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BEST OF

THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE 2015 CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR COMMERCIAL COMPETITIONS

Award-Winning

Palate-Pleasing

WINES

CHEESES

Ovation-Worthy

Best Tasting

OLIVE OILS

CRAFT BEERS


BEST OF

FROM

CHATEAU ST. JEAN

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© 2015 Chateau St. Jean, Kenwood, CA

BEST OF COMMERCIAL CHEESE

AN EXQUISITE JEWEL

BEST OF EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

SATISFY YOUR TASTE FOR

BEST OF COMMERCIAL CRAFT BREW

LIGHTLY OAKED CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAY

BEST OF COMMERCIAL WINE

4 Welcome

6 Best of California Wine 7 Best of California Wine Judges 8 Behind the Scenes 9 Wine Lifetime Achievement Award 10 Golden State Winery of the Year 11 California Vineyard of the Year 14 Best of the Best 16 Best of Show – Red Wine 17 Best of Show – White Wine 18 Best of Show – Pink Wine 20 Best of Show – Sparkling Wine 21 Best of Show – Dessert Wine 22 Best Value Wine 25 Best of Region Wine Winners 29 Best Varietals of California 34 Capitol Steps Best of California Event 36 Double Gold and Gold Wine Winners 43 Best California Microwinery 44 Best Microwinery – Red Wine 45 Best Microwinery – Other 46 Official California State Fair Chef: Keith Breedlove

49 Best of California Commercial Cheese 49 50 51 52 53 55

Commercial Cheese Judges Best of Show & Best of Division Cheese Agriculturalist of the Year Gold Cheese Winners Best of Show – Cow Best of Show – Goat

57 Best of California Extra Virgin Olive Oil 57 58 59 60 61 62

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Judges Best of Show & Best of Division Extra Virgin Olive Oil Gold Extra Virgin & Flavored Olive Oil Winners Best of Show Extra Virgin Olive Oil Single Variety Best of Show Flavored Olive Oil 2015 Commercial Competition Volunteers

65 Best of California Commercial Craft Beer 66 Craft Beer Judges 67 Best of Show Craft Beer Winners 69 Best of Show Craft Beer 70 Brewery of the Year


WELCOME BEST OF

THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE 2015 CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR COMMERCIAL COMPETITIONS

GOVERNOR Edmund G. Brown Jr. CALIFORNIA EXPOSITION & STATE FAIR Rick K. Pickering Chief Executive Officer BOARD OF DIRECTORS David Mallel, Chair, Los Angeles Patrick O’Brien, Vice Chair, Pleasanton Rima Barkett, Stockton Sonney Chong, Sacramento Cornelius Gallagher, Fair Oaks Rex Hime, Loomis K. Mark Nelson, Wilton Hallie Ochoa, Brooks Willie Pelote Sr., Sacramento EX OFFICIO MEMBERS Senator Dr. Richard Pan Senator Anthony Cannella Assembly Member Kevin McCarty Assembly Member Susan Eggman PUBLISHER California State Fair MAGAZINE DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Larry Hausen RuffHaus Design Studio CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR 1600 Exposition Boulevard Sacramento, CA 95815 (916) 263-FAIR (877) CAL-EXPO www.CAStateFair.org

T

HE GOLDEN DREAM – In 1848, just nine days before the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the iconic phrase Eureka, “I found it,” was shouted near Sutter’s Mill. The rush to find gold in California ignited one of the greatest mass migrations in America’s history. Towns, ports, railroads, ranches and crops sprang to life in order to support California’s rapidly increasing population. Almost immediately, California became known for its rich soil, Mediterranean climate, nourishing water, and pioneer spirit of its people. While some found gold, many more found a place to plant new roots, build a life, and prosper. California - a place where generations to come pursued their dreams in the Golden State.

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BEST OF THE BEST - Today, California is ranked as the nation’s most productive

agricultural State, contributing more than $46 billion annually in the agricultural industry. California’s San Joaquin Valley is considered the richest producer of agriculture of the world, and nine of the ten most productive agriculture counties in America are located in California. When your food and beverage products are part of the largest agricultural producing State in America, it’s a tremendous honor to be selected as the “best of the best of California.” In this spirit, the esteemed judges presiding over the 2015 California State Fair’s competitions came together to evaluate some of the top commercial products our State has to offer. From wine and cheese to craft beer and extra virgin olive oil, the judges sought out the best to bestow with gold medals, blue ribbons, and award-winning accolades. Since 1854, the California State Fair has sought to bring recognition to the best of the best through its many professional competitions.

WINE - California produces more than 90 percent of America’s wine and the State Fair Commercial Wine Competition is one of the oldest and most prestigious wine competitions in America. In order to determine this year’s best of the best in California wines, our 72 wine judges evaluated thousands of wines by category, class and region, based upon the source of the grapes. CHEESE - California is the largest producer of dairy products in America, accounting for

roughly 22 percent of the nation’s milk and cream production. Consequently, our cheese judges diligently sought to recognize and celebrate the best of the best cheeses that California has to offer.

CRAFT BEER – California’s craft beer industry is experiencing amazing growth tied to superior ingredients, pure water and the creativity of brew masters. Our judges had the enviable but difficult task of determining the best of the best in style, appearance, aroma and taste. EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL – 2015 is the inaugural year for our Extra Virgin Olive Oil competition, and we received 140 professional entries from around California. Judges evaluated smell, taste and perception, as they identified the best of the best. BENCHMARK FOR CONSUMERS – The State Fair’s judging and awards rankings help empower consumers as they seek to make informed decisions about the superiority of California products. The high level of competitions at the California State Fair also provides valuable feedback to the participating competitors who seek to continually enhance their products. From the gold rush of the 1800s to being on the forefront of innovation, producers of food and beverage in California strive to be the best of the best at their craft. We’ve been celebrating this inspiring spirit for more than 160 years at the California State Fair. We hope that you will join us in recognizing the “Best of California.” Please share this directory of top winners with your family and friends, so that they too can taste the richness of California’s golden bounty.

P RPORUODU S D PSOPNOSNOSROSR O S FOTFHTEHC E ACLAI FLOI FRONRI AN ISTAT A STAT E FA E FA IR IR

- Rick K. Pickering, Chief Executive Officer

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2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

Visit Visit us atus www.cbrands.com at www.cbrands.com Please enjoy Pleaseour enjoy products our products responsibly. responsibly. © 2015© Constellation 2015 Constellation Brands Inc., Brands Canandaigua, Inc., Canandaigua, NY NY

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 5


BEST OF CALIFORNIA WINE

BEST OF CALIFORNIA WINE JUDGES

T

MEET

he California State Fair has a long history of showcasing agricultural excellence and innovative technology in wine-making. Dating back to 1854, the State Fair Wine Competition is America’s oldest and most prestigious wine judging. Only wines made with fruit grown in California may be judged in the competition. State Fair 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. In a strong partnership with the California agriculture community, the State Fair recognizes the best wines of eleven growing and winemaking regions. This year the Best of Show Red and White wine awards were won by a tempranillo from El Dorado in the Sierra Foothills and an albariño from Lodi. The 2015 competition welcomed 2,881 wines from 743 winery brands. 57 Double Gold, 254 Gold, 1,164 silver and 756 bronze ribbons were awarded as well as 22 Best of Region plaques recognizing the best red and best white wine in each of the eleven judging regions. 26 Best of California awards were presented to the best varietals in the State.

© 2014 CHLOE WINES, LIVERMORE, CA

CAPTURE YOUR BEAUTIFUL MOMENT

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

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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

2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

Mark Chandler Chief Judge California Exposition & State Fair Chandler & Company Consulting Lodi, California

Mari Coyle Winemaker, Wells Wines/ The Winemaker’s Table Placerville, California Debra Del Fiorentino Sommelier, CWP, CSW, David Akiyoshi Director of Wine Competitions, Winemaker, LangeTwins Winery Vineyard & Winery Management Lodi, California Petaluma, California Bradley Alderson Mike Dunne Owner, Wine and Winery Advice Freelance Writer, WineGigs.com Acampo, California Sacramento, California Hope Alexander Traci Dutton Consultant, Independent Manager - Public Wine & Chicago, Illinois Beverage Studies, Rudd Center Lynae Anderson Hiley for Professional Wine Studies, Sales & Marketing Coordinator, Culinary Institute of America, Seguin Moreau Napa Cooperage Greystone Vallejo, California Calistoga, California Phil Baily Gary Eberle Owner, Baily Vineyard & Winery Enologist, Eberle Winery Temecula, California Paso Robles, California Thomas Bender Stephen Eliot Buyer/Educator/Writer, 0’Brien’s Writer/Editor, Connoisseurs’ Market/Columbia College Guide to California Wines Sonora, California Pinole, California Susan Brown Bob Foster Wine Writer/Educator, Director, West Coast Wine Susan Brown Uncorked Competition Sacramento, California Carlsbad, California Cassandra Brown Peter Gamble Divisional Beverage Manager, Winery Consultant, Hakkasan Group Peter Gamble Consulting San Diego, California Niagara on the Lake, Robert Bruley Ontario, Canada International Judge, John Giannini Bruley Center Winemaker/Educator, Minneapolis, Minnesota Sumner Peck Ranch Greg Burns Fresno, California Winemaker/Owner, Karen Goetz Jessie’s Grove Winery Wine Culture Agent, Oenivore Woodbridge, California Oakland, California Amy Butler Amy Gross Owner/Winemaker, CEO/Co-Founder, Blogger, Ranchero Cellars Freelance Writer, VineSleuth/ Paso Robles, California Wine4Me Vincent Caggiano Spring, Texas Owner, Biba Restaurant Barry Gump Sacramento, California Wine Education, Randy Caparoso Florida International University Wine Journalist, Freelance Hollywood, Florida Lodi, California Scott Harvey William Carter Winemaker, Scott Harvey Wines Owner, The Canyon Villa St. Helena, California Paso Robles, California Peter Hirschfeld Alfonso Cevola CSW, CWP, MBA, Fine Wine Director/Writer, Winery Business Consultant Glazer’s Texas Sonoma, California Dallas, Texas Julie Holme Kimberly Charles Winemaker, Ponte Winery Founder & President, Charles Paso Robles, California Communications Associates Sherrie Holzer San Francisco, California Asst Winemaker, Castoro Cellars Scott Clemens Paso Robles, California Editor/Publisher, Nick Karavides Epicurean-Traveler.com Principal, Wine Concepts Moss Beach, California International Lockeford, California

Mike Kerrigan Writer/Photographer, Sutter Creek, California Rick Kushman New York Times Best Selling Author, Capital Public Radio Wine Expert, Sacramento, California Ellen Landis Wine Journalist/Certified Sommelier, EllenonWine Half Moon Bay, California Ken Landis Consulting Chef, Half Moon Bay, California Roxanne Langer Writer & Buyer, WineFUNdamentals Rocklin, California Barry C. Lawrence Wine Educator/Judge, Retired Petaluma, California Dennis Martin VP-Winemaker, Fetzer Vineyards Hopland, California Richard Matranga Retired Winemaker/Writer, Sonora Winery & Port Works Carmel, California Martin Maxwell Director of R&D, Looking Glass Research Lodi, California Timothy McDonald Founder, Wine Spoken Here Napa, California John Mensinger Certified Judge, American Lumber Modesto, California Brian Miller Owner, Amador 360 Fiddletown, California Brian Moore Consultant, Retired Sacramento, California Peter Murphy President, Vinegrow.com Napa, California Mark Newman CEO/Winemaker, Accolade Brands Studio City, California Markus Niggli Winemaker, Borra Vineyards Lodi, California Eleni Papadakis Winemaker, Archery Summit Winery Portland, Oregon Montgomery Paulsen Winemaker, Pat Paulsen Vineyards Oakland, California Richard Peterson Winemaker/Owner, Richard Grant Wine Napa, California Andy Podshadley Owner/Winemaker, Trek Winery LLC Novato, California

