil events around California. Always with the same contagious smile and always ready to talk about high quality olive oil and commitment to consumers. Of course, at times we also talk about his “other” love: his wife and adorable boys! And when I look at a picture I have from 10 years ago, all I can say is: we didn’t age at all. It must be all that fantastic olive oil!

Sciabica’s California Olive Oil

Basil Olive Oil

sunshineinabottle.com

Best of California Cloud 9 Orchard

Delicate Blend: Classic Blend

cloud9orchard.com

Frate Sole Olive Oil

Medium Blend: Tuscan Blend

fratesole.net

Wild Groves

Robust Blend: Robust Blend

wildgroves.com

Sciabica’s California Olive Oil

Co-Milled Flavored Oil: Basil Olive Oil

sunshineinabottle.com

Frantoio Grove

Single Variety Medium: frantoiogrove.com Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Capay Gold Olive Oil Single Variety Robust: Hojiblanca

capaygold.com

Ciarlo Fruit and Nut Microproducer: The ‘Hood

CiarloFruitNut.com

Frate Sole Olive Oil

Artisan Producer: Tuscan Blend fratesole.net

Wild Groves

Large Producer: Robust Blend

wildgroves.com

Best of Class Calivirgin Olive Oil

Co-Milled Flavored Oil: Chili-based Flavored Hot Virgin Jalapeno calivirgin.com

Sciabica’s California Olive Oil

Co-Milled Flavored Oil: Herbal Flavored Basil Olive Oil sunshineinabottle.com

Cloud 9 Orchard

Delicate Blend: Any Other Cultivar Classic Blend cloud9orchard.com

IL Fiorello Olive Oil Company

Medium Blend: Any Other Cultivar French Blend ilfiorello.com

Frate Sole Olive Oil

Medium Blend: Frantoio Tuscan Blend fratesole.net

Wild Groves

Robust Blend: Any Other Cultivar Robust Blend wildgroves.com

Mangini Ranch

Robust Blend: Mission Robust Blend

Frantoio Grove

Single Variety Medium: Any Other Cultivar Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil frantoiogrove.com

manginiranch.com

Capay Gold Olive Oil Single Variety Robust: Any Other Cultivar Hojiblanca capaygold.com

Commercial Olive Oil, cheese, Wine, & Craft Beer | CAStateFair.org 9


Best of Show: Flavored Olive Oil

Sciabica’s California Olive Oil

Flavor your life.

I

By Orietta Gianjorio

f you love flavored olive oil, you may not know that there are many ways of producing this tasty liquid gold. Some better than others. Some producers use heat-infusion, or they blend the olives with the flavoring extracts. The best way, of course, is to mill the flavoring agents (basil, rosemary, or garlic) with the fresh and just harvested olives. That is exactly the way the Sciabica family produces their flavored oils. “Often called co-milled we take only the ripest fruits and freshest herbs, and cold press them with our justharvested California olives, resulting in a delectable flavor fusion that sets the bar for flavored olive oils. Cold pressing preserves the delicate flavor of the fruits and herbs that can be destroyed through heat-infusion, and are not present in extracts,” says Jonathan Sciabica a 4th generation olive oil producer. For this reason, Sciabica’s extra light olive oils are loved by consumers and they win competition after competition. The Sciabica family has been farming in Modesto since 1925. Back then, Nicola (Nick) and Fedele Sciabica, were looking for a warm climate location that reminded them of their sunny homeland of Sicily. The start was hard, but today, the Sciabica’s are at their fourth generation of olive oil producers. Always making sure to produce the best flavored olive oil, this year they have installed a new mill. The first of its kind in California, a new technology called the protoreattore replaces the traditional malaxer. This new method takes less time and works in a colder temperature preserving quality while reducing oxidation. “The DMF (Decanter Multi-Function) also allows to fine tune the decanter and preserve our “3 phase” flavor profile with “2 phase” water efficiency,” explained Jonathan Sciabica.

10 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine

If this talk is too technical, just focus on the good flavor. And there is plenty of it! Garlic, lemon, jalapeño, rosemary, and orange, all the flavors you can imagine, and among them, the Best of Show winner of the 2018 Extra Virgin Olive Oil California State Fair Competition: the basil. “The crisp basil is pressed with just-harvested olives, crafting a blend fragrant with herbal aromas and bursting with basil flavor,” said current owner, Daniel Sciabica. Basil Extra Virgin Olive oil is simply heavenly for bread dipping, sandwich spreads, tossed salads with balsamic vinegar, and drizzled over pasta primavera. If you love pesto and the rich flavor of basil, you’ll really want to try this!” The California State Fair EVOO Best of Show Flavored Olive Oil award, in my opinion couldn’t have gone to a better recipient. Not only is the Sciabica family one of the oldest olive oil producers in California, but they also give consumers what they need. High quality extra virgin olive oil with all the wonderful and stimulating flavors of California. These oils are ready to be used in the kitchen and to be enjoyed in family recipes.


Competition

Commercial Extra Virgin Olive Oil : Double Gold & Gold Winners 43 Ranch Olive Oil

Cloud 9 Orchard

Helen’s Blend Medium Blend: Any Other Cultivar Picual Single Variety Medium: Any Other Cultivar Leccino Single Variety Robust: Any Other Cultivar

Gold 89

Classic Blend Delicate Blend: Any Other Cultivar

Gold 89

Cobram Estate

Gold 87

Coratina Single Variety Robust: Any Other Cultivar

Mistral Gold 90 Medium Blend: Any Other Cultivar Sierra Gold 87 Medium Blend: Any Other Cultivar Bamford Family Farm

Bamford family Farms Gold 86

Mandarin Orange Olive Oil Gold 86 Co-Milled Flavored Olive Oil: Citrus Flavored Oil

Bramble Family Farms Gold 86

Coratina Single Variety Medium: Any Other Cultivar

Gold 86

Arbequnia Single Variety Delicate: Arbequina

Gold 86

Hot Virgin Jalapeno Gold 96 Co-Milled Flavored Olive Oil: Chili-based Flavored Oil Extreme Heat Habanero Gold 93 Co-Milled Flavored Olive Oil: Chili-based Flavored Oil Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil Gold 86 Single Variety Medium: Arbequina

Capay Gold Olive Oil Gold 96

Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Single Variety Medium: Any Other Cultivar

Gold 95

Frate Sole Olive Oil Double Gold 98

Grumpy Goats Farm Gold 88

Halter Ranch Gold 88

IL Fiorello Olive Oil Company French Blend Gold 94 Medium Blend: Any Other Cultivar Lime Gold 86 Co-Milled Flavored Olive Oil: Citrus Flavored Oil

KATZ Organic Chef’s Pick Medium Blend: Frantoio

Gold 88

Lucero Olive Oil

Chacewater Organic Allegra Single Variety Robust: Any Other Cultivar

Gold 86

Frantoio Grove

Mediterranean Blend Delicate Blend: Any Other Cultivar

Calivirgin Olive Oils

Hojiblanca Single Variety Robust: Any Other Cultivar

Gold 86

Delta Barrel

Coratina Single Variety Robust: Any Other Cultivar

California Olive Ranch Arbosana Single Variety Delicate: Arbosana

Gold 86

Corto Olive

Tuscan Blend Medium Blend: Frantoio

Buckeye Creek

Gold 89

Ciarlo Fruit and Nut The ‘Hood Medium Blend: Frantoio

Fall Harvest Single Variety Medium: Manzanillo

Frantoio Single Variety Robust: Any Other Cultivar

Bondolio Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Medium Blend: Arbequina

Gold 88

Coppetti Estate Olive Oil

Apollo Olive Oil

Silver Star Early Harvest Single Variety Robust: Mission

Gold 95

Hall Road Estate Select Arbequina Single Variety Medium: Arbequina Coratina Single Variety Robust: Any Other Cultivar

Gold 87 Gold 87

Gold 95

Commercial Olive Oil, cheese, Wine, & Craft Beer | CAStateFair.org 11


Commercial Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Double Gold & Gold Winners (Continued)

Mangini Ranch

Sciabica’s California Olive Oil (Best of Show)

Robust Blend Robust Blend: Mission Mission Single Variety Medium: Mission Medium Blend Medium Blend: Mission

Gold 94

Basil Olive Oil Gold 94 Co-Milled Flavored Olive Oil: Herbal Flavored Oil

Gold 88

Seka Hills

Gold 87

Arbequina Estate Grown Single Variety Medium: Arbequina

Gold 89

Frantoio Estate Grown Single Variety Medium: Any Other Cultivar

Gold 88

Molefina Olive Oil Rosemary Gold 89 Co-Milled Flavored Olive Oil: Herbal Flavored Oil Koroneiki Gold 87 Single Variety Robust: Koroneiki

Olivaia Olivaia’s OLA Delicate Blend: Any Other Cultivar

Gold 87

Gold 90

Organic Roots Olive Oil Arbequina Single Variety Medium: Arbequina

Gold 86

Rancho Azul y Oro 2017 Estate Mission Blend Medium Blend: Mission 2017 Estate Lemon-Infused Olive Oil Infused Flavored Olive Oil: Citrus Flavored Oil

Certified Greek Koroneiki Single Variety Medium: Koroneiki

Gold 87

The Napa Valley Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil Medium Blend: Any Other Cultivar

Gold 88

The Olive Press

Oliveto del Vecchio Traditional Tuscan Blend Robust Blend: Any Other Cultivar

The Groves on 41

Gold 88 Gold 86

Limonato (Lemon) Olive Oil Co-Milled Flavored Olive Oil: Citrus Flavored Oil Lime Olive Oil Co-Milled Flavored Olive Oil: Citrus Flavored Oil

Gold 87 Gold 87

Wild Groves (Best of Show) Robust Blend Robust Blend: Any Other Cultivar

Gold 94

Winter Creek Extra Virgin Olive Oil Single Variety Medium: Any Other Cultivar

Gold 87

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Judges and Volunteers Thank you to all!

Head Judge: Orietta Gianjorio & Judges: Nancy Ash, Amy Bridge Day, Thom Curry III, Maria Farr, Jean Xavier Guinard, Arden Kremer, Michael Laukert, Nancy Lilly, Monica Marin, Etienne Ossun, Janell Pekkain, Julie Poe Menge, Sandy Sonnenfelt, Pablo Voitzuk, & Glenn S. Weddell

12 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine


Congratulations to

Best of Show Flavored Olive Oil California State Fair Competition!

3


Commercial Cheese

O

n Wednesday, May 9, 2018, 144 California cheeses were evaluated by eleven qualified judges at Cal Expo. For the third year in a row, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company took the Best of Show Award in cow’s milk, this time for their Aged Gouda, a classic Dutch-style Gouda aged for 24 months. The Best of Show Award in other milk type was awarded to newcomer Moonstone Creamery for their California Original Smoke Ring, a mixed-milk type of a soft-mold ripened, aged lactic ring, uncooked, unpressed, and ash-coated with a touch of smoked sea salt.  The California cheese companies entering the competition totaled 23, including three new companies. The companies range from small artisan producers to large scale production. The cheeses are entered by division and class with each entry evaluated for Appearance, Aroma, Texture and Taste. Cheese judges are selected from respected cheese merchants, writers, promoters and educators.

Statistics: California is the country’s largest milk producer, and in 2017 produced 39.8 billion pounds of raw milk. Approximately 46.2 percent of all California cow’s milk goes to make California cheese and in 2017 resulted in 2.5 billion pounds of cheese. More than 50 California cheesemakers produce 250+ varieties & styles. California produces more Monterey Jack than any other state. Monterey Jack is a “California Original,” a descendant of a type of cheese produced in the California missions more than 200 years ago. Source: All data provide by the California Milk Advisory Board, except as noted. Updated May 2018, CDFA 2017


Best of Show: Cheese - Cow Milk

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co.

Can we say Gouda! By Mary Dedrick

T

hey say that good things come to those who wait. Well that time of dreaming, planning and making consistently good decisions, was very well spent by our winners! Congratulations to the Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company for winning the “Best of Show” title on their newest addition to their stable of artisan cheeses. This win and their many others exemplifies what cheese making can be. This Gouda from the Library Collection is golden colored, aged 24 months and mouthwateringly delicious and now takes top honors in its first year at the California State Fair Cheese Competition. Gouda is a style of cheese reigning from Holland; any type of cow, goat or sheep’s milk can be used to make these rounds and is probably the most mispronounced cheese word in the world. But no matter how you say “Gouda”, this wheel leaves a lasting impression of how good California cow cheese, in any style, should taste. Head cheesemaker and affineur Kuba Hemmerling wanted to create something new. Working with Diana, Lynn & Jill, the Giacomini sisters and owners of the farm, he started the homework process of tweaking recipes to find the right profile that would fill their taste buds. The Library Collection Gouda follows the same hand crafted and traditional method & style of cheesemaking as their other award winning artisan cheeses. They use RBST-free, Grade “A”, Organic pasteurized milk from their farmstead herd of Holstein cows. The

only change in milk is the use of raw cow’s milk in their flagship cheese, Original Blue. They use vegetarian rennet and all cheeses are certified gluten free. The happy cows graze daily on the naturally growing certified Organic rye grasses that are salted with the coastal sea breeze. Introducing aged Gouda to their current line of cheeses meant a larger facility was in order. These cheeses needed a much bigger cellared home for the duration of their aging period which is at least 1830 months. Luckily, just 22 miles from the farm, a new location was found at 454 Payran Street, in downtown Petaluma. In May 2017, the family set themselves up for their first expansion project off of the family farm. This was the perfect fit. A new Petaluma Creamery and aging warehouse would be built inside of a renovated classic building. This planned move and central location in Sonoma County gave them room to grow in areas of cheese production, staffing and distribution. Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. is known for being artisan, organic, grass fed and consistent. These four points and more are something cheesemongers look for in the cheese selling world. “Gouda” is known to tempt all customers, but California, Organic and “Best of Show” well that just launches it out of the park. A wise and thoughtful suggestion about recommending the ramping up of the Gouda production from cheesemongers is headed your way. Why do you ask? Because good Gouda sells!

Commercial Olive Oil, cheese, Wine, & Craft Beer | CAStateFair.org 15


Best of Show: Cheese-Mixed Milk Type

Moonside Creamery

Smoke Ring cheese

M

oonside Creamery takes The “Best of Show” title in the Other Udder category with a spectacular mixed milk cheese called Smoke Ring. Cool name for a very interesting and out of the box looking cheese. Jennifer Kirkham, the proprietor and cheesemaker has designed a French style, soft–mold ripened, uncooked, unpressed cheese that is aged 2-6 weeks, with the external addition of ash and a light touch of smoked sea salt. Made in Sebastopol, using the organic milk of cow and sheep from her neighbor’s farms in Sonoma County, she has stepped into the limelight on her very first try at the California State Fair Cheese Competition. Jennifer’s passion for cheese started around age 35 in Sebastopol, and by 40, cheesemaking was her next career step. She moved forward on her vision and took the school avenue first where she completed programs at Cal Poly, received certificates at The College of Marin, attended classes hosted by the California Artisan Cheese Guild when available. She passed the American Cheese Society’s Certified Cheese Professional exam and got a real perspective on the difference between a cheesemonger and a cheesemaker. At home, she studied, read every cheese book she could, consulted with other cheesemakers and then there was the day to day life with the animals on their family farm that kept her motivated and focused.

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By Mary Dedrick

Her first cheese job was at Tomales Farmstead Creamery in Tomales, California. She started as an assistant cheesemaker and was promoted to head cheesemaker within 6 months. This is where she honed her skills for about a year and a half. In Petaluma for the next year, she continued as head cheesemaker at Pugs Leap Cheese. These opportunities are what really accelerated her desire of ownership and confirmed her love of the job. In 2016, Jennifer and her husband Grady took the opportunity to expand production off of their home farm. With space close enough they were able to build out a structure to house a milk pasteurization room attached to a cheese aging room. They are planning on the addition of another aging room after this wonder-

Jennifer Kirkham’s happy family


Competition

Commercial Cheese Winners Best of Show - Cow Milk Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company Point Reyes Aged Gouda: Cow Milk

pointreyescheese.com

Best of Show - Mixed Milk Type Moonside Creamery Smoke Ring: Mixed Milk Type ful acknowledgment of her cheesemaking skills! And as luck would have it, their two young daughters, Stella and Catalina have also aged themselves thru this adventure. They are learning the trade and the important lessons on how that small act of just “turning the cheese for mom” means a lot for this small family business. Jennifer’s determination has helped her move Moonside Creamery into the commercial level so that more people can enjoy what her skills in cheesemaking have to offer to the cheese-loving world. Back home on the farm, the other cheeses in her creative collection are anxiously waiting for their turn in the spotlight. Will it be the stinky washed rind, the lactic cow’s milk or the aged sheep’s milk tome? This has us asking, when is it going to be available? Where can we get it? Keep us posted Jennifer!

moonsidecreamery.com

Best of California - Cow Milk Bellwether Farms Creme Fraiche: Cultured Cheese

bellwetherfarms.com

Bellwether Farms Whole Milk Ricotta: Soft Cheese

bellwetherfarms.com

Valley Ford Cheese & Creamery Grazin Girl Gorgonzola: Semi-Soft Cheese

valleyfordcheese.com

Cowgirl Creamery Wagon Wheel: Semi-Hard Cheese

cowgirlcreamery.com

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company Point Reyes Aged Gouda: Hard Cheese

pointreyescheese.com

Central Coast Creamery Bishops Peak: California Originals

centralcoastcreamery.com

Best of California - Mixed Milk Type Redwood Hill Farm Goat Milk Vanilla Kefir: Cultured Cheese

redwoodhill.com

Moonside Creamery Aurora: Soft Cheese

moonsidecreamery.com

Central Coast Creamery Dream Weaver: Semi-Soft Cheese

centralcoastcreamery.com

Central Coast Creamery Goat Cheddar: Semi-Hard Cheese

centralcoastcreamery.com

Pennyroyal Farm Boont Corners Reserve: Hard Cheese

pennyroyalfarm.com

Moonside Creamery Smoke Ring: California Originals

moonsidecreamery.com

Commercial Olive Oil, cheese, Wine, & Craft Beer | CAStateFair.org 17


ChEESE Judges and Volunteers Thank you to all!

Judges: Christian Coffey, Laura Conrow, Mary Dedrick, Gordon Edgar, Kiri Fisher, Sacha Laurin, Robin Luke, Roxanne O’Brien, Sharon “Schmidt, Psy.D.,” Wendi Thompson, & Jana Werner

Volunteers: Angela Beard (Competition Coordinator), Marilyn Langhorst (Competition Coordinator), Rachel Finkes (Competition Software Support), Don Callison, Jim McCann, Dave McLanahan, Gary Rose, Wendy Wood, & Darlene Yennie

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Commercial Wine

T

he California State Fair has a long history of showcasing agricultural excellence and innovative technology in winemaking. Dating back to 1854, the State Fair Commercial Wine Competition is America’s oldest wine judging. Only wines made with fruit grown and produced in the eleven growing regions across the state may be judged in the competition. Fair wine judges are committed to the integrity of the results and the competition coordinators take special care to ensure the wines are judged fairly. Wines are evaluated by class, varietal, style and region based upon the source of the grapes. These wines continue to impress the judges with their diversity and quality. On March 27, 28 and 29, 2018, 2,705 wines were evaluated by State Fair wine judges. The Best of Show Red wine was awarded to St. Amant Winery for their 2016 Touriga, The Old Soldier, Amador County Appellation. The Best of Show White was awarded to Picchetti Winery for their 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Arroyo Seco Appellation. For the second year in a row, Imagery Estate Winery was awarded Golden State Winery of the Year.

Statistics: California wine sales in the U.S. market have grown 15% in the past decade from 209 million cases shipped in 2008 to 241 million cases in 2017. Retail value of 2017 California wine sales in the U.S. reached an estimated retail value of $35.2 billion and the state shipped 241 million nine-liter cases.


Competition

Commercial Wine Best of the Best

Best of Show Dessert

Best of Show Pink Double Gold 99

Double Gold 99

Stephen & Walker 2012 Botrytis Chardonnay, Late Harvest Mendocino Ridge

Malene 2017 RosĂŠ Santa Barbara County

Collier Creek 2016 Front Coach Chardonnay Lodi (San Joaquin)

Double Gold 98

Best of Show Red Best of Region

Best of Show Sparkling Double Gold 99

Double Gold 99

St. Amant Winery 2016 Touriga, The Old Soldier Amador County

Gwinllan Estate 2016 Pinot Noir Rose, Brut Sparkling Wine El Dorado

Best Value

Best of Show White Best of Region Double Gold 99

Picchetti Winery 2017 Sauvignon Blanc Cedar Lane Vineyard Arroyo Seco

Commercial Olive Oil, cheese, Wine, & Craft Beer | CAStateFair.org 21


2

2015

2012

2014

“ My wines are a testament to hard work in our vineyards and dedication to fine winemaking.� Maddalena Riboli

Mother ,Grape grower and Founder


Please enjoy our wines responsibly. © 2018 7 Moons Wine Co., Oakville, CA

lease enjoy our wines responsibly. © 2018 7 Moons Wine Co., Oakville, CA

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1


California Vineyard of the Year

Vineyard of the Year

Paraiso Vineyard

By Deborah Parker Wong

S

panish missionaries at Mission Soledad first planted vineyards in the region now known as the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA in the late 18th century. But winegrowing on the windswept terraces of the Santa Lucia mountain range began in earnest in 1973 when Rich and Claudia Smith established the Paraiso Vineyard. Parasio is the tenth iconic vineyard to be acknowledged by the California State Fair as Vineyard of the Year. The Smiths were among a handful of pioneering winegrowers in the region and their early successes enabled them to plant Paraiso to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling. These original varieties selected by Rich Smith have now become hallmarks for one of the coolest climate AVAs in the state. For the next sixteen years the Smiths focused on growing grapes but in 1989 they became vintners and bottled their first Pinot Noir and Chardonnay under the Paraiso Springs label. Referred to as the “home ranch,” Paraiso is home base for the company’s offices, shop, winery and tasting room from which they manage 3200 acres of wine grapes in Monterey County. With 800 acres under vine in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, they are the largest grower in that region. Rich Smith has been an outspoken advocate for Monterey County viticulture and in 1991 he, Nikki Hahn and Phil Johnson led the effort that

24 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine

succeeded in establishing the Santa Lucia Highlands as an American Viticultural Area. His leadership efforts didn’t stop there; Smith held the office of President of the local Farm Bureau and the California Association of Wine Growers and was a founding member of many industry organizations. Today, second-generation winegrower Jason Smith, President and CEO of Smith Family Wines, runs a fully verticallyintegrated business that JASON SMITH was founded on the Parasio Vineyard. “We’re growing fifteen different clones on our 350-acre home ranch estate vineyard: seven Pinot Noirs, five Chardonnays and three Syrahs,” said Smith. “As the demand for Santa Lucia Highlands fruit has grown, we’ve been the backbone of programs that make it possible for wineries to have SLH-appellated wines in their portfolios.” The iconic Paraiso vineyard has been farmed for decades using the Sustainability in Practice program known as SIP. Rich Smith was early adopter of this rigorous vineyard and winery certification program and the Smith Family vineyards were among the first to be SIP Certified in Monterey County. Jason has continued those efforts and from 2013 the ranch has been solar powered expanding the company’s commitment to green practices.


Looking forward, Jason is focused on furthering wine quality for the Smith Family labels. “We’re working to identify cru-quality sites on the estate and vinifying different lots with a focus on single clones in a concerted effort to find the best of the best.” The future looks bright for the iconic Paraiso as Jason and the Smith family builds on his father’s legacy and advances the family’s stewardship of the vineyard.

Smith’s family and their dogs: Sam & Joe

California Vineyard of the Year


2017

AMERICAN

WINERY OF THE YEAR

POINTS EDITORS’ CHOICE J.G., Wine Enthusiast, April 2018 © 2018 Kendall-Jackson Winery, Santa Rosa, CA


Š 2018 Fetzer Vineyards, Hopland, Mendocino Co., CA

3


California Winery of the Year

Winery of the year

Imagery ESTATE Winery By Deborah Parker Wong

I

n a repeat performance, Imagery Estate Winery founded by Joe Benziger in 1985 has been honored for the second year running by the California State Fair as the 2018 Golden State Winery of the Year. Benziger, who was at the helm for the 2017 award, has now retired but serves as guide and mentor for his second daughter Jamie Benziger, 31, who stepped up as winemaker in 2018.

With wines appellated from Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, North Coast, Paso Robles and California, Imagery had 22 awardwinning wines represented in the 2018 competition. “2018 represents a milestone in many ways,” said Jamie Benziger. “It was an incredible honor to be acknowledged as Winery of the Year in 2017 and to receive the award again in my first year as winemaker is truly humbling.” 2018 is also the first year Imagery’s California tier wines ($18 - $20) have been entered in to the competition. This California-appellated portfolio has been in development for the last few years as a collaboration between the father-daughter winemaking team. “The wines are designed to bridge the generational gap between Boomers and Millennials,” said Jamie Benziger. Developed as blends, each of the four wines have a dominant variety

28 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine

but with a twist. The Sauvignon Blanc is “enhanced” with 20 percent dry Muscat, Chardonnay gets a whisper of Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir sees just 10 percent of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon finds a comfortable blending partner in Petite Sirah. While all of the wines were awarded, both the 2016 Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc received Best of Class of Appellation awards with the latter also scoring Best of Region Jamie Benziger White. No easy feat given the number of entries in those categories and the range of styles competing for the honors. “For the last 33 years Imagery has been a 15,000case direct to consumer-winery. The introduction of our California tier which is being distributed nationally is reaching a much wider audience,” said Jamie Benziger who anticipates that national visibility will draw more wine enthusiasts to the bucolic Glen Ellen winery. Both the winery and the wines escaped damage from the wild fires that burned right up to the tasting room door during the final stages of harvest in 2017. “It’s important for people to know that our winery and Sonoma Valley are just as beautiful as ever and that we’re eager to share this with them.” Like her father, Jamie Benziger is a hands on


California Winery of the Year winemaker. Her interest in the craft quickened after she spent a harvest working in the lab at Benziger and in the cellar at Villa Maria in New Zealand. After graduating from Sonoma State University in 2009, Benziger turned her attention to the production end of the business. “There came a point when I realized that winemaking held the inspiration for a lifelong career.”