Susan Reiner-Lyon, MS, OTR/L Wine Consulting & Marketing, Proprietor, TeamWalk/TeamFit San Francisco, California Michaela Rodeno Owner, Villa Ragazzi Winery Napa, California Christopher Sawyer Journalist/Sommelier, SawyerSomm.com Petaluma, California Robert Schock Wine Judge/Dr., World Energy Council Livermore, California Erick Schultz Senior Winemaker, Woodbridge Winery, Constellation Brands Acampo, California Kara Sheffield Sommelier, Waterboy & 58 Degrees Sacramento, California Carol Shelton Winemaker/President, Carol Shelton Wines Santa Rosa, California Ann Sperling Winemaker, Southbrook Vineyards Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada Jackson Starr Winemaker, Cert. Sommelier, Sierra Starr Vineyards Grass Valley, California Roger Stockton Wine Writer, Innovativewine.com Reno, Nevada Guy Stout Master Sommelier, Glazer’s Distributors Houston, Texas Timothy Teichgraeber Freelance Writer Oakland, California Jim Twiford Consultant/Educator Fair Oaks, California Valery Uhl Wine Educator and Grower, Sonoma-Marin Fair Lafayette, California Paul Wagner President, Instructor, Balzac, Napa Valley College Napa, California Ron Washam Sommelier/Wine Writer, HoseMaster of Wine Healdsburg, California Ernie Weir Winemaker/Owner, Hagafen Cellars Napa, California Evan Williams Proprietor/Wine Buyer, Evan’s American Gourmet Cafe South Lake Tahoe, California

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 7


BEHIND THE SCENES

Well Worth the Task to Find the Best

WINE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Gary Eberle

T

he numbers alone tell you this is not easy. At most times during the three days of the California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition, 72 wine judges – divided into 18 panels of four – are each tasting flights of 12 wines. For anyone who doesn’t want to do math, it means this: At any moment, 864 glasses of wine are poured and sitting in front of judges (give or take a larger or smaller flight). And volunteer stewards have another 864 glasses of different wines waiting to be served. And pourers are readying yet another 864 glasses of wine. And to make the judging fair and even, every glass of wine is served at the same temperature – that’s for nearly 3,000 wines. The sparkling wines, of course, have been chilled. This is just part of the complex matrix of running one of America’s most prominent wine competitions. In three days, nearly 20,000 glasses of wine are poured. The top wines are tasted in flights, sorted, re-poured and tasted again through sweepstakes rounds. Glasses are washed continuously, palate cleansing foods are served constantly, numbers are crunched, wines are categorized and tracked, and more than 130 volunteers are perpetually on the move. In short, conducting a wine competition of this magnitude is like running a small airport. “It seems like a logistical nightmare,” said Mark Chandler, Chief Judge. “Just to check them into our cellar, each wine is vetted three times and checked for vintage, appellation, alcohol level, sugar and lots more. A lot of people work very hard to make sure all the wines are presented fairly.” While the scale of the State Fair’s other commercial culinary competitions is somewhat smaller, the intensity, the meticulous planning, the attention to detail, and – remember, this is California – the quality are at the same stratospheric level. “Some of the best olive oils in the world are in California,” said Alexandra Devarenne, Chief Judge of the Commercial Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition.

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The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a person, family or institutions who are pioneers in the wine industry based on their lifetime contributions to the California wine industry.

Each competition has its own quirky needs. Olive oil judges cleanse their palates with water, of course, and green apples and yogurt. Wine judges use green olives, bread, celery and roast beef. Beer judges need salt, so they eat crackers. And all the judges spit after they taste, although olive oil judges also have to swallow some to sense the oil on their throats.

Just getting into the olive oil competition is a mark of distinction. Entries must have a chemical analysis report certifying that they are, indeed, extra virgin, then each oil is screened and tasted for quality by an expert panel to qualify to be judged.

The cheese judges have another process. They test for aroma, texture, appearance and flavor. The judges sniff, inhaling the aroma, then size up the cheese for color and uniformity. They slice into the cheese or use a cheese trier to extract a plug from the wheel or brick. Judges smoosh the cheese between their fingers, looking for a springy or crumbly consistency, sometimes rolling the cheese into a ball. Then they taste for flavor, balance and mouthfeel. Many cheeses are tasted during the one day event. Some judges spit and others swallow.

In the Commercial Craft Brew Competition, the requirement for quality starts with the state’s beer makers. California is ground zero for the craft beer movement, with more than 400 craft breweries, roughly one-fifth of the national total, according to the National Brewers Association. To survive, you need to be good. The State Fair competition has some of the top beer judges in America, Darrell Amerine, the competition coordinator, said brewers of the nearly 1,100 entries anxiously awaited comments from the judges. “They want the feedback on everything,” Amerine said, “aroma, characteristics, levels of malt and hops, color, you name it. As good as they are, they all want to get better.”

The professional feedback is just one value of the competitions. Maybe most importantly, competitions are guides for consumers around the state, and America, to the diversity, the quality, and the range of styles and approaches in California’s food universe. 1

2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

Gary Eberle is known affectionately as the “Godfather of Paso Robles,” and is credited as a founder of the local wine industry, and chief promoter for its wines both at home and around the world. While at University of California, Davis, Eberle made numerous trips to the barely-touched Paso Robles region. With the inception of Eberle Winery and the premiere of his 1979 Cabernet Sauvignon, Eberle is credited to have introduced the world to more than a distinctive label – but rather to the region of Paso Robles. Eberle co-founded the Paso Robles American Viticulture Area (AVA) in 1980, with Cabernet Sauvignon being the first wine with the Paso AVA on it. 1

Judges swish with still or sparkling water, chew apple slices or crunch on crackers. “At times it seems like they are playing with their food but we get incredible results from our panels of experts,” Kem Pence, the Cheese Competition Coordinator, said with a laugh.

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 9


CALIFORNIA VINEYARD OF THE YEAR

GOLDEN STATE WINERY OF THE YEAR

Navarro Vineyards By Mike Dunne

Wise Villa Winery

But Lee believes the attention to detail that even visitors notice is critical for great wine. He and his crew are meticulous about pruning and leaf pulling – sometimes one leaf here, a few leaves there – they have very low yields, and harvest slowly, almost, Lee says, one bush at a time. “We might make five or more passes in one small bloc,” he said.

W

Then Wise Villa sorts the grapes by hand three times with 10 people on the line, in what amounts to a berry-by-berry examination. They carefully extract extra tannins, they ferment slowly at low temperatures, and on and on.

By Rick Kushman

hen Dr. Grover Lee, the owner and winemaker of Wise Villa Winery, gives tours of the vineyards and winery in the green hills of Placer County, he gets one comment consistently when he talks about their grape growing and wine making.

“People always say to me,” Lee said, “geez, you’re particular about what you do.” He admits to that trait, and it appears to be working out. Lee and co-winemaker Kevin Luther have produced high quality wines with great consistency, and Wise Villa was named the 2015 Golden State Winery of the Year.

“Nothing we do has anything to do with efficient production,” Lee said. “We just want good wine.”

Besides the high quality decomposed granite and rocky soils, Lee says maybe the biggest natural advantage is where his vineyards sit, at 500 feet altitude and right in the middle of an inversion layer that leaves the vineyards almost entirely frost free in spring but rarely too hot in summer.

Wise Villa, which started in 2009, now makes nearly 20 wines (and about 10,000 cases total), and varietals range from well known grapes like Chardonnay, Cabernet and Zinfandel to the Torrontes and a Touriga Nacional. Lee said he planted a range of grapes because he spent a good deal of time traveling to learn more about wine, and picked up a love for, well, a lot of varieties.

“We have these great microclimates here,” he said. “As you go from the top of the hill to the bottom, you just feel the temperature drop.”

“That’s the real reason we have so many,” he said. “I just like wine.” 1

Their range of big winners is impressive, and includes two Best of California wines – 2013 Malbec and 2014 Torrontes – plus golds for Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Zinfandel, and their consistency is just as noticeable with a big lineup of high scoring silver medal wines that includes some varieties less generally associated with the foothills, including Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

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2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

M

endocino County’s Navarro Vineyards and Winery, which a year ago was the California State Fair’s Golden State Winery, again is being honored at Cal Expo, this time as the 2015 California Vineyard of the Year.

committed ourselves to learn how fruit should be grown in Anderson Valley, though global warming is screwing up some of the plans.”

The State Fair’s Wine Advisory Task Force bestows the award annually on a vineyard that consistently yields exceptional fruit, thereby helping develop California’s viticultural standing. Whereas, Golden State Winery is determined by the awards won in the State Fair’s commercial wine competition.

The soils of the vineyard run to deep and welldrained Pinole gravelly loam over fractured rock “that looks a little like sandstone,” Ted Bennett says. They also run 300 head of sheep and goats through the vineyard to help control weeds and the growth of vines.

Navarro Vineyard accounts for 90 acres of grapes at Philo in Anderson Valley. The owners, the husband-and-wife team of Ted Bennett and Deborah Cahn, bought 913 acres of rolling wildland in 1973 and two years later founded their winery and began to cultivate grapes. Today, about a third each of the 90 acres is planted to gewürztraminer and pinot noir, with smaller plots given over to chardonnay, riesling, pinot gris and muscat. Bennett and Cahn originally were drawn to Philo by their love for crisp, fruity and refreshing Alsatian wines, figuring that Anderson Valley’s sunny yet cool setting would be ideal for developing flavor while retaining zesty acidity in gewürztraminer, pinot gris and riesling. Their hunch has paid off in consistent high awards on the wine-competition circuit. Bennett and Cahn, however, aren’t unmindful of Anderson Valley’s rising reputation for pinot noir, and this coming spring they will replant an older block of gewürztraminer to pinot noir. Their confidence in pinot noir was affirmed at this year’s State Fair commercial wine competition; of the eight Navarro wines to win medals, six got silver, one got bronze, and the lone gold medal went to the Navarro 2013 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir ($29). Within the wine trade, Bennett and Cahn are recognized for their restless commitment to continually fine tune Navarro Vineyard with new vine spacing strategies, trellising techniques, rootstocks, clones and the like, which helps explain why their grapes and wines are so highly regarded. “With our ongoing experiments we are finding that rootstocks even more than clones affect flavor. That’s been a surprise to us,” Ted Bennett says. “I doubt if we’ll ever know what’s best.” In reflecting on the evolution that continues at Navarro Vineyard, he adds, “We certainly

After winning two of the State Fair’s major wine awards in consecutive years, what might the couple do for an encore? Well, even after four decades in the wine business the two, with their children, Aaron and Sarah, aren’t exactly retiring. For one, they’ve developed another Anderson Valley vineyard at nearby Boonville – 15 acres of pinot noir and nearly eight acres of sauvignon blanc. It’s called Pennyroyal Farm, also the name of the creamery on the site, where they are turning out goat and sheep cheeses. Indeed, one of Pennyroyal’s cheeses, a hard goat cheese called Boont Corners Reserve, was crowned best of show at this year’s California State Fair Cheese Competition. In other words, the Bennett/Cahn family well may be on its way to winning several more high awards at Cal Expo. 1

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 11


CALIFORNIA FACTS

MILLION

250+

VARIETIES

3.5 MILLION gallons of EVOO

cases of CA wine sold in 2014

of cheese produced in California

produced in CA in 2014

44%

of all CA cow milk goes toward cheese production

WINE

269

EXTRA VIRGIN

OLIVE

CHEESE

410 F 210 C

EVOO is great for frying and has a smoke point that can hold up to heat when cooking at high temperatures

90%

of U.S. wine exports come from California

SMOKING POINT

CRAFT $24.6

35,000+

BILLION

BEER

ACRES

in CA wine revenue in 2014

$6.5 BILLION

devoted to EVOO production in California

570 craft

2.4 BILLION

lbs. of CA cheese produced in 2014

breweries in CA

contributed to the CA economy by craft breweries in 2014

3.4 MILLION barrels of beer produced in 2014

Sources: The Wine Institute and California Milk Advisory Board

Sources: The International Olive Council and California Craft Beer Brewers Association

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2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 13


BEST OF THE BEST BEST OF CALIFORNIA

Awarded to the best varietals in California. BEST BARBERA McManis Family Vineyards DOUBLE GOLD 98 2013 Jamie Lynn Vineyards, California

BEST BORDEAUX RED VARIETAL BLEND Stonehedge Meritage GOLD 94 2014, Napa Valley

BEST CABERNET FRANC Michael David Inkblot

GOLD 95

BEST OTHER RED VARIETAL Bokisch Vineyards Graciano 2012, Lodi DOUBLE GOLD 98 BEST OTHER WHITE VARIETAL Wise Villa Winery Torrontés

GOLD 94

2014, Alta Mesa

BEST OTHER RED VARIETAL BLEND Gen 7 DOUBLE GOLD 98

2013, Lodi

2011, Knights Valley Road to Singapore

BEST CABERNET SAUVIGNON Lewis Grace DOUBLE GOLD 98

BEST OTHER WHITE VARIETAL BLEND Murrieta’s Well DOUBLE GOLD 98

2012, El Dorado

BEST CHARDONNAY Sean Minor Four Bears DOUBLE GOLD 98 2013, Central Coast

BEST ITALIAN RED VARIETAL BLEND Nello Olivo GOLD 94 2012, El Dorado County Toscanello

BEST MALBEC Wise Villa Winery

GOLD 94

2013, Alta Mesa

BEST MERLOT Solis Winery

DOUBLE GOLD 98

2011, Santa Clara Valley

BEST MUSCAT Robert Hall

GOLD 94

2014 Margaret’s Vineyard, Paso Robles

BEST RHONE RED VARIETAL BLEND Hearst Ranch Winery GOLD 94 2012, Paso Robles Three Sisters Cuvée Red Blend

BEST RIESLING Mirassou Sun

DOUBLE GOLD 98

2013, California

BEST SANGIOVESE Mitchell Katz

GOLD 94

2012 Crackerbox Vineyard, Alameda County - Livermore Valley

BEST SAUVIGNON BLANC Fancy Pants DOUBLE GOLD 98

2013, Alameda County - Livermore Valley The Whip

2013, California

BEST PETITE SIRAH Trentadue

DOUBLE GOLD 98

BEST SYRAH Cinquain Cellars DOUBLE GOLD 98

2013, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County La Storia

2011 Nagengast Estate Vineyard, Paso Robles

BEST PINOT GRIGIO Wine Cube

GOLD 94

BEST TEMPRANILLO Fenestra DOUBLE GOLD 98

2014, California

2010, Lodi

BEST PINOT NOIR Woodenhead

DOUBLE GOLD 98

BEST TRADITIONAL VINTAGE PORT St.Amant Winery DOUBLE GOLD 98

2012 Buena Tierra Vineyard, E Block, Clone 115, Russian River Valley

2013, Amador County Bootleg Port

BEST RED GENERIC Zucca Mountain Vineyards 2013, Sierra Foothills DOUBLE GOLD 98

BEST VIOGNIER Robert Hall

Sorprendere

DOUBLE GOLD 98

2014, Paso Robles

BEST ZINFANDEL Torn DOUBLE GOLD 98 2013, Lodi

BEST OF REGION

Awarded to the best red wine and the best white wine from each of the eleven judging regions. Check our website, CAStateFair.org for the designated regions for the winners listed below. BEST OF NORTH COAST RED Vigilance 2013 Red Hills

BEST OF SHOW

BEST OF SHOW

BEST OF SHOW

BEST OF SHOW

Cabernet Sauvignon BEST OF NORTH COAST WHITE Shooting Star GOLD 95

BEST OF SHOW

2013 Lake County

WINE DOUBLE GOLD 98

DOUBLE GOLD 98

DOUBLE GOLD 98

Oak Farm Vineyards

Korbel

Lewis Grace

NV Blanc de Noirs

2012 Tempranillo

DOUBLE GOLD 98

DOUBLE GOLD 98

Gold Hill Vineyard Sutter Home Family Vineyards 2014 Barbera Rosé

DOUBLE GOLD 98

Torn 2013 Zinfandel

NV Moscato

2014 Albariño

GOLDEN STATE WINERY OF THE YEAR - WISE VILLA WINERY Recognizing the winery that has the greatest number of wines winning the most and the highest awards.

Riesling BEST OF SONOMA RED Hughes Family Vineyards 2011 Sonoma Valley

Syrah BEST OF SONOMA WHITE Larson Family Winery 2013 Carneros (Sonoma)

Chardonnay BEST OF NAPA RED Bell Wine Cellars 2012 Napa Valley

2013 MALBEC Alta Mesa

GOLD 94 GOLD 94

Alta Mesa Best of California

2013 ZINFANDEL

SILVER 91

Placer County

Best of California

2014 TORRONTÉS

2013 SYRAH

GOLD 94

Placer County

2014 MIDNIGHT DELIGHT SILVER 91 California 2013 PINOT NOIR SILVER 91

2013 CABERNET SAUVIGNON SILVER 90 2013 SUR LIES CHARDONNAY Sierra Foothills SILVER 90 2013 PETITE SIRAH SILVER 89 Placer County 2013 CHARDONNAY SILVER 88 Sierra Foothills Placer County

2013 TOURIGA NACIONAL BRONZE 87 Placer County 2013 SANGIOVESE BRONZE 86 Placer County 2014 PINOT NOIR BRONZE 86 Placer County

Placer County

GOLD 94

Cabernet Sauvignon BEST OF NAPA WHITE Jamieson Ranch Vineyards 2014 Napa Valley

BEST OF NORTH-CENTRAL COAST RED Craftwork GOLD 94

BEST OF SIERRA FOOTHILLS WHITE Helwig Vineyards & Winery GOLD 95

Pinot Noir

Sauvignon Blanc

BEST OF NORTH-CENTRAL COAST WHITE Wente Vineyards GOLD 94

BEST OF LODI RED Michael David Winery Rapture GOLD 95

Chardonnay

Cabernet Sauvignon

BEST OF SOUTH-CENTRAL COAST RED Cinquain Cellars GOLD 94

BEST OF LODI WHITE Oak Farm Vineyards DOUBLE GOLD 98

Malbec

Albariño

BEST SOUTH-CENTRAL COAST WHITE Robert Hall GOLD 94

BEST OF OTHER CALIFORNIA RED Heringer Estates Family Winery GOLD 94

Orange Muscat

Aglianico

2013 Monterey

2013 Arroyo Seco

GOLD 94

2011 Paso Robles

GOLD 94

2014 Paso Robles

GOLD 94

BEST OF SOUTH COAST RED Oak Mountain Winery 2011 Temecula Valley

GOLD 94

Silver Spur Sauvignon Blanc BEST OF GREATER BAY RED Mitchell Katz GOLD 94 2012 Alameda County - Livermore Valley

Sangiovese BEST OF GREATER BAY WHITE Murrieta’s Well DOUBLE GOLD 98

GOLD 94

2014 Shenandoah Valley, Amador County

2012 Lodi

2014 Lodi

2012 Clarksburg (Yolo)

BEST OF OTHER CALIFORNIA WHITE McManis Family Vineyards GOLD 94 2013 River Junction

The Cave Cabernet Sauvignon

Viognier

BEST OF SOUTH COAST WHITE South Coast Winery GOLD 94

BEST OF CALIFORNIA STATE RED Barbed Wire GOLD 95

2014 Temecula Valley Winemaker’s Signature Collection

Muscat Canelli BEST OF SIERRA FOOTHILLS RED Lewis Grace DOUBLE GOLD 98 2012 El Dorado

Tempranillo

2012 California

Lot No. 8 Meritage BEST OF CALIFORNIA STATE WHITE Sutter Home Family Vineyards NV California DOUBLE GOLD 98 Gewürztraminer

2013 Alameda County - Livermore Valley

The Whip

14

2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 15


BEST OF SHOW RED

BEST OF SHOW WHITE

Dan Panella, owner

2014 Albariño Oak Farm Vineyards

By Rick Kushman

2012 Tempranillo Lewis Grace Wines

By Rick Kushman The Tempranillo vines for Lewis Grace Wines have a great view. The vineyards are on a high ridge at 2,800 feet, looking over a sweeping landscape that has the towering Sierra Nevada range in the distance and, closer up, ridges and tiers of El Dorado County foothills.

Grace Family

“The wine chemistry works really well together,” he said. “It brings a bit of freshness, an interesting spicy character, and a little bit of pepper.”

The vineyards have been there more than a decade and are still getting better, which is very good news for Tempranillo fans because the Lewis Grace 2012 Estate version was the Best of Show Red, and it wowed judges with those layers of red fruit and hints of earth, a subtle lusciousness and elegance, and a finish that is fresh and filled with spice and pepper.

The winery’s tasting room has only been open since 2011, so some wine fans think of Lewis Grace Wines as new. (It was named, by the way, after Tyler’s great, great, great, great grandfather – yes, four “greats” – who fought in the Revolutionary War.) But it’s been producing wines since 2004, and, as Tyler Grace says, the vineyards are just hitting their stride. The judges seem to agree because, besides the Tempranillo being awarded Best of Show Red, another Lewis Grace wine, the 2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, was named the Best of California Cabernet.

In another connection to Rioja, Grace adds 10 percent Graciano to the wine, a not uncommon move in Spain.

“This is a really good place for red wines,” Grace said. 1

Besides the idyllic scene, it’s also an ideal spot for grapes, especially that variety. “It’s warm enough to get good fruit maturity and deep flavors,” said winemaker Tyler Grace. “And it’s high enough that it cools down quickly and preserves the elegance and delicate layers of the grape. It’s similar to the Rioja region of Spain (where Tempranillo also thrives). That’s one reason we chose it.”

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2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

In many ways, the 2015 Best of Show White Wine is both a myth buster and a genuine example of the diversity of California wine. In a state so well known for impressive Chardonnay, the winner was on a different white wine page – a light, breezy, packed-with-flavor 2014 Albariño from Oak Farm Vineyards in Lodi. Yes, Lodi, renowned first for Zinfandel and generally considered by many consumers as hot weather wine country. “People think, ‘Oh, it’s soooo hot,’ but it isn’t really,” said Dan Panella, the winery’s owner and managing partner. “It’s not the hot, hot Central Valley. We get the Delta breeze that can really come in. I think in 10 or 15 years, people will be saying, wow, there are so many good whites in Lodi.” There are, in fact, a handful of wineries in his region making Albariño, a grape that normally tends to thrive near the ocean, particularly in its native Spain. Panella believes Iberian Peninsula grapes in general do well in Lodi because they share fairly similar soils and climates. His version of Albariño is a bulls eye for the variety. It’s fresh and zesty, smells like lemon trees and sunshine on grass, and the flavors include lots of citrus and jasmine, all floating almost ethereally through the wine. Panella said it was bottled very young to give it just a touch of effervescence. The grapes come from two tiny Lodi vineyards – “They’re both postage stamps,” Panella said that are both relatively new, the Wetmore and the Silvaspoons vineyards. “This is such an interesting variety,” Panella said. “It’s refreshing but still has body. We’ve seen lots of people who don’t think they like white wine say, hey, this is good.” 1

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 17


BEST OF SHOW PINK

2014 Barbera Rosé

rows of Barbera for our red, and those five for our Rosé. That part of the vineyard with the Barbera has so much flavor, I knew a Rosé would pop.”

By Rick Kushman At the Barbera Festival in Amador County in June, not long after the State Fair Commercial Wine Competition judging, people tasting at the statewide Barbera event were buzzing about a wine they loved. But it wasn’t exactly a Barbera, at least not a full red-wine version.

Besides the intense fruit flavors, the vineyard also produced a darker version of Rosé with a vivid pink/red color and with equally pretty aromas. Gott balanced that fruit with a snappy structure that keeps the wine tasting fresh and alive.

It was a Rosé, the Gold Hill Vineyards 2014 Rosato of Barbera, which is also the State Fair’s 2015 Best of Show Pink. And just like it did with Barbera Festival tasters, it had judges buzzing about its aromas, its rich-but-bright fruit, and its light, balanced, vibrant finish.