Working side by side with her father for the last few years while completing a winemaking certificate program at UC Davis, Jamie began paying close attention to what makes him tick as a winemaker. It’s something she likens to the intuitive school of winemaking, “it’s a happy balance between formal education and learning on the job.”


Golden State Winery of the Year

GOLDEN STATE WINERY OF THE YEAR

IMAGERY ESTATE WINERY

Recognizing the winery that has the greatest number of wines winning the most and the highest awards Best of Region - White, Best of Class of Appellation

Best of Region - Red, Best of Class of Appellation

2016 Sauvignon Blanc

2015 Italian Red Varietal Blend

Double Gold 99

Double Gold 99

Best of Class of Appellation 2015 Pallas Red Wine 2016 Chardonnay 2017 Aleatico Rose, Serres Ranch 2016 Primitivo 2015 Merlot

Double Gold 99 Double Gold 99 Double Gold 99 Gold 95 Gold 95

2015 Malbec, Upper Ridge Vineyard 2015 Cabernet Franc 2015 Barbera, Upper Ridge Vineyard 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Albarino, Silva Vineyard

Gold 95 Gold 95 Silver 93 Silver 91 Silver 88

2015 Sangiovese, Upper Ridge Vineyard

Bronze 87

2017 Riesling, Upper Ridge Vineyard

Bronze 86

2016 Pinot Noir

Bronze 87

2016 White Burgundy

Bronze 87

2017 Wow Oui White Blend, Upper Ridge Vineyard

Bronze 84

2017 Sauvignon Blanc

Bronze 86

2015 Petite Sirah, Shell Creek Vineyard

Bronze 83

Commercial Olive Oil, cheese, Wine, & Craft Beer | CAStateFair.org 31


Competition

Commercial Wine: Best of Region

BEST OF NORTH COAST RED Double Gold 99

Navarro Vineyards 2015 Mendocino Petite Sirah

BEST OF SONOMA RED Double Gold 99

Willowbrook 2015 Sonoma Mountain Kaufman Sunnyslope Vineyard Pinot Noir

BEST OF NAPA WHITE Double Gold 99

Thorn Hill Vineyards 2016 Napa Valley Chardonnay

32 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine

BEST OF NORTH COAST WHITE Double Gold 99

Husch Vineyards 2017 Mendocino Chenin Blanc

BEST OF SONOMA WHITE Double Gold 99

BEST OF SONOMA RED Double Gold 99

Imagery Estate Winery 2015 Sonoma County Italian Red Varietal Blend

BEST OF NAPA RED Double Gold 99

Windsor Vineyards 2016 Sonoma County Pinot Grigio

Vitus 2014 Napa Valley Olive Hill Vineyard Merlot

BEST OF GREATER BAY RED

BEST OF GREATER BAY WHITE

Storrs 2015 Santa Cruz Mountains Petite Sirah

Concannon Vineyard 2016 Livermore Valley Assemblage Blanc Bordeaux White Varietal Blend

Double Gold 99

Double Gold 98


Competition

Commercial Wine: Best of Region

BEST OF NORTHCENTRAL COAST RED

BEST OF NORTHCENTRAL COAST WHITE

BEST OF SOUTHCENTRAL COAST RED

Muirwood 2015 Monterey Merlot

Picchetti Winery 2017 Arroyo Seco Cedar Lane Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

Halter Ranch 2015 Adelaida District Cabernet Sauvignon

Double Gold 99

Double Gold 99

Double Gold 99

BEST OF SOUTHCENTRAL COAST WHITE

BEST OF SOUTH COAST RED

BEST OF SOUTH COAST WHITE

J. Lohr Gesture 2016 Paso Robles Gesture RVG Rhone White Varietal Blend

Monte De Oro Winery 2014 Temecula Valley Simplexity Bordeaux Red Varietal Blend

Van Roekel Estate 2017 Temecula Valley Sauvignon Blanc

Double Gold 99

Double Gold 99

BEST OF SIERRA FOOTHILLS RED

BEST OF SIERRA FOOTHILLS WHITE

St. Amant Winery 2016 Amador County The Old Soldier Touriga

Double Oak Vineyards & Winery 2016 Sierra Foothills Chardonnay

Double Gold 99

Double Gold 99

Double Gold 99

BEST OF LODI RED Double Gold 99

Jeff Runquist 2015 Alta Mesa Silvaspoons Vineyard Tannat

Commercial Olive Oil, cheese, Wine, & Craft Beer | CAStateFair.org 33


MEET

Competition

Commercial Wine: Best of Region

6

BEST OF LODI WHITE Double Gold 99

McManis Family Vineyards 2016 River Junction (San Joaquin) Viognier

BEST OF OTHER CALIFORNIA APPELLATIONS Double Gold 98

Rendez-vous Winery 2017 Clarksburg (Yolo) Riesling

BEST OF CALIFORNIA STATE RED Double Gold 99 Secret Indulgence 2015 California American Vintage Generic Red Blend

CAPTURE YOUR BEAUTIFUL MOMENT

© 2014 CHLOE WINES, LIVERMORE, CA

BEST OF CALIFORNIA STATE WHITE Double Gold 99 Imagery Estate Winery 2016 California Sauvignon Blanc

2 0 1 3 P I N OT G R I G I O VALDADIGE D.O.C. ITALY

34 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine

2 0 1 2 R E D N O . 24 9

2 0 1 2 C H A R D O N N AY

NORTH COAST CALIFORNIA SONOMA COUNTY CALIFORNIA


JoshCellars.com

Please Enjoy Responsibly. ©2018 Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, Stamford, CT 06901

Wines as Richly Layered as Life

©2018 DEUTSCH FAMILY WINE & SPIRITS, STAMFORD, CT 06901. PLEASE ENJOY RESPONSIBLY.


Best of Show: Red Wine

St. Amant Winery

2016 The Old Soldier Touriga By Deborah Parker Wong

I

f you enjoy port, the rich, fortified wine of Portugal’s Douro Valley, you’re already a fan of Touriga. Touriga Nacional as it is known in Portugal is one of the five classic grape varieties that are blended to make Port wines. The Touriga variety that won this year’s Best of Show Red made its way from Portugal to UC Davis where it was selected by St. Amant’s late Tim Spencer and planted at an estate vineyard in Amador County in 1980.

“Touriga is expressive and the wine style in any given year is always going to be dictated by what the vintage gives us. 2016 was a darker vintage with amplified flavors and 15 % abv.” When asked about the name of the wine, Spencer replied, “We have an old dump truck on the property that we fondly called the ‘Old Soldier’ and we felt it was a good name for a wine from an old vineyard site. Both are a testament to our 40-year history of working the land.”

Spencer who was an early adopter of Iberian varieties replanted the original vineyard, a flat site BARBARA ST. AMANT SPENCER & STUART SPENCER that sits at 200 feet in altitude, to the same Touriga clone in The future for Touriga looks bright as more 1994. “Touriga has continued to perform excepCalifornia vintners are sourcing the grapes and tionally well on the heavier alluvial clay soils here St. Amant has grafted over additional acres to meet which add more concentration and higher levels that demand. Spencer also sees Touriga as a of tannins to the wines,” said Stuart Spencer who natural rosé blending grape which means it’s very became winemaker at the Lodi winery in 2006. likely he has a Touriga rosé in the works. The This late ripening, small-berried variety benewinery produces several Iberian varieties including fits from the cool air that spills off of the nearby Tempranillo aka Tinta Roriz, another key port Sierras; a key factor that helps the grapes retain variety, and Verdelho, a crisp lemony white wine in acidity and lends freshness to the wines. addition to award winning Zinfandel, Barbera and St. Amant’s Touriga is a richly textured wine with Petite Syrah. distinct violet aromas and a spicy red fruit characThis is the second Best of Show Red award for ter. “We originally vinified it in the Port style and St. Amant Winery which celebrates its 40th anniused the grape in dry wine blends,” said Spencer. versary of winegrowing and winemaking next year. Today’s version of The Old Soldier ($21 SRP) is a In 2016 Spencer won with an Amador County 2014 monovarietal Touriga that was destemmed “The Road Less Traveled” Tempranillo ($18). “Our in small lots and aged in neutral oak barrels.

36 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine


Best of Show: Red Wine

In addition to his role as St. Amant winemaker and vintner, Spencer is the Executive Director of the Lodi Winegrape Commission, an organization that represents more than 750 winegrape growers and 85 wineries in the Lodi American Viticulture Area (AVA).

Tuart Spencer – Winemaker

business continues to grow as consumers discover Lodi as a destination for enotourism and superb wine quality,� he said.

Commercial Olive Oil, cheese, Wine, & Craft Beer | CAStateFair.org 37


Competition

Commercial Wine: Best of California

BEST BARBERA Double Gold 98

Montevina 2016 Barbera Amador County

BEST CABERNET SAUVIGNON Double Gold 99

Halter Ranch 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Adelaida District

BEST BORDEAUX RED VARIETAL BLEND Double Gold 99

Las Positas Vineyards 2013 Meritage Livermore Valley

Jeff Runquist 2016 Cabernet Franc Salman Vineyard Clarksburg (Sacramento)

BEST MALBEC

Thorn Hill Vineyards 2016 Chardonnay Napa Valley

Martin Ranch 2014 Malbec Dos Ninas Vineyard Santa Clara Valley

Double Gold 99

BEST MERLOT

Bell Wine Cellars 2015 Merlot Yountville

Thorn Hill Vineyards 2014 Merlot Napa Valley

38 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine

Double Gold 98

BEST CHARDONNAY

BEST MERLOT Double Gold 99

BEST CABERNET FRANC

Double Gold 99

Double Gold 99

BEST OTHER FORTIFIED DESSERT WINE Double Gold 99 Quady Winery 2016 Elysium California


Competition

Commercial Wine: Best of California

BEST OTHER RED VARIETAL BLEND

BEST OTHER RED VARIETAL

BEST OTHER WHITE VARIETAL

Rodney Strong Vineyards 2015 Upshot Sonoma County

Klinker Brick Winery 2015 Dolcetto Lodi (San Joaquin)

Lewis Grace 2017 Torrontes Alta Mesa (El Dorado)

BEST PETITE SIRAH

BEST PINOT GRIGIO

BEST PINOT NOIR

Storrs 2015 Petite Sirah Santa Cruz Mountains

Windsor Vineyards 2016 Pinot Grigio Sonoma County

Picchetti Winery 2016 Pinot Noir Truchard Vineyard Napa Valley

BEST PRIMITIVO

BEST RED GENERIC

Macchia 2016 Primitivo Vista Luna Vineyard Lodi (San Joaquin)

Secret Indulgence 2015 American Vintage California

Double Gold 99

Double Gold 99

Double Gold 99

Double Gold 99

Double Gold 99

Double Gold 99

Double Gold 99

Double Gold 99

BEST RHONE RED VARIETAL BLEND Double Gold 99

Avensole Winery 2014 Enchante California

Commercial Olive Oil, cheese, Wine, & Craft Beer | CAStateFair.org 39


Competition

Commercial Wine: Best of California

BEST RIESLING

BEST SANGIOVESE

Rendez-vous 2017 Riesling Clarksburg (Yolo)

Noceto 2015 Hillside Shenandoah Valley (Amador)

Double Gold 98

Double Gold 99

BEST SAUVIGNON BLANC Double Gold 99

Oak Farm Vineyards 2017 Sauvignon Blanc Mohr Fry Ranch Lodi (San Joaquin)

BEST SYRAH

BEST VIOGNIER

BEST ZINFANDEL

Chacewater 2014 Syrah Sierra Foothills

McManis Family Vineyard 2016 Viognier River Junction (San Joaquin)

Sobon Estate 2015 Zinfandel Rocky Top Amador County

Double Gold 98

40 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine

Double Gold 99

Double Gold 99


YOUR WINE COUNTRY ADVENTURE STARTS HERE!