It wasn’t just the high quality grapes that got him thinking about a Rosé. It was also an earlier Barbera Festival.

“There’s absolutely no residual sugar,” says winemaker Chris Gott. “But there’s so much fruit people keep asking about the sugars because of the fruit’s perception of sweetness.”

“A couple years ago, it was 105 degrees,” Gott said. “Everyone kept telling me to go try the Bray Vineyards Rosé because it was really good, and because it was something cold. I went and tasted it and said, ‘We gotta make something like that.’ I think we did a pretty good job on ours, too.” 1

Gold Hill Vineyards

The 2014 Rosé is Gold Hill’s first real attempt at a pink wine after a tiny trial run a year earlier, but Gott had been thinking about it for a while. “When I took over winemaking in 2012, I got to know each bloc of grapes,” he said. “We’re all hillsides and knolls and each bloc has its own micro climate. I got to say, I want these five 18

2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 17 Please enjoy our wines responsibly. © 2015 Clos du Bois, Geyserville, CA


BEST OF SHOW SPARKLING

BEST OF SHOW DESSERT

Blanc de Noirs Korbel

By Rick Kushman

Moscato

The 2015 Best of Show Sparkling Wine comes with a distinguished pedigree, but it’s not the European bloodline that’s often linked to bubbly. This lineage is decidedly Californian, from the winery’s history back to the 1880s, to its record as a major medal winner around the state. This year, the California State Fair’s Best Sparkling wine is Korbel Champagne Cellars’ California Blanc de Noirs. Two years ago, Korbel’s Blanc de Noirs was the State Fair’s Best of Show White Wine. Clearly, Korbel is doing something right, and doing it consistently. The wine is both refreshing and deep. It has a lightness that makes it as approachable as it is luxurious, but there are layers and a depth that come from a full core of fruit. That rich core suggests bins of ripe cherries and raspberries, but it doesn’t overpower the lightness. And there’s a touch of barely noticeable sweetness balanced by a fresh snap of acidity in the finish that makes this a terrific wine for sipping or for pairing with almost any part of a meal. A Blanc de Noirs is a white sparkling wine made from red grapes, and in this case, Korbel mixes the most traditional Champagne-style red, Pinot Noir from its near-ancient Russian River vineyard, with Gamay, Sangiovese and Zinfandel. Paul Ahvenainen, the longtime director of winemaking at Korbel, says he goes the nontraditional route on the grapes, often looking for a broad range, because he’s focused on the 20

Sutter Home Family Vineyards

By Rick Kushman Paul Ahvenainen, director of winemaking

quality of the wine and the taste profile, which he says is both “fruit forward, and sort of delicate.” Korbel’s Blanc de Noirs is a prize in another way, especially for a wine associated with luxury. Its retail price is $11.99, which brings up another part of the wine’s California-style pedigree – it’s a terrific wine available to anyone. 1

2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

In some circles, wine drinkers don’t take Moscato particularly seriously, which is too bad for those wine drinkers and probably just fine with many Moscato producers. For most people, Moscato’s first job is not to be serious, but to be fun, and light, and fresh – a wine that can make wine drinkers at all levels happy. In the past decade, that seems to be working. According to the research company Nielsen, Moscato has risen to the sixth most popular wine in the U.S., ahead of Sauvignon Blanc, White Zinfandel and even Pinot Noir. But it can be a serious wine with depth and complexity, too – and without confusing a single fan at any level – Sutter Home’s California Moscato, the 2014 Best Dessert Wine, hits that mark. As sommelier, wine writer and 2015 wine judge Chris Sawyer said, “it’s just a really good, really surprising wine.” One of Moscato’s charms is the range of aromas that sometimes leap out of the glass, and a

whiff of this wine is filled with fresh flowers, summer fruits and oranges. Those aromas are almost perfume-like but never cloying. The flavors are another shot of summer with peaches, apricots and honeydew melon. The sweetness enhances the fruit flavors but does not overwhelm them, because there is just enough backbone of brightness and clean acidity to make the wine stay fresh in your mouth and to give it a vibrant finish. Decades before Moscato raged into the pop culture and onto popular store shelves, Sutter Home was making Moscato. It was, the winery says, the first wine Sutter Home ever produced, and while no one there uses the word “serious” for such a delightful wine, the family and the winery has always been serious about making quality versions of the happy-go-lucky grape. 1

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 21


BEST VALUE WINE

CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR DOUBLE

GOLD

98

POINTS BEST OF CLASS REGION

B SIDE 2013 CABERNET SAUVIGNON

2013 Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel Torn Winery

By Rick Kushman How’s this for a value? The Torn Winery 2013 Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel won a double gold medal, meaning every judge on the panel believed it was worth a gold. And it was named the Best of California Zinfandel, meaning it ranked as the best Zin in the competition. Yet, the wine sells for $9.99 and was a slam dunk for 2015 Best Value Wine. It is the perfect example of a great value wine, and it embodies many of the things people love about Zinfandel. There’s a touch of wildness to its fruit flavors, as if the blackberry and blueberry streaks in the wine came from somewhere deep in a forest. But at the same time, the wine is surprisingly light and lively and sleekly put together. The layers of fruit lead to spices and a hint of vanilla 22

GOLD

95

POINTS BEST OF CLASS REGION

PROJECT PASO 2012 LONELY OAK RED

AWARD WINNING WINES FROM DON SEBASTIANI & SONS

GOLD

GOLD

94

94

POINTS

SIVAS-SONOMA 2012 CABERNET SAUVIGNON

then a finish that includes more fruit and the black pepper that is a marker of many great California Zinfandels. Torn is a project of Delicato Family Vineyards made specifically for Target stores. And Delicato, which has a number of vineyards in the Lodi region, is able to pick and chose from its own vines to get the wine where they want it. Sara Perdigao, the brand manager, said Lodi has some of the best Zinfandel vineyards in the state plus an ideal climate for the wine they are trying to make, one that is concentrated and lush, but not overpowering. “It hails from some of the oldest vines in the valley,” she said. 1

2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

6 donsebastianiandsons.com

POINTS

SIMPLE LIFE 2013 PINOT NOIR


BEST OF REGION The California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition is the only competition to partition

BEST OF NORTH COAST RED GOLD 94

California into eleven historical wine regions and to recognize the best wines of each. It is also the only competition to designate best varietals and styles

Vigilance Winery and Vineyards 2013 Red Hills Cabernet Sauvignon

in California. Our list of top wines is a litany of California’s legendary regions, places that are some of the most celebrated winemaking spots on the planet: Napa, Sonoma, Atlas Peak, Anderson Valley, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Monterey and Russian River Valley.

Shooting Star 2013 Lake County Riesling

shannonridge.com (707) 994-9656

steelewines.com (707) 279-9475

“Mmmm, delicious nose. Graphite, cassis, black plum, semi-sweet chocolate. Sweet cocoa-mocha midpalate with caramel, chocolate drizzled finish. Pretty tannins, some warmth.”

“This lovely riesling dances on the palate. Crisp & clean with a long lingering finish.”

Lynae Anderson Hiley

Just as much, there were top wines from California’s next generation of stars, including Paso Robles, Lodi, Clarksburg, Potter Valley, Temecula Valley, and across the foothills from El Dorado, Amador and Placer counties.

BEST OF REGION

BEST OF SONOMA RED GOLD 94

BEST OF SONOMA WHITE GOLD 94

Hughes Family Vineyards 2011 Sonoma Valley Syrah Savannah Vineyard

Larson Family Winery 2013 Carneros Chardonnay

hughesfamilyvineyards.com (707) 575-5222

WINE WINNERS

“Lovely Syrah character with a satisfying tannic/acid structure. Black pepper on fresh mixed fruit. Will age nicely.”

BEST VARIETALS

OF CALIFORNIA

larsonfamilywinery.com (707) 938-3031 “Nutmeg, cinnamon and homemade apple pie with green Granny Smith apples. Lemon on the mid-palate, plus stone fruits, with an elegant, protracted finish.” Lynae Anderson Hiley

Brian Miller

BEST OF NAPA RED GOLD 94

BEST OF NAPA WHITE GOLD 94

Bell Wine Cellars 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Jamieson Ranch Vineyards 2014 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc Silver Spur

bellwine.com (707) 944-1673 “Intensely structured & rich on the palate. Black currant, plum notes, savory herbs & nicely integrated oak cascade onto the palate. Focused & precisely balanced from start to lingered finish.” Ellen Landis

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BEST OF NORTH COAST WHITE GOLD 95

jamiesonranch.com (707) 254-8673 “A classic (its about time) grassy weedy herbaceous wine that demands oysters on the half shell, asparagus, arugula salad and clams alfredo!” Barry C. Lawrence

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 25


BEST OF REGION

BEST OF REGION BEST OF SOUTH COAST RED GOLD 94

BEST OF SOUTH COAST WHITE GOLD 94

Oak Mountain Winery 2011 Temecula Valley Cabernet Sauvignon The Cave

South Coast Winery 2014 Temecula Valley Muscat Canelli Carter Estate Vineyards

oakmountainwinery.com (951) 767-2116

southcoastwinery.com (951) 587-9463

“What an amazing blend. There is an adventure in every sip. A master class in varietal harmony.”

“Sweet fragrant oak flows from the glass along with dark cherry & notes of chocolate and eucalyptus. Firm, tannic backbone and structure lead to a long finish and great aging potential.”

Mike Kerrigan

Evan Williams

“Orange blossom & honeysuckle highlight the beautiful floral nose of this wine. Although fairly sweet, this wine has ample acids to avoid being cloying - superb summer chiller or after dinner treat.”

BEST OF NORTH CENTRAL COAST RED GOLD 94

BEST OF NORTH CENTRAL COAST WHITE GOLD 94

BEST OF SIERRA FOOTHILLS RED DOUBLE GOLD 98

Craftwork 2013 Monterey Pinot Noir

Wente Vineyards 2013 Arroyo Seco Chardonnay Riva Ranch

BEST OF GREATER BAY RED BEST SANGIOVESE GOLD 94

Mitchell Katz Winery 2012 Alameda County – Livermore Valley Sangiovese Crackerbox Vineyard mitchellkatzwinery.com (925) 980-1927 “Great color & varietal aroma. Excellent use of oak up front and in wine finish.” Barry Gump

scheidwines.com (831) 455-9990 “Classic burgundian-style aromatics with a gentle florality and ethereal layers of fruit and terroir contributions. Lovely structure with bright acidity and buttressing tannins. The long elegant finish speaks of a wine that will cellar beautifully.” Peter Gamble

BEST OF SOUTH CENTRAL COAST RED GOLD 94

Cinquain Cellars 2011 Paso Robles Malbec Nagengast Estate Vineyard cinquaincellars.com (805) 674-7109 “Rich blend of leather & spice with a hint of eucalyptus. Ripe, dark berry plum with sweet black cherry soda palate. Soft, juicy tannin finish.” Nicholas Karavides

BEST OF GREATER BAY WHITE BEST OTHER DRY WHITE VARIETAL BLEND DOUBLE GOLD 98

Murrieta’s Well Winery 2013 Alameda County – Livermore Valley The Whip wentevineyards.com (925) 456-2304

Lewis Grace 2012 El Dorado Tempranillo

wentevineyards.com (925) 456-2304 “This full-bodied Chardonnay has intense grapefruit, apple, honey and melon. Well-balanced and integrated with proper acidity it leaves a long finish and provides the perfect foil for summer grilled salmon.”

BEST OF SIERRA FOOTHILLS WHITE GOLD 95

gracepatriotwines.com (530) 642-8424

Helwig Vineyards & Winery 2014 Shenandoah Valley Amador County Sauvignon Blanc

“Olé. Spain’s favorite grape finally gets the Golden State recognition it so richly deserves What a magnificent wine. It’s elegant and sophisticated, like a beautiful woman dressed for a special date. Pick her up. Don’t keep her waiting.”