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Best of Show: White Wine

Picchetti Winery

2017 Sauvignon Blanc

By Deborah Parker Wong

A

t first glance, this ethereal Sauvignon Blanc which is described by Mike Bruzus, associate winemaker at Picchetti Winery, as “almost color less, the palest straw” could be mistaken for water. But from the moment your nose comes within a few inches of the glass, there’s a rush of aromas, a jumble of fragrance that includes pink grapefruit, pineapple, gooseberry, honeydew melon, guava, lychee and mineral notes of wet rocks and saline. A precursor of what’s to come when you taste it and a sure fire indicator that this isn’t a “simple” wine. Consulting Winemaker, Craig Roemer sources the Picchetti Sauvignon Blanc from the Cedar Lane Vineyard in the Arroyo Secco AVA. He attributes the complexity and intensity of this wine to a combination of the perfect match between clone and the unique growing conditions there and to attentive winemaking. The Cedar Lane vineyard began life in the 1980s as a rootstock nursery that was eventually grafted over to Sauvignon Musque, Pinot Noir and Syrah in 2000 when grower and winemaker Mark Chesebro and his partners took it in hand. According to Chesebro, he and other growers have preserved the Sauvignon Musque clone in Arroyo Secco because, as evidenced by the Picchetti

42 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine

bottling, “it delivers more complex and exciting flavors at a lower brix level than other Sauvignon Blanc clones which are very vegetal until they are over ripe.” Reason enough to persevere with a clone deemed “virused” and unceremoniously removed from the Foundation Plant Services registry. Flavors of the Best of Show White mirror its aromas but are dialed up, amplified and racy. The wine is instantly mouth coating with layers of acidity from key lime, Mike Bruzus gooseberry, tart pineapple, candied Meyer lemon, white peach, honeydew and a persistent, citrus-driven finish. Having stellar raw materials to work with is certainly an advantage but a wine of this caliber can’t exist without the intention of the winemaker. In a serendipitous twist of fate, Bruzus who mowed the lawn and helped in the tasting room at Picchetti while he was in high school returned there as associate winemaker in 2015. A graduate of Cal Poly, San Louis Obispo, he was previously an assistant winemaker at Chamisal Vineyards and for Tooth & Nail Winery making wine from the Murmur Vineyard in Santa Maria and vineyards in Paso Robles.


Best of Micro Wineries

At Picchetti, The Pantling Family’s primary focus is organically-farmed Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and “Picchetti clone” head trained, dry farmed Zinfandel from vines planted in 1896 by the original Picchetti family on Montebello Road. “We specialize in diversity,” said Bruzus who sources a wide range of varieties from small vineyards in Arroyo Seco, Carneros, Paso Robles, Clements Hills, and Santa Clara Valley. “When our club members come to pick up their wine shipments on a quarterly basis, the wine list is almost completely different from the last time they visited.” The winery makes 8,000 cases of wine a year and sells only from the website and tasting room which is housed in a historic cave and masonry barn nestled in the foothills of the Santa Cruz.

Competition

Many small, boutique or micro wineries in California produce incredible wines and the California State Fair continues to recognize them and offer a micro winery category to include these smaller wineries. The California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition is one of the few competitions providing this platform with the goal to assist small wineries in reaching a larger market by recognizing them in conjunction with the larger companies that enter this competition. Wines entered in the micro winery classes are eligible for Best Micro Winery Red, White and Other as well as Double Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals.

Best Microwinery Red Double Gold 99

Best Microwinery White Double Gold 99

Via Romano Vineyards 2014 Sangiovese Shenandoah Valley (El Dorado)

Guardsmen Wines 2016 Chardonnay Lodi (San Joaquin)

Best Microwinery Other Double Gold 99 Hoyt Family Vineyards 2017 Pinot Noir Rose Paso Robles Willowcreek District


Best Value Wine

Collier Creek 2016 Front Coach Chardonnay By Deborah Parker Wong

C

ollier Creek 2016 Front Coach Chardonnay is, by all accounts, a first class ticket for the price of coach. With a retail price of $9.99, you might assume that massive amounts of this wine are being produced but winemaker Susana Rodriguez Vasquez made just 5,000 cases. This stand-alone brand resides under the umbrella of Lodi’s Peltier Winery and Vineyards which has a solid track record of over delivering in quality for value and this year’s Best Value Wine is no exception. According to Rodriguez Vasquez, Front Coach Chardonnay is deeply lemon-hued and very aromatic with pear, peach and pineapple aromas that indicate a riper style. She describes the wine as full-bodied with bright fruit flavors, a round mouthfeel and a crisp green apple and citrus finish. “This is a refreshing, fruit forward style that’s stainless steel fermented and because it hasn’t undergone malolactic fermentation it doesn’t have any buttery flavors,” she said. In crafting Front Coach Chardonnay, Rodriguez Vasquez relies entirely on fruit quality and purity because she’s not using oak or manipulating the wine to mask or enhance flavors. She sources Chardonnay from the winery’s Lewis Ranch, an Elk Grove estate that lies in the northern-most part of Lodi’s Alta Mesa sub AVA. The site benefits

44 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine

from cooling delta winds that blow from the nearby Sacramento River creating what is deemed a perfect micro climate for growing wine. Vineyard manager and proprietor, Rodney Schatz farms the estate according to the Lodi Rules for sustainable wine growing, a certification program that relies on no less than 120 standards and is being adopted by wine growing regions around the world. Rodriguez Vasquez believes the quality of the Susan Rodriguez Vasquez Collier Creek wines is “a clear reflection of a healthy vineyard and these agriculture practices.” While there’s no question that meticulous farming costs more, Peltier Winery is able to machine harvest the vineyard which helps keep costs down for consumers. Working with such high quality fruit also means less intervention in the winery for Rodriguez Vasquez. Collier Creek Wine Co. was introduced in 2016 to honor the Lodi Appellation by third generation wine growers Rodney and Gayla Schatz. The brand includes five varietals: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Merlot. The Schatz family farms over 1200 acres in Lodi and they made the leap from grower to vintner when they bottled their first wines in 2005.


Bolivian-born Rodriguez Vasquez spent the previous ten years working with E & J Gallo and Constellation Brands working with fruit from all over California and New Zealand before joining the Peltier team as winemaker in 2016. She’s approaching her third harvest with the winery and couldn’t be happier with the reception the value brand is receiving, “We are very excited with the Collier Creek product line, and we are happy to see it grow so rapidly.” Collier Creek Front Coach Chardonnay is available at retailers across the United States.

Rodney & Gayla Schatz – Wine Growers

Best Value Wine

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Competition

Double Gold & Gold Winners Commercial Wine Dry White Wines AlbariĂąo

Moniz Family Wines St. Ci, 2017 Albarino, California Best of Class of Appellation Klinker Brick 2017 Albarino, Lodi (San Joaquin) Best of Class of Appellation

Double Gold 99 Gold 95

Bordeaux White Varietal Blends Concannon Vineyard 2016 Assemblage Blanc, Livermore Valley Best of Region - White Baily Vineyard & Winery 2016 Montage, Temecula Valley

Double Gold 98 Gold 95

Chardonnay

Four Vines Double Gold 100 The Willing, 2016 Chardonnay, Monterey County Best of Class of Appellation Chalkboard Double Gold 99 2016 Chardonnay, California Best of Class of Appellation Collier Creek Wine Co. Double Gold 99 Front Coach, 2016 Chardonnay, Lodi (San Joaquin) Best Value & Best of Class of Appellation CRU Double Gold 99 2016 Chardonnay, Sierra Madre Vineyard, Lodi (San Joaquin) Best of Class of Appellation District 7 Double Gold 99 2016 Chardonnay, Monterey Dominant Seven Double Gold 99 2016 Chardonnay, California Best of Class of Appellation Double Oak Vineyards & Winery Double Gold 99 2016 Chardonnay, Sierra Foothills Best of Region - White & Best of Class of Appellation Guardsmen Wines Double Gold 99 2016 Chardonnay, Lodi (San Joaquin) Best Micro Winery White Imagery Estate Winery Double Gold 99 2016 Chardonnay, California Best of Class of Appellation Reata Double Gold 99 2016 Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast (Sonoma) Best of Class of Appellation

46 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine

Reserve Lot Series Double Gold 99 Lot 28, 2015 Chardonnay, Napa Valley Best of Class of Appellation Thorn Hill Vineyards Double Gold 99 2016 Chardonnay, Napa Valley Best of Region - White, Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation A3 Gold 95 2016 Chardonnay, California Black Stallion Estate Winery Gold 95 2016 Chardonnay, Napa Valley Bogle Vineyards Gold 95 2016 Chardonnay, Napa Valley Cache Creek Vineyards Gold 95 Celebration, 2016 Chardonnay, Lake County Best of Class of Appellation Caged Gold 95 2016 Chardonnay, California California Dream Gold 95 2016 Chardonnay, California Carol Shelton Wines Gold 95 Wild Thing, 2016 Chardonnay, Sonoma County Gold 95 Flora Springs 2016 Chardonnay, Family Select, Napa Valley Harney Lane Gold 95 2016 Chardonnay, Lodi (San Joaquin) La Chertosa Gold 95 2016 Chardonnay, Sonoma Valley Lafond Gold 95 2014 Chardonnay, LaFond Vineyards, Santa Rita Hills Locatour Gold 95 2016 Chardonnay, California Robert Mondavi Private Select Gold 95 2016 Chardonnay, Private Selection, California Rodney Strong Vineyards Gold 95 2016 Chardonnay, Sonoma County Rutherford Ranch Gold 95 2016 Chardonnay, Napa Valley Santa Barbara Winery Gold 95 2015 Chardonnay, Santa Rita Hills Scott Family Estate 2016 Chardonnay, Carneros Gold 95 2016 Chardonna, Dijon Clone, Arroyo Seco Gold 95 Sean Minor Four Bears Gold 95 2016 Chardonnay, Central Coast Shiloh Road Gold 95 2016 Chardonnay, Sonoma County Sofia Gold 95 2016 Chardonnay, Monterey County


Competition

Double Gold & Gold Winners Commercial Wine Chardonnay (continued) Unruly 2016 Chardonnay, California Volunteer 2016 Chardonnay, Napa Valley Windsor Vineyards Evelyn Parrish Vineyard, 2016 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95

Chenin Blanc Husch Double 2017 Chenin Blanc, Mendocino Best of Region - White Rippey 2017 Chenin Blan, Clarksburg (Yolo) Sutter Home Family Vineyards NV Chenin Blanc, California

Muscat

Lewis Grace 2017 Muscat of Alexandria, El Dorado

Gold 99 Gold 95 Gold 95

Gold 95

Rhone White Varietal Blends

Other White Varietals Cass Winery Double Gold 99 2017 Marsanne, Paso Robles Geneseo District Best of Class of Appellation Lewis Grace Double Gold 99 2017 Torrontes, Alta Mesa Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation Rancho Sisquoc Double Gold 99 2017 Sylvaner, Santa Barbara County Flood Family Vineyards Gold 95 Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards 2017 Picpoul Blanc, Lodi (San Joaquin) Michael Gill Cellars Gold 95 Oso Blanco, 2017 Vermentino, Paso Robles

Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris Bargetto Double Gold 99 2017 Pinot Grigio, Monterey County Best of Class of Appellation Montevina Double Gold 99 Glass Falls, 2016 Pinot Grigio, California Best of Class of Appellation Windsor Vineyards Double Gold 99 2016 Pinot Grigio, Sonoma County Best of Region - White, Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation Bandit Gold 95 NV, Pinot Grigio, California (State Appellation)

Blue Quail Gold 95 2016 Pinot Gris, Potter Valley Best of Class of Appellation California Roots Gold 95 2016 Pinot Grigio, California Dark Horse Gold 95 2016 Pinot Grigio, California Laird Family Estate Gold 95 2017 Pinot Grigio, Cold Creek, Los Carneros (Sonoma) Noble Vines Gold 95 152, 2017 Pinot Grigio, Monterey Gold 95 School Street 2017 Pinot Grigio, Sierra Foothills Best of Class of Appellation Seaglass Gold 95 2016 Pinot Grigio, Santa Barbara County Best of Class of Appellation Thorn Hill Vineyards Gold 95 2016 Pinot Grigio, Lake County Best of Class of Appellation J. Lohr Gesture Double Gold 99 2016 RVG, Paso Robles Best of Region - White & Best of Class of Appellation Eberle Gold 95 2016 Cotes-du-Robles Blanc, Paso Robles

Riesling

Rendez-vous 2017 Riesling, Clarksburg (Yolo) Best of Region - White & Best of California

Double Gold 98

Sauvignon Blanc Imagery Estate Winery Double Gold 99 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, California Best of Region - White & Best of Class of Appellation Oak Farm Vineyards Double Gold 99 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Mohr Fry Ranch, Lodi (San Joaquin) Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation Double Gold 99 Picchetti Winery 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Cedar Lane Vineyard, Arroyo Seco Best of Show - White, Best of Region - White & Best of Class of Appellation Double Gold 99 Raymond Vineyards 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Lot No 4, California Best of Class of Appellation Double Gold 99 Van Roekel Estate 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Temecula Valley Best of Region - White & Best of Class of Appellation

Commercial Olive Oil, cheese, Wine, & Craft Beer | CAStateFair.org 47


Competition

Double Gold & Gold Winners Commercial Wine Sauvignon Blanc (continued) Berryhill Family Vineyards Gold 95 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Lodi (San Joaquin) Cache Creek Vineyards Gold 95 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Lake County Best of Class of Appellation Gold 95 Dry Creek Vineyard 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Valley Best of Class of Appellation Gold Country Gold 95 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Sierra Foothills Best of Class of Appellation Line 39 Gold 95 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, California Munselle Vineyards Gold 95 2016 Sauvignon Blanc,River Ranch, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County Best of Class of Appellation Seaglass Gold 95 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Barbara County Best of Class of Appellation Gold 95 Smoking Loon 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, California St. George Gold 95 2016 Sauvignon Blanc,Select Reserve, California Stephen & Walker Gold 95 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Green Valley of Russian River Valley Best of Class of Appellation Trailhead Gold 95 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley Best of Class of Appellation

Viognier McManis Family Vineyards Double Gold 99 2016 Viognier, River Junction (San Joaquin) Best of Region - White, Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation Le Mulet Rouge Vineyard and Winery Gold 95 2016 Viognier, Fiddletown Michael Gill Cellars Gold 95 Black Tie, 2017 Viognier, Paso Robles Robert Hall Gold 95 2016 Viognier, Paso Robles Best of Class of Appellation Saluti Cellars Gold 95 2016 Viognier, Fair Play Best of Class of Appellation

48 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine

Red Table Wines Barbera

Prospect Cellars Double Gold 99 Cooper Ranch 2016 Barbera, Amador County Montevina Double Gold 98 2016 Barbera Skyland Ridge, Amador County Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation Bella Grace Gold 95 2015 Barbera, Amador County Feist Gold 95 2016 Barbera Cooper Vineyard, Amador County Las Positas Vineyards Gold 95 2014 Barbera, Livermore Valley Best of Class of Appellation School Street Gold 95 2014 Barbera, Grant Ranch, Calaveras County Story Winery Gold 95 2016 Barbera, Shenandoah Valley (Amador) Sunset Gold 95 2013 Barbera, Twin Creeks Vineyard, Napa Valley Best of Class of Appellation Villa Vallecito Vineyards Gold 95 Reserve, 2014 Barbera, Villa Vallecito Vineyards, Sierra Foothills

Bordeaux Red Varietal Blends Las Positas Vineyards Double Gold 99 2013 Meritage, Livermore Valley Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation Monte De Oro Double Gold 99 2014 Simplexity, Temecula Valley Best of Region - Red & Best of Class of Appellation Benziger Family Winery Gold 95 2015 Tribute, Sonoma Valley Best of Class of Appellation J. Lohr Cuvee Series Gold 95 2014 Cuvee PAU, Paso Robles Best of Class of Appellation LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards Gold 95 2013 Midnight Reserve, Lodi (San Joaquin) Best of Class of Appellation Gold 95 Lyeth Estate 2016 Meritage, Sonoma County Best of Class of Appellation Victor Hugo Gold 95 2014 Opulence, Templeton Best of Class of Appellation Windwalker Vineyard Gold 95 2013 Red Table Wine, Fair Play Best of Class of Appellation


8

Š2018 Trinchero Family Estates, St. Helena, CA

80

Enjoy Award-Winning Wine and Spirits from www.TFEwines.com


Competition

Double Gold & Gold Winners Commercial Wine Bordeaux Red Varietal Blends (continued) Yorkville Cellars 2015 Richard the Lion-Heart, Rennie Vineyard, Yorkville Highlands, Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 95

Cabernet Franc Jeff Runquist Double 2016 Cabernet Franc Salman Vineyard, Clarksburg (Sacramento) Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation Imagery Estate Winery 2015 Cabernet Franc, Sonoma County Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 98

Gold 95

Cabernet Sauvignon Fenestra Double Gold 100 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley Best of Class of Appellation Bogle Vineyards Double Gold 99 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, California Best of Class of Appellation

Earthquake Double Gold 99 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lodi (San Joaquin) Best of Class of Appellation Grayson Double Gold 99 Lot 10, 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, California Best of Class of Appellation Halter Ranch Double Gold 99 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon , Adelaida District Best of Region - Red & Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation Prophecy Double Gold 99 The Emperor, 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, California Best of Class of Appellation A3 Gold 95 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, California Gold 95 Archimedes 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley Best of Class of Appellation Avalon Gold 95 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lodi (Sacramento)

Award-Winning Wines From

J. LOHR VINEYARDS & WINES MONTEREY | PASO ROBLES | NAPA VALLEY

28 GOLD, BEST OF CLASS APPELLATION 2014 J. Lohr Cuvée PAU, 95 points 2015 J. Lohr Gesture Mourvèdre, 95 points 2015 J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, 95 points 2016 J. Lohr Estates Wildflower Valdiguié, 95 points

GOLD 2016 J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon, 95 points

DOUBLE GOLD Best of Region White

Best of Class Appellation

99 POINTS 2016 J. Lohr Gesture RVG


Competition

Double Gold & Gold Winners Commercial Wine Cabernet Sauvignon (continued) Barbed Wire Gold 95 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lot #9 Winemaker’s Reserve, North Coast Best of Class of Appellation Bell Wine Cellars Gold 95 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley Best of Class of Appellation Cache Creek Vineyards Gold 95 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, Lake County Best of Class of Appellation Carol Shelton Wines Gold 95 Rockpile Reserve, 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Rockpile Vineyard, Rockpile Best of Class of Appellation Collier Creek Gold 95 Big Rooster, 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lodi (San Joaquin) Concannon Vineyard Gold 95 Mother Vine, 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley Eberle Gold 95 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyard Selection, Paso Robles Edna Valley Vineyard Gold 95 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Coast Forchini Vineyards & Winery Gold 95 Proprietor’s Reserve, 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Dry Creek Valley Four Vines Gold 95 The Kinker, 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles Frei Brothers Reserve Gold 95 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley Best of Class of Appellation Hawley Gold 95 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Hawley Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley Best of Class of Appellation Hoyt Family Vineyards Gold 95 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles Gold 95 Hybrid 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lodi (San Joaquin) Gold 95 J. Lohr Seven Oaks, 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles J. Lohr Vineyard Series Gold 95 Carol’s Vineyard, 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena Best of Class of Appellation Lyeth Estate Gold 95 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, California Lythium Cellars Gold 95 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lodi (San Joaquin)

Matthew Joseph 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley Best of Class of Appellation Menage a Trois Decadence, 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, California Muirwood 2016 Cabernet Sauvigno, Monterey Best of Class of Appellation 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Vaquero Vineyard-Reserve, Arroyo Seco Parallel Paradise, 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley Best of Class of Appellation Picchetti Winery 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Leslie’s Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains Rapture 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lodi (San Joaquin) Raymond Vineyards 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley Best of Class of Appellation 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, North Coast Best of Class of Appellation Reign 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa County Robert Stevens 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Limited Production, California Rodney Strong Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Vineyards, Alexander Valley Best of Class of Appellation Samuel Charles 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, North Coast Best of Class of Appellation Shiloh Road 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County Best of Class of Appellation Silver Ghost 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley Best of Class of Appellation Unruly 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Black Rampant, California Vina Moda 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sierra Foothills Vindicated 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Liberating Wine , Napa Valley Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 93 Gold 93 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95

Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95

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Competition

Double Gold & Gold Winners Commercial Wine Carignane Jessies Grove Winery 2015 Carignane Ancient Vine, Lodi (San Joaquin)

Gold 95

Grenache Red Soles Winery 2015 Granacha, Miracles Ranch, Paso Robles Willowcreek District Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 95

Villa Vallecito Vineyards 2015 Grenache, Calaveras County Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 95

Italian Red Varietal Blend Imagery Estate Winery Double Gold 99 Tusca Bravav 2015 Italian Super Tuscan Style, Sonoma County Best of Region - Red & Best of Class of Appellation Giovinazzo Gold 95 Festa Boca 2016, California Best of Class of Appellation Gold 95 Via Romano Vineyards Fiasco 2014 Tuscan Style Red Wine, Sierra Foothills Best of Class of Appellation

Malbec Martin Ranch Double Gold 99 2014 Malbec, Dos NinasVineyard, Therese Vineyards, Santa Clara Valley Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation Baily Vineyard & Winery Gold 95 2014 Malbec, Temecula Valley Best of Class of Appellation Gold 95 Chacewater Krev, 2013 Malbec, Red Hills Best of Class of Appellation Imagery Estate Winery Gold 95 2015 Malbec, Upper Ridge Vineyard, Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak (Sonoma) Best of Class of Appellation Pear Valley 2015 Malbec, Pear Valley Vineyards, Paso Robles Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 95

Merlot Bell Wine Cellars Double Gold 99 2015 Merlot, Yountville Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation Double Gold 99 Muirwood 2015 Merlot, Monterey Best of Region - Red & Best of Class of Appellation

52 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine

Seebass Family Wines Double Gold 99 Grand Reserve, 2014 Merlot, Mendocino Best of Class of Appellation Steele Wines Double Gold 99 2015 Merlot, Lake County Best of Class of Appellation Thorn Hill Vineyards Double Gold 99 2014 Merlot, Napa Valley Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation Double Gold 99 Trefethen Family Vineyards 2015 Merlot, Oak Knoll District Best of Class of Appellation Vitus Double Gold 99 2014 Merlot, Olive Hill Vineyard, Napa Valley Best of Region - Red & Best of Class of Appellation 719 West Gold 95 2015 Merlot, California Best of Class of Appellation Bottle Jack Cellars Gold 95 2014 Merlot, Santa Cruz Mountains Cypress Vineyards Gold 95 2016 Merlot, Central Coast Best of Class of Appellation Gold 95 Five Acres 2016 Merlot, Clarksburg (Sacramento) Best of Class of Appellation Imagery Estate Winery Gold 95 2015 Merlot, Sonoma Valley Best of Class of Appellation Gold 95 Peju 2014 Merlot, Napa Valley Vina Moda Gold 95 2015 Merlot, Sierra Foothills William Hill Estate Gold 95 2014 Merlot Coastal Collection, Central Coast

Mourvèdre J. Lohr Gesture 2015 Mourvedre, Paso Robles Best of Class of Appellation Mais Fica Winery 2014 Mourvedr, El Dorado

Gold 95 Gold 95

Other Red Varietals Bottle Jack Cellars Double Gold 100 2014 Syrah - Grenache Zayante Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains Jeff Runquist Double Gold 99 2015 Tannat, Silvaspoons Vineyard, Alta Mesa Best of Region - Red &Best of Class of Appellation


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Competition

Double Gold & Gold Winners Commercial Wine Other Red Varietals (continued) Klinker Brick Winery Double Gold 99 2015 Dolcetto, Lodi (San Joaquin) Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation Michael Gill Cellars Double Gold 99 2016 Counoise Red, Paso Robles St. Amant Winery Double Gold 99 The Old Soldier, 2016 Touriga, Amador County Best of Show - Red, Best of Region - Red, & Best of Class of Appellation Trevor Grace Double Gold 99 2015 Petit Verdot, El Dorado Best of Class of Appellation Ursa Vineyards Double Gold 99 2014 Tannat Lone Meadow Vineyard, Sierra Foothills Best of Class of Appellation Alpen Cellars Gold 95 2015 Blaufrankisch/Lemberger, Trinity Lakes Best of Class of Appellation DeWitt Vineyard Gold 95 2015 Tourig, Amador County, Amador County Europa Village C’est La Vie Gold 95 2015 Counoise, Temecula Valley Best of Class of Appellation J. Lohr Estates Gold 95 Wildflower 2016 Valdiguie, Monterey Best of Class of Appellation Lewis Grace Gold 95 2015 Souza, El Dorado McManis Family Vineyards Gold 95 2016 Petit Verdot, California Best of Class of Appellation Michael David Gold 95 Ancient Vine, 2015 Cinsault, Bechtold Vineyard, Lodi (San Joaquin) Michael Gill Cellars Black Tie, 2016 Alicante Bouschet, Paso Robles Gold 95 The Tenor, 2016 Tannat, Paso Robles Gold 95 Pear Valley Gold 95 2014 Aglianico, Pear Valley Vineyard, Paso Robles Best of Class of Appellation Renegade Gold 95 2016 Pinotage, Alta Mesa Wyneland Estates Gold 95 2015 Alicante Bouschet, Mokelumne River

Other Red Varietal Blends Rodney Strong Vineyards Double Gold 99 2015 Upshot, Sonoma County Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation

54 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine

Crystal Basin Cellars 2015 X Xpealidocious, El Dorado Best of Class of Appellation Gold Country Red 2015, Sierra Foothills Best of Class of Appellation Klinker Brick Winery 2015, 1850 Degrees, Lodi (San Joaquin) Best of Class of Appellation Laird Family Estate 2014 Jillian’s Blend, Napa Valley Best of Class of Appellation Las Positas Vineyards 2014 Coccineous, Livermore Valley Best of Class of Appellation 2015 Coccineous, Livermore Valley Best of Class of Appellation Mineral Wines 2016 ‘La Calavera,’ Calaveras County Rancho Victoria 2014 Horseplay, Amador County Stony Ridge 2015 Trifecta, Del Arroyo Vineyards, Livermore Valley Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95

Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95

Petite Sirah Bottle Jack Cellars Double Gold 99 2014 Petite Sirah, Santa Cruz Mountains Concannon Vineyard Nina’s Cuvee, 2015 Petite Sira, Double Gold 99 Livermore Valley Best of Class of Appellation Captain Joe’s, 2015 Petite Sirah, Double Gold 99 Livermore Valley Best of Class of Appellation Navarro Vineyards Double Gold 99 2015 Petite Sirah, Mendocino Best of Region - Red & Best of Class of Appellation Storrs Double Gold 99 2015 Petite Sirah, Santa Cruz Mountains Best of Region - Red, Best of California, & Best of Class of Appellation Adixion Gold 95 2015 Petite Sira, Paso Robles Best of Class of Appellation Gold 95 Bent Creek Wines 2015 Petite Sirah, Livermore Valley Gold 95 Cache Creek Vineyards 2014 Petite Sirah, Lake County