“A picture-perfect Sauvignon Blanc. This wine has all the attributes, an enchanting nose as well as a rich, vinous mouth feel. The bottom line is this: It is simply, utterly delicious!”

helwigwinery.com (209) 245-5200

Mike Kerrigan

BEST OF SOUTH CENTRAL COAST WHITE BEST MUSCAT GOLD 94

Robert Hall Winery 2014 Paso Robles Orange Muscat Margaret’s Vineyard roberthallwinery.com (805) 239-1616 “Beautiful aromatics of lycee and honeycomb makes this a gem to remember. A balanced body that is off dry & charming. This wine is a fruit cocktail in a glass.”

BEST OF LODI RED GOLD 95

BEST OF LODI WHITE DOUBLE GOLD 98

Michael David Rapture 2012 Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon

Oak Farm Vineyards 2014 Lodi Albarino

michaeldavidwinery.com (209) 368-7384

oakfarmvineyards.com (209) 365-6565

“Big wine, lovely subtle great flavor on nose. Smooth balanced fruit on palate, beautiful acid/sugar/tannin balance. Goes with roast beef, filet, risotto.”

“Yeah! California rocks a delicious Albarino! Bright fruit and balanced acidity with an interesting herbaceous character finishes beautifully and clean. Kudos for such a refreshing California version of this Iberian favorite! Tasty Juice!”

Robert Schock

Cassandra Brown

Jackson Starr

26

2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org

27


BEST OF REGION

BEST VARIETALS OF CALIFORNIA

BEST OF OTHER CALIFORNIA RED GOLD 94

BEST OF OTHER CALIFORNIA WHITE GOLD 94

Heringer Estates Family Winery 2012 Clarksburg Aglianico

McManis Family Vineyards 2013 River Junction Viognier

heringerestates.com (530) 744-1094 “Dried cranberry with a trace of green olive and white pepper, modest oak character and pleasant mid-palate and balance make this wine a nice example of the still underated Aglianico grape.”

BEST BARBERA DOUBLE GOLD 98

McManis Family Vineyards 2013 Barbera Jamie Lynn Vineyards California mcmanisfamilyvineyards.com (209) 599-1186

mcmanisfamilyvineyards.com (209) 599-1186 “Gorgeous floral and ripe peach skin aromas. Textures remain soft and woven with layered cherry fruit.” Mari Coyle

BEST BORDEAUX RED VARIETAL BLEND GOLD 94

Stonehedge Winery 2014 Meritage Reserve Napa Valley sa-napavalley.com (707) 257-1068

“Great example of California Barbera. Very appropriate varietal aromas. Smooth and balanced with intense fruit.”

“Heavy campfire smoky aroma extracted fruit with a strong blueberry blackberry fruit.”

BEST CABERNET FRANC GOLD 95

BEST CABERNET SAUVIGNON DOUBLE GOLD 98

Michael David Inkblot 2013 Cabernet Franc

Lewis Grace 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

Guy Stout

Evan Williams

Barbed Wire Wine 2012 California Meritage tfewines.com (707) 302-3294 “Spectacular nose of complexed primary fruit aromas with hints of earth and cardamom. Long, rich palate with leather nuances. Wonderful structure.” Peter Gamble

BEST OF CALIFORNIA STATE WHITE DOUBLE GOLD 98

Sutter Home Family Vineyards NV California Gewürztraminer

Lodi michaeldavidwinery.com (209) 368-7384

tfewines.com (707) 302-3294

El Dorado gracepatriotwines.com (530) 642-8424

BEST VARIETALS OF

BEST OF CALIFORNIA STATE RED GOLD 95

“Soft “Meady” lemon & honeysuckle aroma with just enough floral & spice to say “Gewurzt.” Ripe palate & sufficient acid to carry a soft & long juicy finish.”

“Authentic, essential aromas for the variety. Bing cherry & controlled green-ness leading to a silky texture. Long elegant finish. A very satisfying version of Cabernet Franc.”

“A lush fruit core of blackberry & plum overlays a moderate oak framework, a pure expression of the cabernet grape. This wine is very approachable now. Enjoy! ”

Nicholas Karavides

Traci Dutton

Evan Williams

BEST CHARDONNAY DOUBLE GOLD 98

BEST ITALIAN RED VARIETAL BLEND GOLD 94

Check our website, CAStateFair.org for the designated regions for the winners of Best of Region

Sean Minor Four Bears 2013 Chardonnay Central Coast seanminorwines.com (707) 226-1414 “This chardonnay is a balance between old and new worlds. Plenty of California sunshine blended with restraint & freshness. A rich finish seals the deal as this is a wine to remember.”

Nello Olivo 2012 Toscanello El Dorado County nelloolivo.com (530) 677-7434

“Clean balanced wine. Not overblown. Wonderful complex old world style wine.” Scott Harvey

Jackson Starr

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2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 29


BEST VARIETALS OF CALIFORNIA

BEST VARIETALS OF CALIFORNIA

BEST MALBEC GOLD 94

BEST MERLOT DOUBLE GOLD 98

BEST PINOT GRIGIO GOLD 94

BEST PINOT NOIR DOUBLE GOLD 98

Wise Villa Winery 2013 Malbec

Solis Winery 2011 Merlot

Wine Cube 2014 Pinot Grigio

Woodenhead 2012 Clone 115 Pinot Noir

Alta Mesa wisevillawinery.com (916) 543-0323

Santa Clara Valley soliswinery.com (408) 847-6306

California tfewines.com (707) 302-3294

“Cherry pie in a glass! Fun to drink and should pair well with BBQ’d ribs.”

“Intense berry and a balanced structure make a wonderful wine to drink now. A lovely balance of fruit, tannin and acidity.”

“Dried pears and a lovely whiff of white flowers. Nice vibrant acidity, well balanced with just a touch of sweetness.”

Buena Tierra Vineyard, E Block Russian River Valley woodenheadwine.com (707) 887-2703

Roxanne Langer

Phil Baily

BEST OTHER RED VARIETAL DOUBLE GOLD 98

BEST RED GENERIC DOUBLE GOLD 98

Bokisch Vineyards 2012 Graciano

Zucca Mountain Vineyards 2013 Sorprendere

BEST RHONE RED VARIETAL BLEND GOLD 94

Lodi bokischvineyards.com (209) 334-4338

Sierra Foothills soliswinery.com (408) 847-6306

“Aromatically demonstrates a ripe, thick layer of dark fruit with earthen accents. Medium-bodied impression on the palate.”

“Complex aromas of dark chocolate, carob, ripe figs and blueberry pie entice the nose with a delicate ending of violet notes. Smooth tannins, full bodied with a powerful long finish.”

“This blend of equal parts of zinfandel, syrah and barbera showcases mysterious marionberry, plum, sweet almond and a touch of hazelnut upon first sniff. A smooth long lingering finish completes the experience.”

BEST OTHER WHITE VARIETAL GOLD 94

BEST PETITE SIRAH DOUBLE GOLD 98

BEST RIESLING DOUBLE GOLD 98

BEST SAUVIGNON BLANC DOUBLE GOLD 98

Wise Villa Winery 2014 Torrontes

Trentadue Winery 2013 La Storia Petite Sirah

Mirassou Sun Winery 2013 Riesling

Fancy Pants 2013 Sauvignon Blanc

Alta Mesa wisevillawinery.com (916) 543-0323

Alexander Valley, Sonoma County trentadue.com (707) 433-3104

California gallo.com (707) 431-5659

California tfewines.com (707) 302-3294

“Alluring cinnamon aromas interlace with bright nectarine, peach & celery accents. Racy acidity keeps it lively & fresh. Absolutely stunning Torrontes!”

“Lovely floral and rhubarb aroma with pretty assertive start and ripe black fruits. It finishes with elegant tannin and length. Big style wishes for a Ribeye on the grill.”

“Lovely peach and pear fruits in the nose. Forward and fresh, lively palate with nice fruit on entry. Good acidity and light mineral accents with a bright, long & flavorable finish.”

“Grapefruit, a hint of grass, lemon blossoms. Spring in a bottle.”

Knights Valley Gen7Wines.com (619) 540-1986

Ellen Landis

Tim McDonald

2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

Hearst Ranch Winery 2012 Three Sisters Cuvée Paso Robles hearstranchwinery.com (805) 467-2241

BEST VARIETALS OF

Gen 7 2011 Road to Singapore

BEST VARIETALS OF

Carol Shelton

BEST OTHER RED VARIETAL BLEND DOUBLE GOLD 98

30

“Rich intriguing aromas of fruit and spice, smooth and silky with a fresh clean finish.”

“Juicy, spicey, rich and round. Good length. Tannins are slightly dusty but otherwise very enjoyable.” Eleni Papadakis

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 31


J. LOHR W IN ES TA K E

CENTER STAGE

BEST VARIETALS OF CALIFORNIA

AT T H E 2 0 15 C A L I FOR N I A S TAT E FA I R

BEST SYRAH DOUBLE GOLD 98

BEST TEMPRANILLO DOUBLE GOLD 98

Cinquain Cellars 2011 Syrah

Fenestra Winery 2010 Tempranillo

Paso Robles cinquaincellars.com (805) 674-7109

Lodi fenestrawinery.com (925) 447-5246

“Full bodied, firm tannins, great mouthfeel. Wonderful Syrah.”

“This Tempranillo is gorgeous with Big Ripe Fruit. Spicy in the mouth with long lasting flavors of big ripe plums, bing cherries and hazelnuts swathed in vanilla cream.”

Vincent Caggiano

Susan Reiner-Lyon

BEST TRADITIONAL VINTAGE PORT DOUBLE GOLD 98

St. Amant Winery 2013 Bootleg Port Amador County stamantwine.com (209) 367-0646 “This wine has a dense dark purple to ruby red color. Upfront aromas of crushed berries, spice, and nuts linger in the air. Mouthwatering and delicious with ripe fruit flavors and a smooth almost nutty finish.”

13

BEST VIOGNIER DOUBLE GOLD 98

Robert Hall Winery 2014 Viognier Paso Robles roberthallwinery.com (805) 239-1616 “Nice spiced peach & orange peel. Crisp acid, full bodied without the excessive alcohol that often mars a ripe fruit-filled Viognier. Very long finish.”

BEST ZINFANDEL DOUBLE GOLD 98

Torn Winery 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi tornwinery.com (707) 265-1753

GOLD – BEST OF CL ASS OF R EGION

“Layered scents of hazelnut & cedar, lovely bright fruit flavors & a beguiling, lingering finish--it’s a most delicious wine . . . ”

2011 J. Lohr Cuvée St. E, Paso Robles 95 pts 2012 J. Lohr Fog’s Reach Pinot Noir, Arroyo Seco, Monterey 95 pts 2013 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot, Paso Robles 94 pts 30

© 2015 J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, San Jose, CA 95126

2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA

Rob Bruley

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 33


BEST OF CALIFORNIA CAPITOL AWARDS EVENT

Honoring the Best Wines -

Heather and Dan Panella of Oak Farm Vineyards, Best of Show White Wine

Front row: Daniel Sciabica, Karen Bianci-Moreda, Erika Scharfen, Dr. Grover C. Lee, Heather Panella, Dan Panella, Paul Ahvenainen, Tyler Grace, Steve Grace, Bryna Dacus, Beth Palmieri. Back row: Sarah Cahn Bennett, Amy Popplewell, Cornelius Gallagher, Lee Sweeney, Joe Moreda, Mark Chandler, Senator Dr. Richard Pan, Kevin Luther, Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne, Derrell Corti, Chris Gott, Rick K. Pickering

Cheese, Extra Virgin Olive Oils & Best of Show Wines

Not in attendance, Steve Dunkerken and Owen Williams of Ritual Brewing Co., Best of Show Craft Beer

Mark Chandler, Kevin Luther and Dr. Grover C. Lee of Wise Villa Winery with Rick K. Pickering, CEO, California State Fair, Golden State Winery of the Year

Senator Dr. Richard Pan, Beth Palmieri of Delicato Family Vineyards (Torn), Best Value Wine

34

Senator Dr. Richard Pan, Bryna Dacus and Chris Gott of Gold Hill Vineyards, Best of Show Pink Wine

Deputy Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt of the California Department of Food and Agriculture speaking

2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

Senator Anthony Cannella, Sarah Cahn Bennett and Erika Scharfen of Penny Royal Farms, Best of Show Cheese - Goat

Senator Anthony Cannella, Karen Bianchi-Moreda and Joe Moreda of Valley Ford Cheese Company, Best of Show Cheese - Cow

Senator Lois Wolk, Lee Sweeney and Amy Popplewell of The Olive Press, Best of Show Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Single Variety

For the third year in a row, the California State Fair hosted the top award winners at the State Capitol in Sacramento for a special awards and press event. Best of Show winners in the commercial wine, cheese, extra virgin olive oil and beer were honored and distinguished guests demonstrated the support of the importance of competition. California State Senators Dr. Richard Pan, Anthony Cannella and Lois Wolk joined State Fair Board Member Corny Gallagher, State Fair Chief Executive Officer Rick Pickering, California Department of Food and Agriculture Deputy Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt, and the various competition Chief Judges for the morning of recognizing the best producers in our great state.

Craft Beer in California.

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 35


DOUBLE GOLD & GOLD WINE WINNERS

Dry White Wines

DRAMA QUEEN PINOT GRIGIO, NV GOLD 94 GOLD 95 Middle Sister, California Raymond Vineyards, California PINOT GRIGIO, 2014 GOLD 94 CHARDONNAY, 2013 GOLD 95 Wine Cube, California Rodney Strong Vineyards, Sonoma County Best of California

R COLLECTION BY RAYMOND CHARDONNAY, 2013

Chardonnay VINYARD MONTAGE CHARDONNAY, 2013 Cru, Monterey DOUBLE GOLD 98

CHARDONNAY, 2013 GOLD 94 THE PERFECT PLAY CHARDONNAY, 2013 Silver Ridge, California Domino Wines, California DOUBLE GOLD 98 CHARDONNAY, 2012 GOLD 94 CHARDONNAY, 2014 DOUBLE GOLD 98 Sterling Vineyards, Napa Valley Robert Hall, Paso Robles WINEMAKER'S CHARDONNAY CHARDONNAY, 2013 DOUBLE GOLD 98 CHARDONNAY, 2013 GOLD 94 Sean Minor Four Bears, Central Coast Table No. 7, California Best of California CHARDONNAY, 2013 GOLD 94 CHARDONNAY, 2013 DOUBLE GOLD 98 Wente Vineyards, Arroyo Seco Three Thieves, California Best of Region - White CHARDONNAY, 2013 GOLD 94 Baileyana, Edna Valley

Chenin Blanc

Bandit, California

GOLD 94 CHENIN BLANC - VIOGNIER, 2014

CHARDONNAY, 2014

GOLD 94 Wilson Vineyards, Clarksburg (Yolo)

CHARDONNAY, NV

Belcrème de Lys, California CHARDONNAY, 2013

GOLD 95

Concannon Reserve, Alameda County Livermore Valley CHARDONNAY, 2013

Cycles Gladiator, Central Coast CHARDONNAY, 2013

Darkhorse, California CHARDONNAY, 2013

Double Oak Vineyards & Winery, Sierra Foothills

GOLD 94 GOLD 94

Frei Brothers Reserve, Russian River Valley FRIZZANTE CHARDONNAY, 2013 GOLD 94 Gia by Gia Coppola, California CHARDONNAY, 2013

GOLD 94

Grand Cru, California CHARDONNAY, 2013

GOLD 94

Hughes Family Vineyards, Sonoma Mountain CHARDONNAY, 2013

GOLD 94

Larson Family Winery, Carneros (Sonoma) CHARDONNAY, 2012

Robert Hall, Paso Robles

GOLD 94 Best of California

Lucky Star, California

VIOGNIER, 2013 GOLD 94 Carter Estate, South Coast

CHARDONNAY, 2013

Metz Road, Monterey

Shooting Star, Lake County Best of Region - White

DOUBLE GOLD 98

GOLD 94

Bokisch Vineyards, Borden Ranch

Other White Varietal Blend DOUBLE GOLD 98

Murrieta's Well, Alameda County Livermore Valley

GOLD 95 Best of Region - White, Best of California FRIENDS.WHITE, 2014 DOUBLE GOLD 98 GOLD 95 Pedroncelli, Sonoma County

WHITE WINE, 2013 GOLD 94 GOLD 94 Menage a Trois, California CHARDONNAY/MOSCATO, NV GOLD 95 GOLD 94 McManis Family Vineyards, River Junction Best of Region - White Sutter Home Family Vineyards, California VIOGNIER, 2013

GOLD 94 CHENIN BLANC/VIOGNIER, 2014 CHARDONNAY, 2014 GOLD 95 VIOGNIER, 2014 Oak Grove, California Van Roekel Estate, Temecula Valley Terra d'Oro, Clarksburg (Solano) GOLD 94

CHARDONNAY, 2013

GOLD 94 TEAL HEN PINOT GRIGIO, 2013 Duck Commander, California

Pico & Vine, Sonoma County

Pinot Grigio PINOT GRIGIO, 2013

Maddalena, Monterey

36

GOLD 95 J. Lohr Gesture, Paso Robles

CHARDONNAY, 2013 Old Soul, Lodi

GOLD 94

Rhone White Varietal Blend

GOLD 95 COQUILLE BLANC RHÔNE WHITE VARIETAL BLEND, 2013

GOLD 94 Carol Shelton Wines, Paso Robles

CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2013

Barbera

Bogle Vineyards, California

DOUBLE GOLD 98 TWO VINEYARDS CABERNET McManis Family Vineyards, California SAUVIGNON, 2010 Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards, Best of California BARBERA, 2012 GOLD 94 Santa Cruz Mountains

CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2012 GOLD 94 Well Trained, California

BARBERA, 2013

GOLD 94

BARBERA, 2012

High Valley Vineyard, High Valley

GOLD 94

BARBERA, 2012

CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2013

GOLD 94

CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2012 GOLD 94 White Oak Vineyards & Winery, Napa County

GOLD 94

Malbec

Cypress Vineyards, Central Coast

GOLD 94

Lander Jenkins Vineyards, California

Vina Moda, Sierra Foothills

GOLD 94

MALBEC, 2012

GOLD 94

MALBEC, 2013

GOLD 94

Wattle Creek, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County Wise Villa Winery, Alta Mesa

CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2013 Loft, Lodi

GOLD 95 Best of California

CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2012

GOLD 95

GOLD 94 Michael David Winery Rapture, Lodi Best of Region - Red

BARBERA, 2011

GOLD 95

MALBEC, 2013

HandCraft Artisan Collection, California Imagery Estate Winery, Pine

GOLD 95 Goyette, Sonoma County BUNK HOUSE CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2011 BARBERA, 2013 GOLD 95 Hearst Ranch Winery, Paso Robles GOLD 95 New Clairvaux Vineyard, Tehama County CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2013 GOLD 95

Viaggio On The River Estate and Winery, Mokelumne River

Best of Region - Red

GOLD 95 Mountain-Cloverdale Peak (Sonoma)

CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2012

GOLD 94

Cinquain Cellars, Paso Robles

GOLD 94 Francis Coppola Director's, Sonoma County MALBEC, 2012 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2013

Nevada City Winery, Sierra Foothills

SWIRL AND SWALLOW BARBERA, 2012

GOLD 94

MALBEC, 2011

BLACK LABEL CLARET CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2013

GOLD 94 GOLD 94 Francis Coppola Diamond Collection, California

Las Positas Vineyards, Alameda County Livermore Valley

Merlot MERLOT, 2011

DOUBLE GOLD 98

Solis Winery, Santa Clara Valley

Best of California CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2012 GOLD 94 MERLOT, 2013 CABERNET FRANC, 2013 GOLD 95 Moravia Wines, California Alias Winery, California Michael David Winery Inkblot, Lodi CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2010 GOLD 94 MERLOT, 2013 Best of California

Cabernet Franc

Mt. Aukum Winery, Fair Play

CABERNET FRANC, 2011

Mt. Vernon Winery, Placer County CABERNET FRANC, 2012

Sculpterra, Paso Robles

Cabernet Sauvignon

GOLD 95 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2013 Muirwood, Arroyo Seco

GOLD 95

GOLD 95 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2012 Nice Pairing, California

GOLD 94

CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2013 B Side, Napa Valley DOUBLE GOLD 98

THE CAVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2011 Oak Mountain Winery, GOLD 94 Temecula Valley Best of Region - Red

CLONE 6 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2012 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2012 Bell Wine Cellars, DOUBLE GOLD 98

Peju, Napa Valley

Rutherford

GOLD 94 GOLD 94

Cartlidge & Browne, North Coast GOLD 94

LOS OSOS MERLOT, 2013

J. Lohr Estates, Paso Robles GOLD 94

MERLOT, 2013

Menage a Trois, California GOLD 95

MERLOT, 2012

PREVIOUS, Napa Valley GOLD 94

MERLOT, 2013

Robert Hall, Paso Robles

GOLD 94 MERLOT, 2012

GOLD 95

Toad Hollow Vineyards, Russian River Valley

CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2012 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2012 GOLD 94 Bell Wine Cellars, DOUBLE GOLD 98 Provenance Vineyards, Rutherford

Petite Sirah

TRAIL BOSS CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2013 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2011 GOLD 95 Black Stallion Estate DOUBLE GOLD 98 Purple Cowboy, Paso Robles Winery, Napa Valley CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2012 GOLD 95 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2012 Red Soles Winery, Paso Robles Carter Estate, South Coast DOUBLE GOLD 98 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2012 GOLD 94 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2013 Renaissance, North Yuba

Red Soles Winery, Paso Robles

Napa Valley

Francis Ford Coppola Director's Cut, Alexander Valley DOUBLE GOLD 98 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2013 Rutherford Ranch, Napa Valley CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2010 DOUBLE GOLD 98 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2013

Goosecross, Napa Valley

Sonoma County

CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2010

B.R. Cohn Winery, Sonoma Valley Beaulieu Vineyard, Napa Valley CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2012

Bell Wine Cellars, Napa Valley Best of Region - Red

CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2012 GOLD 94 Sivas-Sonoma, Sonoma County SAUVIGNON, 2012 GOLD 94 Sterling Vineyards, Napa Valley CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2013 GOLD 94 The Show, California

DOUBLE GOLD 98 Green Truck, Mendocino County PETITE SIRAH, 2013

PETITE SIRAH, 2013 LA STORIA PETITE SIRAH, 2013

DOUBLE GOLD 98

DOUBLE GOLD 98

Trentadue, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County

GOLD 95 Best of California

REPOSADO PETITE SIRAH, 2013 GOLD 95 Borjon, Amador County

Sean Minor Four Bears, Paso Robles CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2012 GOLD 95 Lewis Grace, El Dorado DOUBLE GOLD 98 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2011 Shenandoah Vineyards, Amador County Best of California CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2013 GOLD 94 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2013 Louis M. Martini, DOUBLE GOLD 98 Shiloh Road, Sonoma County

CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2012

2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

GOLD 94 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2013 GOLD 94 Vigilance, Red Hills GOLD 95 Best of Region - Red

Black Stallion Estate Winery, Napa Valley

BARBERA, 2012

Ironstone Vineyards, California

DOUBLE GOLD 98 THE WHIP, 2013

GESTURE VIOGNIER, 2014

McIlroy Cellars, Russian River Valley CHARDONNAY, 2012

GOLD 95

RIESLING, 2013

MISGUIDED ANGEL GRENACHE BLANC, 2014 GOLD 94 SILVER SPUR SAUVIGNON BLANC, 2014 Bushong, Paso Robles Jamieson Ranch Vineyards, GOLD 94 GRÜNER VELTLINER, 2014 GOLD 94 Napa Valley Dancing Coyote, Clarksburg (Sacramento) Best of Region - White GRENACHE BLANC, 2014 GOLD 95 SAUVIGNON BLANC, 2013 GOLD 94 Halter Ranch, Paso Robles Maggio Family Vineyards, California TORRONTÉS, 2014 GOLD 94 SAUVIGNON BLANC, 2014 GOLD 94 Lewis Grace, Alta Mesa Rancho Sisquoc, Santa Barbara County ALBARIÑO, 2014 GOLD 94 SAUVIGNON BLANC, 2014 GOLD 94 Mariposa, Edna Valley Schug, Sonoma Coast GRENACHE BLANC, 2013 GOLD 95 SAUVIGNON BLANC, 2014 GOLD 94 Tangent, Edna Valley Sean Minor Four Bears, California TORRONTÉS, 2014 GOLD 94 SAUVIGNON BLANC, 2013 GOLD 94 Wise Villa Winery, Alta Mesa Sterling Vineyards, Napa Valley Best of California SAUVIGNON BLANC, 2013 GOLD 95 GRÜNER VELTLINER, 2014 GOLD 94 William Hill Estate, North Coast Zocker, Edna Valley