Competition

Double Gold & Gold Winners Commercial Wine Petite Sirah (continued) Dark Horse 2015 Petite Sirah, California Best of Class of Appellation Ironstone Vineyards 2016 Petite Sirah, Lodi (San Joaquin) Best of Class of Appellation Lewis Grace 2015 Petite Sirah, El Dorado Best of Class of Appellation Oak Grove 2016 Petite Sirah, Family Reserve, California Best of Class of Appellation Wilson Family Winery 2014 Petite Sirah, Lodi (San Joaquin)

Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95

Pinot Noir Parkers Estate Double Gold 99 2016 Pinot Noir, California Best of Class of Appellation Picchetti Winery Double Gold 99 2016 Pinot Noir, Truchard Vineyard, Napa Valley Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation Sean Minor Four Bears Double Gold 99 2016 Pinot Noir, Central Coast Best of Class of Appellation Willowbrook Double Gold 99 2015 Pinot Noir, Kaufman Sunnyslope Vineyard, Sonoma Mountain Best of Region - Red & Best of Class of Appellation Bailarin 2014 Pinot Noir, Suacci Vineyard, Gold 95 Russian River Valley 2014 Pinot Noir, Manchester Ridge Vineyard, Mendocino Ridge Gold 95 Gold 95 Bogle Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir, California Bread & Butter Gold 95 2016 Pinot Noir, California Bubo Gold 95 2015 Pinot Noir, California Fog Mountain Gold 95 2016 Pinot Noir, California Forever Vineyards Gold 95 2016 Pinot Noir, California Gold 95 Karah Estate Vineyards 2016 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast (Marin) Best of Class of Appellation Kenneth Volk Vineyards Gold 95 2014 Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County

MacMurray Estate Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir, Central Coast Best of Class of Appellation Martin Ranch J.D. Hurley, 2016 Pinot Noir, R.E.D. Vineyards, Central Coast Best of Class of Appellation Raeburn 2016 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley Sonnet Wine Cellars 2015 Pinot Noir, Tondre’s Grapefield, Santa Lucia Highlands Best of Class of Appellation The Lost Chapters 2014 Pinot Noir, Volume I, Carneros Writer’s Block 2016 Pinot Noir, Lake County Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 95 Gold 95

Gold 95 Gold 95

Gold 95 Gold 95

Primitivo Macchia Double Gold 99 Meticulous, 2016 Primitivo, Vista Luna Vineyard, Lodi (San Joaquin) Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation Devious 2016 Primitivo, Lodi (San Joaquin)

Gold 95

Helwig Vineyards & Winery 2015 Primitivo, Shenandoah Valley (Amador) Best of Class of Appellation Imagery Estate Winery 2016 Primitivo, Sonoma Valley Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 95 Gold 95

Red Generic Ca’ Momi 2015 Rosso di Ca’ Momi, California Best of Class of Appellation Imagery Estate Winery 2015 Pallas, Sonoma Valley Best of Class of Appellation Secret Indulgence 2015 American Vintage, California Best of Region - Red, Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation 2015 Chronology, California Bliss Family Vineyards 2015 Blissful Red, Mendocino Best of Class of Appellation Deaver Vineyards Deaver’s Blend NV, Amador County Best of Class of Appellation

Double Gold 99 Double Gold 99

Double Gold 99 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95

Commercial Olive Oil, cheese, Wine, & Craft Beer | CAStateFair.org 55


Competition

Double Gold & Gold Winners Commercial Wine Red Generic (continued) Distant Cellars 2013 Drifter, Amador County Best of Class of Appellation Gnarly Head 2016, 1924 Double Black, California Limited Edition Helwig Vineyards & Winery 2015 Round Up Red, California Raymond Vineyards 2014 LVE, Legend Vineyard Exclusive, Napa Valley Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95

Rhone Red Varietal Blends Avensole Winery Double Gold 99 2014 Enchante, California Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation Cass Winery Gold 95 2015 GSM, Paso Robles Best of Class of Appellation Halter Ranch Gold 95 2015 CDP, Adelaida District Best of Class of Appellation Monte De Oro Gold 95 2014 Cuvee De Oro, Temecula Valley Best of Class of Appellation Gold 95 Ursa Vineyards 2014 Syrah-Sirah, California

Sangiovese Noceto Double Gold 99 Hillside 2015 Sangiovese, Shenandoah Valley (Amador) Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation Double Gold 99 Via Romano Vineyards 2014 Sangiovese, Shenandoah Valley (El Dorado) Best Micro Winery Red Gold 95 Pope Valley Winery 2014 Sangiovese, Napa Valley Best of Class of Appellation

Syrah/ShiRaz Chacewater Double Gold 98 2014 Syrah, Sierra Foothills Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation Bottle Jack Cellars Gold 95 2014 Syra, Santa Cruz Mountains DeWitt Vineyard Gold 95 2015 Syrah, Amador County Le Mulet Rouge Vineyard and Winery Gold 95 2015 Syrah, Reserve, Fiddletown

56 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine

Michael Gill Cellars Black Tie, 2015 Syrah, Paso Robles Spicy Vines Dragon’s Kiss, 2015 Syrah Windance Vineyards, Sierra Foothills Wildhurst Vineyards 2015 Syrah, Lake County Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95

Tempranillo DeWitt Vineyard 2015 Tempranillo, Amador County

Double Gold 99

Zinfandel Caricature Double Gold 99 2015 Zinfandel, Lodi (San Joaquin) Best of Class of Appellation Convergence Vineyards Double Gold 99 2016 Zinfandel, Sierra Foothills Best of Class of Appellation Deaver Vineyards Double Gold 99 2015 Zinfandel, Amador County Best of Class of Appellation Jeff Runquist D ouble Gold 99 2016 Zinfandel, Cooper Vineyard, Amador County Best of Class of Appellation Lake Sonoma Winery Double Gold 99 2014 Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley Best of Class of Appellation Monte De Oro Winery Double Gold 99 2014 Zinfandel, Galway Vineyard, Temecula Valley Best of Class of Appellation Sobon Estate Double Gold 99 2015 Zinfandel Rocky Top, Amador County Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation Windwalker Vineyard Double Gold 99 2014 Zinfandel, Sierra Foothills Best of Class of Appellation Bailarin Gold 95 2015 Zinfandel, Love Vineyard, Russian River Valley Bella Grace Gold 95 2015 Zinfandel, Amador County Bold Vine Gold 95 2016 Zinfandel, Lodi (San Joaquin) Borjon Gold 95 2015 Zinfandel Reposado, Amador County Carol Shelton Wines Gold 95 2015 Zinfandel, Peaceland Vineyard, Fountaingrove District, Sonoma County


Competition

Double Gold & Gold Winners Commercial Wine Zinfandel (continued) Dark Horse 2016 Zinfandel, Limited Release, California Best of Class of Appellation D’Artagnan Vineyards 2014 Zinfandel, Rocky Block, El Dorado Dillian Wines Hangtree, 2015 Zinfandel, Amador County Earthquake 2015 Zinfandel, Lodi (San Joaquin) Four Vines The Biker, 2016 Zinfandel, Paso Robles Best of Class of Appellation Gallo Signature Series 2015 Zinfandl, Dry Creek Valley Harney Lane 2015 Zinfandel, Lodi (San Joaquin) Hawley 2016 Zinfandel, Hawley Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley Husch Old Vines, 2016 Zinfandel, Garzini Ranch, Mendocino Best of Class of Appellation Lewis Grace 2015 Zinfandel, El Dorado Lust 2015 Zinfandel, Lodi (San Joaquin) Michael Gill Cellars Il Elione, 2016 Zinfandel, Paso Robles Milliaire Vineyard Selections 2014 Zinfandel, Vineyard Selections, Calaveras County Navarro Vineyards 2016 Zinfandel, Mendocino Best of Class of Appellation Peirano Estate Vineyards 2015 Zinfandel, The Heritage Collection, Lodi (San Joaquin) Rock Wall Wine Company Pearl Hart Reserve, 2015 Zinfandel, Contra Costa County Best of Class of Appellation Rock Wall Wine Company Cuvee Exceptionnelle, 2016 Zinfandel, California Best of Class of Appellation Rodney Strong Vineyards Knotty Vines, 2014 Zinfandel, Northern Sonoma Rosenblum Cellars 2014 Zinfandel, Rockpile Road Vineyard, Rockpile

Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95

Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95

Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95

Rosenblum Cellars 2014 Zinfandel, Paso Robles Best of Class of Appellation Scott Harvey Vineyard 1869, 2015 Zinfandel, Amador County St. Jorge 2015 Zinfandel, Mohr Fry Home Ranch, Lodi (San Joaquin) Stonehedge 2016 Zinfandel, Reserve, California Best of Class of Appellation Thorn Hill Vineyards 2014 Zinfandel, Lake County Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95 Gold 95

Rosé Pink and Blush Wines Varietal Rosé

Hoyt Family Vineyards Double Gold 99 2017 Pinot Noir Rose, Paso Robles Willowcreek District Best Micro Winery Other Double Gold 99 Imagery Estate Winery 2017 Aleatico Rose, Serres Ranch, Sonoma Valley Best of Class of Appellation Karah Estate Vineyards Double Gold 99 2017 Rose of Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast (Marin) Best of Class of Appellation LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards Double Gold 99 2017 Sangiovese Rose, Lodi (San Joaquin) Best of Class of Appellation Matchbook Double Gold 99 2017 Rose of Tempranillo, Dunnigan Hills Best of Class of Appellation Double Gold 99 South Coast Winery 2017 Tempranillo Rose, Temecula Valley Best of Class of Appellation Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards Gold 95 2017 Grenache Rose, Lodi (San Joaquin) Batia Vineyards Gold 95 2016 Grenache Rose, Sierra Foothills Best of Class of Appellation Gold Hill Vineyard Gold 95 Rosato 2016, Barbera, El Dorado Best of Class of Appellation Maurice Car’rie Winery Gold 95 2017 Zinfandel Rose, Temecula Valley Gold 95 Pedroncelli 2017 Rose of Zinfandel, Dry Rose Signature Selection, Dry Creek Valley

Commercial Olive Oil, cheese, Wine, & Craft Beer | CAStateFair.org 57


Competition

Double Gold & Gold Winners Commercial Wine Charmat Fermented Sparkling Wine

Varietal Rosé (continued) Pennyroyal Farm 2017 Pinot Noir Rose, Anderson Valley Rodney Strong Vineyards 2017 Rose of Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley Ryder Estate 2017 Pinot Noir Rose, Central Coast Best of Class of Appellation South Coast Winery 2017 Grenache Noir Rose, Temecula Valley

Gold 95

(Blanc de Blanc, Blanc de Noirs etc.) - Extra Dry 1.51 to 3% rs Barefoot Bubbly Gold 95 NV Extra Dry, California

Gold 95

(Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs etc.)

Gold 95

Gold 95

Varietal Rosé Blends Klinker Brick Winery Bricks and Roses 2017, Mokelumne River Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 95

- Sweet 3.1% and above rs Barefoot Bubbly NV Pinot Grigio, California South Coast Winery NV Sparkling Pinot Grigio, Temecula Valley

Malene Double Gold 99 2017 Rose, Santa Barbara County Best of Show - Pink & Best of Class of Appellation Ava Grace Vineyards 2017 Ava Rose, California Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 95

Challis Lane 2017 Rose, California Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 95

Chloe 2017 Rose, Central Coast Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 95

Ecks 2017 Rose, Shenandoah Valley (Amador) Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 95

Sean Minor 2017 Rose, California Series, California Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 95

Unruly 2017 Rose, California Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 95

Sparkling Wines Charmat Fermented Sparkling Wine (Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs etc.) - Brut up to 1.5% rs Rock Wall Wine Company Gold 95 2016 Sparkling Blanc de Blancs, Yolo County Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 95

Bottle Fermented Sparkling Wine (Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs etc.) - Natural no dosage Thorn Hill Vineyards Gold 95 Brut Cuvee de Prestige NV, North Coast

Bottle Fermented Sparkling Wine (Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs etc.) - Brut up to 1.5% rs Breathless Gold 95 NV Blanc De Noirs, Sonoma County Best of Class of Appellation Gold 95 J Vineyards and Winery J Cuvee 20 NV, Russian River Valley Best of Class of Appellation Korbel Gold 95 NV Blanc de Noirs, California Best of Class of Appellation Loma Prieta Winery Gold 95 2015 Sparkling Pinotage, Alta Mesa Best of Class of Appellation

Bottle Fermented Rose Pink and Sparkling Red - Brut up to 1.5% rs Gwinllan Estate Double Gold 99 2016 Rose, Methode Champanoise, El Dorado Best of Show Sparkling Sofia Gold 95 2017 Brut Rose, Monterey County Korbel Gold 95 NV Brut Rose, California

Bottle Fermented Rose Pink and Sparkling Red - Sweet 3.1% and above rs Korbel NV Sweet Sparkling Rose, California

58 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine

Gold 95

Charmat Fermented Rose Pink and Sparkling Red - Sweet 3.1% and above rs Barefoot Bubbly NV Pink Moscato, California

Generic Rosé

Gold 95

Gold 95


Competition

Double Gold & Gold Winners Commercial Wine Fortified Dessert Wines

Sweet White Wines

Traditional - Vintage Dated

Riesling Medium Sweet

Pedroncelli Four Grapes, 2012 Vintage Port, Dry Creek Valley

Double Gold 99

St. Amant Winery 2015 Bootleg Port, Amador County

Double Gold 99

Hagafen 2017 White Riesling, Rancho Wieruszowski Vineyard, Coombsville Best of Class of Appellation

Double Gold 99

Forestville Vineyards 2016 Gewurztraminer, California

Sherry Sweet Galleano 90th Anniversary NV, Cream Sherry, Limited release, Cucamonga Valley Rancho de Philo Triple Cream Sherry NV, Cucamonga Valley

Gold 95

Non-Traditional - Varietal fortified dessert wine (specific grape(s) named)

Non-Traditional - Other Misc. fortified dessert wine Gold 95 Gold 95

Natural Non-Fortified Dessert and Sweet Red Wines

Gold 95

Muscat Medium Sweet Menage a Trois 2016 Moscato, California Best of Class of Appellation

Gold 95

Sutter Home Family Vineyards NV Pink Moscato, California

95

Other White Varietals not otherwise listed Sweet/ Late Harvest Stephen & Walker Botrytis, 2012 Chardonnay, Mendocino Ridge Best of Show Dessert

Double Gold 98

Sweet White Generic Grace Patriot Wines 2017 Fashionably Late, El Dorado

Gold 95

Fruit and Berry Wines Fruit Wines Gowans Heirloom Cider Gravenstein Heirloom, 2016 Cider, Single Varietal, Anderson Valley

Gold 95

Berry Wines Chaucer’s Cellars NV Raspberry Win, California

Double Gold 99

Honey Wines (Meads)

Carol Shelton Wines Gold 95 Black Magic (Late Harvest Zin) 2017, Sonoma County Barefoot Gold 95 Red Moscato NV, California

Gewurztraminer Medium Sweet

Muscat Sweet/Late Harvest

Quady Winery Elysium, 2016 Black Muscat, Double Gold 99 Cucamonga Valley, California Best of California & Best of Class of Appellation Essensia, 2016 Orange Muscat, California Gold 95 Harney Lane Gold 95 Lizzy James NV Zinfandel, Lodi (San Joaquin) Best of Class of Appellation Stephen & Walker Portentous, 2013 Petite Sirah, Gold 95 Vintage Dated Por,Dry Creek Valley Best of Class of Appellation Portentous, 2016 Petite Sirah, Gold 95 Vintage Dated Port, Dry Creek Valley Best of Class of Appellation

Deaver Vineyards Angelica NV, Amador County Dobra Zemlja Winery Kikas NV, Amador County

Gold 95

Lost Cause Meadery Devilish Grin NV, California

Gold 95

Commercial Olive Oil, cheese, Wine, & Craft Beer | CAStateFair.org 59


Commercial Wine Judges & Volunteers Thank you to all!

Mark Chandler Chief Judge California Exposition & State Fair Chandler & Company Consulting Lodi, California David Akiyoshi Winemaker Lange Twins Winery Acampo, California Brad Alderson Consultant Wine and Winery Advice Acampo, California Hope Alexander Industrial Engineer Design & Construction Industry Consultant/Educator Chicago ,Illinois Lynae Anderson Hiley Sales & Marketing Coordinator Master Sommelier Seguin Moreau Napa Cooperage Vallejo, California Bryan Avila Winemaker Pope Valley Winery Consulting Winemaker Winecraft, LTD. former Professor of Enology Winemaking Napa Valley College Napa, California Thomas Bender Wine Buyer/Wine Bar Manager O’Brien’s Market Modesto, California

Greg Burns Owner/Winemaker Jessie’s Grove Winery Lodi, California Amy Butler Owner/Winemaker Ranchero Cellars Paso Robles, California Laura Chadwell Winemaker New Product Development Constellation Brands Lodi, California Mari Wells Coyle Winemaker Wells Wines/The Winemaker’s Table Placerville, California Debra Del Fiorentino, CWP, CSW Sommelier Director of Wine Competitions Vineyard & Winery Management Petaluma, California Patrick Dodd, CSS, CS CWE Senior Director Corporate Workforce Development Gallo University Modesto, California Laura Donadoni Founder and President LA COM Wine Agency Bonita, California Tracy Dutton Master Sommelier/Professor of Wine and Beverage The Culinary Institute of America Greystone Calistoga, California

60 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine

Gary Eberle Owner/Enologist Eberle Winery Paso Robles, California Bob Foster Assistant Editor California Grapevine Wine Newsletter Carlsbad, California Orietta Gianjorio Sommelier/Educator Sensory Evaluation Expert Orietta, LLC. Napa, California Todd Hafner Wine Educator/Consultant Stockton, California Peter Hirschfeld, CSW, CWP, MBA Winery Business Consultant Sonoma, California Julie Holme Winemaker Ponte Winery Holme Estate Cellars Temecula, California Sherrie Holzer Assistant Winemaker Castoro Cellars Paso Robles, California Nicholas Karavidas Principal Wine Concepts & Design Intl. Woodbridge, California Mike Kerrigan Owner Coming Attractions Sutter Creek, California

Scott Klann Owner Winemaker Newsome-Harlow Wines Murphys,California Rick Kushman NY Times bestselling author award-winning journalist Communications Strategist E&J Gallo Winery Wine Commentator Capital Public Radio creator & co-host Bottle Talk with Rick and Paul Sacramento, California Roxanne Langer Founder Wine Fundamentals Certified Sommelier Educator Rocklin, California Adam LaZarre Owner/Winemaker LaZarre Wines Paso Robles, California Kevin Luther Winemaker & Vineyard Manager Wise Villa Winery Lincoln, California Martin Maxwell Consultant Looking Glass Research Lodi, California Timothy McDonald Founder & President Wine Spoken Here Napa, California


Meredith Miles-Sarboraria Winemaker Stony Ridge/Crooked Vine Winery Consulting Winemaker Barrel Down Wine Services Livermore, California Brian Miller Certified Specialist of Wine Retailer & Wine Event Coordinator Amador 360/Barbera Festival Fiddletown, California Brian Moore Certified Wine Judge Sacramento, California Mark Newman CEO & Winemaker Accolade Brands Studio City, California Markus Niggli Winemaker Borra Vineyards & Markus Wine Co. Lodi, California M. Eleni Papadakis Winemaker Domaine Serene Portland, Oregon Montgomery Paulsen

Owner/Winemaker Pat Paulsen Vineyards Oakland, California Nadia Pavlevska, CS, CSW, FWS IWS Founder NP Wine Consulting Certified Sommelier Hermosa Beach California Miguel Pedroza Villarreal, Ph.D Assistant Professor of Enology Dept of Viticulture & Enology CSU, Fresno Fresno, California Elyse Perry Winemaker Bokish Vineyards Lodi, California Richard Peterson Wine Consultant Napa, California Andy Podshadley Owner & Winemaker General Manager Trek Winery Novato, California

Michaela Rodeno Owner Villa Ragazzi Author Bubbles to Boardrooms Oakville, California David Rogers Senior Wine Consultant Vintage Wine Estates Forestville, California David Sandri Instructor Wine Studies Program College of Marin Rohnert Park, California Chris Sawyer Sommelier & Wine Educator Journalist SawyerSomm.com Petaluma, California Andria Shirk Owner/Winemaker D.O.G. Wines Competition Consultant Enofile Online Portland, Oregon

Clark Smith Winemaker & Consultant WineSmith Santa Rosa, California Betsy Spann Winemaker & Vineyard Manager Spann Vineyards Glen Ellen, California Jackson Starr Winemaker & Grape Grower Sierra Starr Vineyards Grass Valley, California Timothy Teichgraeber Freelance Wine & Spirits Writer Oakland, California Ilona Thompson Editor Palat Exposure San Ramon, California Paul Wagner Founder President and Partner Balzac Communications & Marketing Napa, California Evan Williams Owner Restaurateur Evan’s American Gourmet CafÊ The Cantina Bar & Grill South Lake Tahoe, California

Volunteers: Marilyn Langhorst, Dave McLanahan, Dennis Azevedo, Enid Baldock, Virginia Baron, Jo Beck, Carolyn Beghin, Jim Beghin, Donna Bettencourt, Larry Boone, Mari Boone, Anne Brunette, Liz Bunting, Luis Caceres, Jennifer Caldwell, Cathy Camacho, Sue Canevari, Mark Carmody, Phyllis Carter, Steve Caselli, Dian Chun, Audrey Costa, Dorothy Cousins, Barbara Cummins, Bruce Currie, Martine Dowling, Kenneth Dressler, Mike Dugan, Eileen Dugan, Kay Durkee, Chip Dyson, Lynne Edwards, Laura Edwards, Dee Dee Eller, David Engles, Laura Fisher, Claire Fisher, Ann Fox Morgan, Mary Gale, Victoria Gray, Dennis Gunvalson, Joe Hafkenschiel, Leonard Hanks, Jean Herndon, Joey Herrera, Robert Hickey, Kathy Hicks, Susan Holding, Sam Howard, Mary Huttner, Jane Huynh, Paul Huynh, Celeste Ingrid, Brian Jenks, Dixie Jew, Christina Johnson, Michael Jones, Marybeth Kavanagh, Diana Kelsay, Keri Kendall, Vince Kiley, Marylou Kiley, Lydia Konopka, Jim Konopka, Paul Kuzmich, Chuck La Rosa, Chris Lang, Ray Lang, Laura Laskowski, Joy Lavin-Jones, Michael Lee, John Lewis, Janet Lial, Dave Litty, Bob McCleary, Andrew McDuffie, Mike Meinz, Stacy Meza, Troy Meza, Macell Millard, Glenn Mueller, Elliot Mulberg, Kathy Nichols, Lauri Nicolosi, Dee Orsburn, Norma Ortega, Alfred Ortiz, Alice Ortiz, Danita Palmer, Vince Pearson, Mary Jo Pingree , Monique Pioli, Steven Price, Jeff Rabinovitz, Hope Rabinovitz, Rebecca Ramme, Tom Ramme, Allyson Rathkamp, Connie Read, Christine Redlon, Sally Riegelsberger, Jack Ritchie, Gary Rose, David Rycerz, Brad Sanborn, Russell Sehn, Jay Shepherd, Jill Shepherd, Gary Sibner, Sharon Simas, Clova Smith, William Smith, Thomas St.Charles, Jane Steele, Paulette Stokes, Rosemary Stuart, Mark Stuart, Jim Sutton, Eric Tober, Kathryn Tobias, Jason Treanor, Dan Tschannen, Anne Vercelli, Terry White, Stacey Winton, Darlene Yennie

Commercial Olive Oil, cheese, Wine, & Craft Beer | CAStateFair.org 61


Commercial Craft Beer

T

he 2018 California State Fair Commercial Beer Competition broke another record this year. We received 1,580 entries, up from 1,477 in 2017. That record-breaking number continues to make the California State Fair’s Commercial Beer Competition the third largest competition in the United States. The competition is made possible in conjunction with the Northern California Brewers Guild. The 118 judges, with the help of 33 stewards and volunteers, sampled all of the beer entries over a four-day closed judging session. Only beers brewed and available for sale in California are judged in the competition. Beers are evaluated in numerous different classes and judged based on taste, color and quality. Over the years, the prestige of the Fair’s Commercial Beer Competition has grown. Breweries that win Best of Show have seen a huge increase in demand for their products. Many of the top beers will be featured during the California State Fair at the Best of CA Brewfest on Saturday, July 21.

STATISTICS: Today, more breweries call California home than any other state in the nation. As of December 2017, more than 900 craft breweries are in operation across the state, more than any other state in the nation. In 2016, craft breweries contributed $7.3 billion to the state’s economy, up from $6.5 in 2014. The industry supports more than 49,308 jobs across the state.