GOLD 94 VIOGNIER, 2014

Main & Geary, Sonoma County

Jekel Vineyards, Monterey

Best of Region - White

CHARDONNAY, 2013 CHARDONNAY, 2013

GOLD 94

RIESLING, 2014

VERDEJO, 2014

CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2012

Cooper Vineyards , Shenandoah Valley, Amador County

GOLD 94

RIESLING, 2014

Best of Show - White, Best of Region - White

GOLD 95

BARBERA, 2012

Imagery Estate Winery, Pine MountainCloverdale Peak (Sonoma)

ALBARIÑO, 2014

BellaGrace Vineyards, Amador County

Best of California

Oak Farm Vineyards, Lodi

Viognier

Best of Region - White

Lead Hill, Santa Barbara County

SAUVIGNON BLANC, 2013 DOUBLE GOLD 98

Helwig Vineyards & Winery, GOLD 95 Shenandoah Valley, Amador County

GOLD 94

DOUBLE GOLD 98

Mirassou Sun, California

OBSESSION SYMPHONY, 2013 DOUBLE GOLD 98

GOLD 94 Best of California SAUVIGNON BLANC, 2014

Folie à Deux, Russian River Valley CHARDONNAY, 2013

Sauvignon Blanc

RIESLING, 2013

Other White Varietals

Fancy Pants, California

WOOD DUCK CHARDONNAY, 2012 GOLD 94 Duck Commander, California CHARDONNAY, 2013

DOUBLE GOLD 98

Riesling

Red Table Wines

ASTEL PETITE SIRAH, 2010

GOLD 94

LA STORIA CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 2013 GOLD 95 Trentadue, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County

GOLD 94

Chacewater, Kelsey Bench ARTISAN COLLECTION PETITE SIRAH, 2013

GOLD 94

HandCraft by Cheryl Indelicato, California

GOLD 94 PETITE SIRAH, 2011 CABERNET GOLD 94

GOLD 94

GOLD 94

Ledson, Redwood Valley PETITE SIRAH, 2012

GOLD 94

Overland, Sonoma County PETITE SIRAH, 2013

GOLD 94

Stephen & Walker, Dry Creek Valley PETITE SIRAH, 2012

GOLD 94

Wilson Vineyards, Clarksburg (Yolo)

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 37


DOUBLE GOLD & GOLD WINE WINNERS Pinot Noir ARBORE SACRA PINOT NOIR, 2012

Simple Life, California

DOUBLE GOLD 98 PINOT NOIR, 2012

DOUBLE GOLD 98 PINOT NOIR, 2013

Tempranillo TEMPRANILLO, 2010

GOLD 94 Fenestra, Lodi Best of California GOLD 94 TEMPRANILLO, 2012

Sonoma-Cutrer, Russian River Valley

Davis Bynum Winery, Russian River Valley PINOT NOIR, 2013

GOLD 94

Sanctuary, Santa Maria Valley

DOUBLE GOLD 98 PINOT NOIR, 2013

Benziger Family Winery, Sonoma Coast PINOT NOIR, 2013

PINOT NOIR, 2012

DOUBLE GOLD 98

DOUBLE GOLD 98

Lewis Grace, El Dorado

GOLD 95 Best of Show - Red, Best of Region - Red

Sterling Vintner's Collection, Central Coast

Diamond Ridge, Napa Valley

TEMPRANILLO, 2011 GOLD 94 GOLD 94 Cinquain Cellars, Paso Robles The Monterey Vineyards, Monterey County TEMPRANILLO, 2012 Gnarly Head, California GOLD 94 GOLD 95 Harney Lane, Lodi PINOT NOIR, 2013 DOUBLE GOLD 98 PINOT NOIR, 2013 Robert Mondavi Private Selection, California Willowbrook, Russian River Valley TEMPRANILLO, 2011 GOLD 94 GOLD 95 Hoyt Family Vineyards, Paso Robles PINOT NOIR, 2012 DOUBLE GOLD 98 BATCH NO. 7 PINOT NOIR, 2013 Woodwork, Central Coast Woodenhead, Russian River Valley TEMPRANILLO, 2012 GOLD 94 Best of California Imagery Estate Winery, Pine Mountain45TH ANNIVERSARY PINOT NOIR, 2013 GOLD 94 PINOT NOIR, 2013 GOLD 94 Cloverdale Peak (Sonoma) PINOT NOIR, 2013

DOUBLE GOLD 98 PINOT NOIR, 2013

Ano Verde, Santa Barbara County

ZD Wines, Los Carneros (Napa) GOLD 95

PINOT NOIR, 2013

Belcrème de Lys, California

Sangiovese

PINOT GRANDE PINOT NOIR, 2012 GOLD 95 AMOROUS SANGIOVESE, 2013

Macchia, Lodi

Boeger, El Dorado PINOT NOIR, 2013

GOLD 94 SANGIOVESE, 2012

Mitchell Katz, Alameda County Livermore Valley

Bubo, California THE COAST RANGE PINOT NOIR, 2012

GOLD 95

Calista, California PINOT NOIR, 2012

GOLD 94

Calista, Anderson Valley GOLD 95

PINOT NOIR, 2013

Best of Region - Red, Best of California SANGIOVESE, 2012

Naggiar Vineyards, Sierra Foothills SANGIOVESE, 2012

Cooper Vineyards , Amador County

TORRO II TEMPRANILLO, 2012

GOLD 95

Inner Sanctum Cellars, Tuolumne County

TEMPRANILLO, 2013 GOLD 94 Wise Villa Winery, Placer County GOLD 94

GOLD 95

Zinfandel ZINFANDEL, 2012

DOUBLE GOLD 98

d'Art Wines, Lodi ZINFANDEL, 2013 DOUBLE GOLD 98 GOLD 94 Torn, Lodi Best Value, Best of California GOLD 94 ZINFANDEL, 2013 GOLD 95

Baywood Wine Cellars, Lodi

ZINFANDEL, 2011 GOLD 94 Black Sheep Winery, Amador County GOLD 94 SYRAH, 2011 DOUBLE GOLD 98 ZINFANDEL, 2013 GOLD 94 Carvalho Family Wines, Clarksburg (Yolo) Cinquain Cellars, Paso Robles Borrellie, Sonoma County PINOT NOIR, 2013 GOLD 94 Best of California ZINFANDEL, 2012 GOLD 94 Castle Rock, Mendocino County SHIRAZ, 2013 DOUBLE GOLD 98 Brazin, Lodi PINOT NOIR, 2013 GOLD 94 Coppola Rosso & Bianco, California Craftwork, Monterey ZINFANDEL, 2012 GOLD 94 SYRAH, 2013 DOUBLE GOLD 98 Best of Region - Red Deep Purple, Lodi Drytown Cellars Reds, Sierra Foothills APPELLATION SERIES ZINFANDEL, 2013 GOLD 94 ALTITUDE 2401 SYRAH, 2012 GOLD 94 PINOT NOIR, 2012 GOLD 94 Ghost Pines, San Joaquin County Altitude 2401' Perry Creek Winery, El Dorado Cru, Santa Lucia Highlands ZINFANDEL, 2011 GOLD 94 SYRAH, 2012 GOLD 94 PINOT NOIR, 2013 GOLD 94 Gold Hill Vineyard, El Dorado

CAM Collection, Monterey County

Syrah/Shiraz

PINOT NOIR, 2012

Amador Cellars, Amador County

Garnet Vineyards, Monterey County

ZINFANDEL, 2011 GOLD 94 SYRAH, 2012 GOLD 94 GOLD 94 Hughes Family Vineyards, Sonoma Valley Black Stallion Estate Winery, Napa Valley Geyser Peak Winery, Russian River Valley ROYAL TEE ZINFANDEL, NV GOLD 94 SYRAH, 2012 GOLD 94 PINOT NOIR, 2013 GOLD 94 Jessies Grove Winery, Lodi PLUTO'S FURY PINOT NOIR, 2013

Fäsi Crest, Madera

Ghost Pines, Monterey County PINOT NOIR, 2013

GOLD 95

HandCraft Artisan Collection, California PINOT NOIR, 2012

GOLD 94

Handley Cellars, Anderson Valley PINOT NOIR, 2013

GOLD 95

Hawley, Russian River Valley FOG'S REACH PINOT NOIR, 2012

GOLD 95

J. Lohr Vineyard Series, Arroyo Seco PINOT NOIR, 2013

GOLD 94

James Bryant Hill, Central Coast PINOT NOIR, 2013

GOLD 94

Menage a Trois, California PINOT NOIR, 2012

Montoya, Monterey County PINOT NOIR, 2013

Mossback, Central Coast METHODE AL'ANCIENE PINOT NOIR, 2013

SYRAH, 2014

GOLD 94

Graymont Estate, California

MISCHIEVOUS ZINFANDEL, 2013 GOLD 94 Macchia, Lodi Hughes Family Vineyards, Sonoma Valley ZINFANDEL, 2011 Best of Region - Red KAY'S SYRAH SHIRAZ SYRAH, NV GOLD 94

Lassen Peak Winery, Shasta County SYRAH, 2012

GOLD 94

Lewis Grace, Sierra Foothills SHIRAZ, 2013

GOLD 95

Oak Grove, California SYRAH, 2012

Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery,

GOLD 95

SYRAH, 2013 GOLD 95 Story Winery, Sierra Foothills SYRAH, 2011

Vina Moda, Sierra Foothills

GOLD 94

Macchia, Lodi

SYRAH, 2011

GOLD 94 Paso Robles

GOLD 94

OUTRAGEOUS ZINFANDEL, 2013

GOLD 94 GOLD 94

2015 CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR

Milliaire Vineyard Selections, Calaveras County

OGP ZINFANDEL, 2011

GOLD 94

Noceto, Amador County INCREDIBLE RED ZINFANDEL, 2012 GOLD 95

Peachy Canyon Winery, Paso Robles GRANDPERE ZINFANDEL, 2012

GOLD 95

Renwood, Amador County UNRULY ZIN ZINFANDEL, 2013

GOLD 94

Unruly Wine Cellars, California

GOLD 94 ZINFANDEL, 2013

GOLD 94

Wise Villa Winery, Placer County GOLD 94 OLD VINE ZINFANDEL, 2013

GOLD 95

ZIN-phomaniac, Lodi

Navarro Vineyards, Anderson Valley

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2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 35


DOUBLE GOLD & GOLD WINE WINNERS Other Red Varietals GRACIANO, 2012

Bokisch Vineyards, Lodi

DOUBLE GOLD 98

Best of California AGLIANICO, 2012

Heringer Estates Family Winery, Clarksburg (Yolo)

GOLD 94 Ficklin Vineyards, Madera

TREO, 2012

GOLD 94

Best of Region - Red

Hess Select, California

GOLD 95

LONELY OAK RED, 2012

GOLD 94 Project Paso, Paso Robles RED BLEND, 2013 GOLD 94 GOLD 94 The Great American Wine Company

PETIT VERDOT, 2013

Jeff Runquist Wines, Stanislaus County TANNAT, 2012

Le Vigne Winery, Paso Robles

by Rosenblum Cellars, California

Other Red Varietal Blend

Rosé, Pink and Blush Wines

ROAD TO SINGAPORE, 2011 Gen 7, Knights Valley DOUBLE GOLD 98 Best of California GOLD 94