Competition

Commercial Craft Beer Best of the Show Captain Fatty’s Brewery Berliner-Style Weisse: Kalliope

captainfattys.com

Brewery of the Year Mraz Brewing Company

mrazbrewingcompany.com

Best of Category English-Style India Pale Ale Absolution Brewing Company, Angel’s Demise IPA absolutionbrewingcompany.com Kölsch Amador Brewing Company, Kölsch, Kolsch amadorbrewing.com German-Style Altbier Amador Brewing Company, German-Style Altbier, Altbier amadorbrewing.com European-Style Dark Lager Angel City Brewery, Schwarzbier, Black Lager angelcitybrewery.com Gose Angel City Brewery, Contemporary Gose, Strawberry Gose angelcitybrewery.com Pale European Beer Blue Note Brewing Company, German Leichtbier, Heidi bluenotebrewingcompany.com Coffee Beer Burgeon Beer Company, Dutchman’s Pipe burgeonbeer.com Session Beer Burning Beard, Klausbier burningbeardbrewing.com Experimental Beer Calicraft Brewing Company, Barrel Project: Hibiscus-Chamomile Sour calicraft.com American Amber Ale Canyon Lakes Golf Course and Brewery, Ace Amber Ale canyonlakesgolfbrew.com Berliner-Style Weisse Captain Fatty’s Brewery, Kalliope captainfattys.com Belgian-Style Witbier Common Space Brewery, Josie’s Wit commonspace.la Belgian Strong Ale Culver Beer Co, Tiger Ride ulverbeer.com Spirit Barrel-Aged Beer Discretion Brewing, Wood- and Barrel-Aged, Barrel Aged Scenic Stout discretionbrewing.com

Wine Barrel and Wood Aged Beer Drake’s Brewing Company, drinkdrakes.com Santa’s Brass Barleywine Standard British Ales Draughtsmen Aleworks, English-Style Porter/Brown Porter, Meat and Potatoes draughtsmenaleworks.com Bohemian-Style Pilsner Dust Bowl Brewing Co, Czech Pale Lager, Hobo dustbowlbrewing.com American Strong Ale El Segundo Brewing Co., American Barleywine, Old Jetty elsegundobrewing.com International Lager Eppig Brewing, Natural Bridge: Special Lager eppigbrewing.com Baltic-Style Porter Faultline Brewing Co, Petrov’s Porter faultlinebrewing.com Blonde or Golden Ale Feather Falls Brewing Co., Golden Feather Extra Pale Ale featherfallscasino.com/dining/brewing-co/ Munich-Style Helles Ferment.Drink.Repeat, fermentdrinkrepeat.com Helles Afraid We’ll Take Over Smoked Beer Ferment.Drink.Repeat, Smoked Porter, Cuddling By the Fire fermentdrinkrepeat.com American Style-Pilsner or International-Style Pilsner Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co, European-Style Pilsner, Paradise Road Pilsner figmtnbrew.com American Brown Ale Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co, Davy Brown Ale figmtnbrew.com American Pale Ale, Firestone Walker Brewing Co., C-Hops firestonebeer.com Honey Beer Garage Brewing Co, Green Tea-Bird garagebrewco.com Stouts (Sweet) Garage Brewing Co, Milk Stout/Cream Stout, garagebrewco.com Marshmallow Milk Stout Imperial Stouts Geartooth Alewerks, American Style Imperial Stout, Father Cog geartoothalewerks.com British Mild & Bitters Heretic Brewing Company, Ordinary Bitter The Bitter Truth hereticbrewing.com Belgian-Style Lambic Hermitage Brewing Company, Fruit Lambic, Sour Cherry hermitagebrewing.com

Commercial Olive Oil, cheese, Wine, & Craft Beer | CAStateFair.org 63


Competition

Commercial Craft Beer Best of Category (continued) Chili Beer Hop Dogma Brewing Company, Pyro’s Prost hopdogma.com British Strong Ales Inland Wharf Brewing, English Barleywine, Barley’s Revenge Brlwn-1 inlandwharfbrewing.com German-Style Wheat Ale Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Hefeweizen, Windansea Wheat karlstrauss.com Double/Triple IPA Knee Deep Brewing Co., Triple IPA, Hop Trio kneedeepbrewing.com Belgian & French-Style Ale Ladyface Ale Companie, Belgian Blond Ale, Lady la Blonde ladyfaceale.com American-Style Wheat Beer Loma Brewing Company, American-Style Wheat Beer with yeast, No Oranges Allowed lomabrew.com Standard American Lager MacLeod Ale Brewing Company, American Light Lager, Van Ice macleodale.com Scottish Ale Mountain Rambler Brewery, Scottish Light, Seven Gables mountainramblerbrewery.com Belgian Sour Ale Mraz Brewing Company, Flanders Red Ale, The Cardinal mrazbrewingcompany.com American Wild Ale Mraz Brewing Company, Mixed Culture Beer, Fallen Angel mrazbrewingcompany.com Alternative Fermentable Beer Ojai Valley Brewery, Alternative Grain Beer, Grasslands ojaivalleybrewery.com California Common Ol’ Republic Brewery, Frontier Amber olrepublicbrewery.com Stouts (Dry) Ol’ Republic Brewery, Foreign Extra Stout, Resolute olrepublicbrewery.com Herb & Spice Beer Owl Farm Unique Fermentations, Ginger Bloom owlfarmbeer.com Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout Peter B’s Brewpub, Molly By Golly’s portolahotel.com/peter-bs-brewpub Rye Beer Phantom Ales, Savannah Sunset phantomales.com

64 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine

American Porter & Stout Pizza Port - Ocean Beach, American Stout, Athena’s Beer pizzaport.com New England-Style IPA (Hazy IPA) Porchlight Brewing Co, All Haze Is Not Created Equal porchlightbrewingcompany.com Historical Beer Styles Port O’Pints Brewing Company, London Brown Ale, My Honey’s Brown Ale portopints.com Bock Rip Current Brewing, Traditional German-Style Bock, Breakline Bock ripcurrentbrewing.com Doppelbock Rip Current Brewing, Delaminator Doppelbock ripcurrentbrewing.com Specialty IPA San Fernando Brewing Co, Rye IPA, Marty McRye P.A. sanfernandobrewingcompany.com American-Style Cream Ale Seabright Brewery, Sameting seabrightbrewery.com Chocolate Beer Smog City Brewing Co., The Nothing smogcitybrewing.com Specialty Saison Solid Ground Brewing, Rouge Le Champ solidgroundbrewing.com Trappist Style Ale State Room Brewery, Trappist Tripel, Altered State Tripel stateroombrewery.com German/Vienna-Style Märzen Sudwerk Brewing Company, Märzen/Oktoberfestbier, Marzen Amber Lager sudwerkbrew.com Irish Red Ale Tilted Mash Brewing, Derrick the Red tiltedmash.com American-Style Fruit Beer Timeless Pints Brewing Company, Fruit & Spice beer, timelesspints.com The Bear Reader American-Style India Pale Ale Urban Roots Brewing, Like Riding A Bike urbanrootsbrewing.com Classic Saison Urban Roots Brewing, Tomorrow’s Verse urbanrootsbrewing.com


BREWERY OF THE YEAR

Mraz Brewing Company

of El Dorado Hills By Mike MoorE

T

he ‘Brewer of the Year’ award goes to Mraz Brewing Company of El Dorado Hills, after a staggering six-medal performance from the skilled brewer. Tucked away in a small outpost in the hills above Folsom Lake, the big beer tradition continues for founder Mike Mraz, who racked up hardware for a range of beers. “The Cardinal,” a Flanders Red that has shown well before here (winning Gold in 2014), took home one of the two gold medals Mraz earned this time around. The 18-month process of creating the beer includes the Belgian-style red being barreled with cherries, Brettanomyces and lactobacillus for six months, three separate times… resulting in a powerhouse on the palate of judges across the room. A second gold went to a barrel-aged Belgian blonde known as “Fallen Angel.” A year in Chardonnay barrels only equates to a few seconds in the glass, as this oaky, spicy treat goes down quickly. The base beer behind this medal winner, Gabriel Belgian Blonde, is a well-balanced brew with a mild, sweet finish. The Chardonnay barrels add a wonderful roundness of texture, and a gold medal to the brewer’s display.

Mraz added medals for their ‘Muddy Brew Buddies’ in the Chocolate Beer category, a special collaboration with the folks at Rocklin’s Moksa

66 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine

Mike Mraz

Brewing (yes, this 10.6% Imperial Stout will remind you of that Chex Mix-driven treat), two versions of ‘Drinking with Friends’…a Gueuze made in 2017 and aged, and the Lambic version, aged for two years before serving… along with a Brown Ale that the brewer thought good enough to keep the name simple: “Mraz’ Brown Ale.”


2015

17

Proud purveyo rs of California’s ’ Finest Wine, Spirits, and Beer

www.winewarehouse.com


Best of Show: Craft Beer

Captain Fatty’s Brewery

of Santa Barbara By Mike MoorE

T

he California Commercial Craft Beer Competition came to a close, after nearly 1,600 beers passed over the palates of judges from across all aspects of the industry. The Best of Show for 2018 came from the small coastal city of Goleta, just outside of Santa Barbara, as Captain Fatty’s delightful sour ‘Kalliope’ claimed the top prize. The low-ABV Berliner Weisse-style brew is one of a rotating list of offerings the brewery’s tap room has on for their customers, with the kettle sour styled-brews being amongst their signature offerings. A kettle sour can be a tricky beverage to balance in the beer-making process, but founder and head brewer Preston Angell hit the taste buds of a veteran assembly of judges with a perfect batch. Angell’s molecular science degree led him into beer creation, down the homebrewer’s path, then to join

68 2018 Guide to the Best of California Magazine

forces with creative director Matt Minkus and opening a taproom in the thriving Central Coast beer culture. Captain Fatty’s isn’t just a funky sour tap house, to be sure. Their ‘Shipwreck’ is a well-regarded Belgian Tripel, and the dryhopped ‘Vortex’ IPA gives newcomers a taste of some of the range these crafty brewers bring to their award- winning efforts. Preston Angell

Winning big awards isn’t entirely new to these two, as a Gold Medal for this very same beer from last year’s Great American Beer Festival can attest. With results like these from a humble taproom by the sea, the future is bright for the Captain’s crew.


Commercial Craft Beer Judges and Volunteers Thank you to all!

Head Judge: Mike Moore Judges: Robert Horst Lisa Agoitia Daniel Arismendi Andy Armstrong Doug Ashcraft Stanley Backlund Ron Badley Tom Baldwin Jeff Barber Cory Barton Nathan Benkert Donna Bettencourt E’ana Bordon Mitchell Bosler Dwight Bradish David Brattstrom Mike Brennan Jay Brooks Bart Bullington Jeff Calton

Scott Chaffee Timothy Chambers Jason Chavez Brian Childers Steven Christian Brian Cofresi Bryan Crass Phil Csik Craig Cummings Nate Debruno Rich Dickson Tim Dozier Anthony Dyer Nicole Erny Ilya Faibushevich Troy Feddersen Michael Frenn Steve Gonzalez Bill Grossman Scott Helmus

Roger Herpst Bill Hudson Stephen Johnson Paul Keefer Leslie Keener Cami Kent Rob Kent Emily Kitts Steve Kitts Mitch Laplante Cynthia Lee Rick Lee David Long Michael Mahoney Matthew Margulies Scott Marks John Martin David Mathis Rob McGormley Mark Mecord

Dean Mench Stephanie Messina Scott Mills Thomas Mills Andrew Mohsenzadegan Ray Montgomery Mike Moore Jeremy Moynier Peter Munoz Braden Niblock Eric Ortega Rylan Ortiz Tim Otten Scott Owens Michael Paine Richard Perry Daniel Petrie David Pratt Jim Price Lauren Price

Will Pritchard Robbie Proctor Adrian Psuty Teresa Psuty Anthony Raggio Michael Raines Sami Rehmke Mike Rozema Laine Ruona Ernest Sanders Kc Sare Jose Savedra Paul Schilling Darin Sexton Steve Shapiro Ellen Sherrill James Shevlin Justin Simarro Gary Sleppy Brant Smith

Robert French Coley Genger Courtney Higgins Christina Hureaux Leeann Keitt Jim Konopka Lydia Konopka

Allan Lee Stephanie Lee Victoria Longmire Erin Lovin Melissa McCann Ashley Mooney Lindsey Nelson

Michael Ogden Stephanie Raines Melinda Rouillard Ernst Schneidereit Dan Scott Kayla Simmons Mike Splinter

Robert Tardif Michelle Trueblood Brian Tucker Samie Watson Darlene Yazzie

Jim Stephens Kassandra Sutherland William Tarchala David Teckam Bud Tourville Bill Tubbs Virginia Vasquez Jose Velazquez Roger Watson Jack Weldon Rebecca Wilkie Gail Williams Thomas Wisdom Patricio Wise Peter York Mark Zahn Jamil Zainasheff Lauren Zehnder

Volunteers: Stuart Baker Dana Brazelton Matt Carroll Linda Christian John Demarchi Kevin Depies Kirstin Endacott

Commercial Olive Oil, cheese, Wine, & Craft Beer | CAStateFair.org 69


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GALA WINNERS & AG R I C U LT U R E AWA R D S Thank you to all the amazing men and women that generously supported the California State Fair Gala, June 21st, 2018 and helped raise funds for the Friends of the California State Fair student scholarships.Congratulations to all of the 2018 Gala and Agriculture Award winners who represent the Best of California. AGRICULTURALIST OF THE YEAR AWARD Paul Wenger Wenger Ranch, Former President of California Farm Bureau AGRICULTURE PROGRESS AWARD Dr. Marit Arana Animal Nutritionist, A.L. Gilbert Company GOLDEN BEAR AWARD BloodSource and Univision

VINEYARD OF THE YEAR Paraiso Vineyard/Smith Family Home Ranch CALIFORNIA ALL STARS Ken Fugelsang & Dennis Martin CHAMPIONS OF TECHNOLOGY San Joaquin County’s Innovative Care for Adolescent Needs (I-CAN) Sunne Wright McPeak President and CEO of California Emerging Technology Fund

WINE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Greg Boeger & The Bogle Family

Proceeds from the auction benefit the Friends of the California State Fair Scholarships.


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Profile for CA State Fair

2018 Best of California Magazine  

2018 Best of California Magazine  

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