FRIENDS.RED, 2013

Pedroncelli, Sonoma County RED DUET CABSAV - SYRAH, NV

Silkwood, California

Bordeaux Red Varietal Blend LOT NO. 8 MERITAGE, 2012

Barbed Wire, California

EMBRACE RED DESSERT WINE, 2012 Heringer Estates GOLD 94

Family Winery, Clarksburg (Yolo)

Sweet White Wines

Gewürztraminer, Late Harvest

Varietal Rosé

GEWÜRZTRAMINER, NV DOUBLE GOLD 98 DOUBLE GOLD 98 Sutter Home Family Vineyards, California GOLD 94 Gold Hill Vineyard, El Dorado Best of Region - White Best of Show - Pink GEWÜRZTRAMINER, 2013 GOLD 94 RED MOSCATO, NV GOLD 95 Fetzer Vineyards, Monterey County Sutter Home Family Vineyards, California LATE HARVEST GEWÜRZTRAMINER, 2014 GOLD 95 GOLD 95

Sparkling Wines

GOLD 95

CUVÉE ST.E, 2011

J. Lohr Cuvee Series, Paso Robles GOLD 94

Millerick Road, Sonoma County GOLD 94

MERITAGE, 2014

Other Miscellaneous Fortified Dessert Wine

BARBERA, 2014

Best of Region - Red

MERITAGE, 2012

Non-Traditional - Varietal Fortified Dessert Wine

AMERICAN RIVER RED CELEBRATED CUVEE, 2012 GOLD 94 Lava Cap, El Dorado LATE HARVEST PETITE SIRAH, 2011 GOLD 94 MIDNIGHT, 2013 GOLD 94 Rendez-vous, Clarksburg (Yolo) Menage a Trois, California

Husch, Anderson Valley

Bottle Fermented Sparkling Muscat MOSCATO, NV DOUBLE GOLD 98 Wine Blanc de Blancs, Sutter Home Family Vineyards, California Blanc de Noirs - Natural, Best of Show - Dessert No Dosage ALLEGRO, 2013 GOLD 94

DOUBLE GOLD 98 Martin Weyrich, California Stonehedge, Napa Valley ORANGE MUSCAT, 2014 GOLD 94 Best of California Robert Hall, Paso Robles WISDOM OF WISE RED BLEND, 2013 Best of Region - White, Best of California NATURAL' SPARKLING WINE, 2011 Wise Villa Winery, Placer County GOLD 94 Korbel, Russian River Valley DOUBLE GOLD 98 WINEMAKER'S SIGNATURE COLLECTION GOLD 94 BLANC DE NOIRS GOLD 95 MUSCAT CANELLI, 2014 BLANC DE NOIRS, NV Korbel, California Best of Show - Sparkling

Rhone Red Varietal Blend

SPARKLING WINE, NV THREE SISTERS CUVÉE RED BLEND, 2012 GOLD 94 Hearst Ranch Winery, Paso Robles Gloria Ferrer, Carneros (Sonoma) Best of California SONOMA BRUT SPARKLING WINE, NV GOLD 94 VICEROY, 2011 GOLD 94 Gloria Ferrer, Sonoma County

Mariposa, Paso Robles

GOLD 94

HERITAGE, 2010

San Antonio Winery, Paso Robles

Italian Red Varietal Blend

Bottle Fermented Rosé, Pink and Sparkling Red Brut DOUBLE GOLD 98 Korbel, California

GOLD 94 BRUT ROSÉ, NV

PREMIATO, 2010

Avanguardia Wines, Sierra Foothills GOLD 94 Imagery Estate Winery, Sonoma County TUSCA BRAVA, 2012

Sherry

Best of California

MARY MARGARET SHERRY, NV GOLD 94 GOLD 94 Galleano Winery, Cucamonga Valley

Urban Legend, Sierra Foothills

Red Generic SORPRENDERE, 2013

DOUBLE GOLD 98

Zucca Mountain Vineyards, Sierra Foothills Best of California

Sherry - Sweet

BOOTLEG PORT, 2013 GOLD 94 St.Amant Winery, Amador County Benziger Family Winery, Sonoma Valley RED WINE, 2013 GOLD 95 Best of California

Fancy Pants, California

VINTAGE PORT, 2012

GOLD 95 Francis Coppola Diamond Collection, California

1991 VINTAGE PORT, 1991

40

Riesling, Late Harvest

GOLD 95 Greenwood Ridge Vineyards, Mendocino Ridge

RIESLING, 2013

California Brandies

BRANDY, NV

GOLD 93

CIDER BROTHERS HARD APPLE STRAWBERRY CIDER, NV GOLD 94 Pacific Coast Cider, California

Traditional - Vintage Dated Low Alcohol White

TRIBUTE, 2012

SCARLET LABEL, 2013

Best of Region - White

Fortified Dessert Wines

South Coast Winery, Temecula Valley

Fruit and Berry Wines

GOLD 94

SONICI, 2012

IS PROUD TO SPONSOR THE CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR

Korbel, California

TOSCANELLO, 2012

Nello Olivo, El Dorado County

THE E&J GALLO WINERY

ELECTRA MOSCATO, 2013 DOUBLE GOLD 98

DOUBLE GOLD 98

Quady Winery, Madera

GOLD 95

St.Amant Winery, Amador County GOLD 95

2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

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BEST OF CALIFORNIA MICROWINERY

The California State Fair understands that there are many small or micro wineries in California producing incredible wines that are unable to reach the larger marketplace because of the small amount of wine they make. The Micro Winery category was created to include them in the competition. Wines entered in the Micro Winery classes are eligible for Double Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals and for Best Micro Winery Red, White and Other.

My dad always believed in working hard and following your dream. His name was Josh and he was my hero. I made this wine in his honor. It’s big and vibrant but always approachable, like him. —Joseph Carr, Son & Founder joshcellars.com ©2015 Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, White Plains, NY 10604. Please Enjoy Responsibly.

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BEST MICROWINERY RED WINE

BEST MICROWINERY OTHER

Katharine and John Ritchey

Bottle Jack Cellars 2012 Zinfandel Santa Cruz Mountains

By Doug Noble John Ritchey’s first experience with the winemaking process took place in the small, eastern European country of Moldova, which is tucked in between the Ukraine and Romania. The Soviet Union had broken up and the government farms and orchards had been divided among its citizens. Ritchey had been sent there by the Peace Corps to help the local citizens with their agriculture issues. Wine grapes were abundant and almost all of the families made their own wine each year. The father of the family he was staying with was no different. “He loaded the macerated grapes into an old, warn, rickety basket press and then from his car retrieved a bottle jack that he used to press the skins down,” said Ritchey. “That was the beginning of my journey into the winemaking business.” When he returned to the United States, Ritchey found a job working in a winery’s tasting room. One day they asked him if he wanted to help with the harvest, and, from that point he was in the wine business. In spite of the fact that everyone in his family had become either a doctor or lawyer, Ritchey took a different track and returned to college to pursue a degree in enology from Fresno State University. One of the projects he was assigned, was to go through the entire wine making process and even come up with a name for his “winery.” He remembered back to Moldova and thought the name Bottle Jack was perfect. A winemaker he was working for at the time tasted what he had made and asked him why he didn’t make some wine to sell, so in 2008 he started doing just that. “We started using custom crush facilities, but when it came time for the 2012 vintage, we 44

had our own winemaking facilities, along with a tasting room, on some family-owned property,” said Ritchey. Ritchey’s large family supports him with the odds and ends of getting the job done such as driving harvest trucks, crushing and fermenting the juice, working the bottling line and pouring wines for their customers. “Our hands are in every step of the process from grape to bottle,” added Ritchey, “in fact I believe I touch every bottle.” Without any grapes of their own Ritchey and his wife, Katharine, who he met in the Peace Corps, went looking for local grapes. Zinfandel grapes are not common in the Santa Cruz area, but they found some from a 20-year old, self-rooted, dry farmed, head trained vineyard by the name of Zayante. Those were the grapes they used to make their award winning wine. “I like zin,” said Ritchey, “and when I tasted the 2012, right away I knew it was gold. We only made 150 cases of it, so when we entered it in this year’s competition it went into the microwinery category. When it won, we were really excited.” The Bottle Jack Winery tasting room is located in Santa Cruz and is open on the third Saturday of each month from noon until 4 p.m. 1

2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

Red Bucket 2012 Barbera Rosé Barnum Vineyard, El Dorado By Doug Noble “We hadn’t planned on specifically buying a vineyard when we went looking for a home and property in the El Dorado County foothills,” said Christopher Barnum, co-owner of Barnum Vineyards, “but, it was one of many things we were considering.” When he found 70 acres with a home and 18 acres of mature barbera vines, he took a serious look. It penciled out, so he put together a group, including his brother Peter and good friend from the Army, Sean Castanzo, and in January of 2012 bought it. Barnum grew up on the east coast of the United States, where he attended the University of Maryland, majoring in structural engineering. At the same time he took other classes in chemical engineering, soils engineering, plant biology and, after college, even turf management. He and his wife, Natasha, lived in the Washington D.C. area and moved from there to San Francisco. “I did a lot of work in the Sacramento area, and was exposed to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada,” continued Barnum, “that’s when we started looking for foothill property.” The vineyard they purchased was planted in 1970 and is locally referred to as the “Richie Vineyard.” For many years it was leased by Boeger Vineyards in Placerville, and their barbera wines were phenomenal.

“We don’t have any hobby money,” exclaimed Barnum, “it is a pay-as-you-go operation. We have a lot of family involvement and we want to be sure we can afford something when we do it. So, only then did we go looking for something with winery facilities.” The northern eight acres of grapes and the winemaking facilities at Granite Springs Winery, in the Fair Play area of El Dorado County, was for sale and in 2014 they bought it. With the help and guidance of winemaker and nearby winery owner, Ruggero Mastroserio, they started making their own wine. They entered the 2012 Red Bucket Barbera and the 2012 Red Bucket Rosé in this year’s California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition. Because of its limited production, the rosé was placed in the Microwinery category while the barbera remained in the regular category.

Sell some and use some was their final decision. They selected Miraflores Winery, and their outstanding winemaker Marco Capelli, to make one barbera and one barbera rosé for them.

“We knew that the rosé was something special while it was being made,” said Barnum, and after it was bottled, no matter how much it was chilled, the floral nose still lept out of your glass making you anxious for a taste. It is bone dry, but people still ask about the ‘sweetness’ brought about by the wonderful fruit.”

Barnum purchased a number or red buckets for the picking and enlisted the help of a lot of family, including his and Natasha’s two young boys, Theodore and Eli. It was the red buckets that gave them the idea to have the Red Bucket name for their wine.

Barnam Vineyard presently has no tasting room. Wine can be ordered from the Red Bucket webpage, redbucketwine.com. 1

Barnum hired well known, local grape grower and vineyard manager, Bill Naylor, and under his guidance improved the vines. “I wanted to do all the work,” said Barnum, “so Bill is both a teacher and manager.” As the grapes ripened in 2012, they had to decide what to do with them: sell them or use them.

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 45


OFFICIAL CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR CHEF

Keith Breedlove

The California Exposition and State Fair is committed to celebrating and promoting California’s agricultural bounty. Farm to Fork is now a common term but is especially touted in our home base of Sacramento. This year the Fair was proud to welcome it’s firstever Official California State Fair Chef, Keith Breedlove. Chef Keith gives a face and an enthusiastic voice to the recent renaissance of fresh food at the Fair, both to the media and to Fair guests. There is no question to anyone who knows him that Chef Keith is passionate about what he is doing here. He states, “It is imperative that the bounty of fruit, vegetables and nuts grown in California are showcased at the State Fair. The State Fair champions excellence in the state and no one does fresh produce like California!” Right in the heart of the California State Fair’s three-acre, award-winning demonstration farm is The Grill, a full kitchen demonstration theatre where Chef Keith brings the agricultural education full-circle by demonstrating delicious and approachable dishes to a wide cross-section of cultures and socioeconomic audiences at the Fair. Because beautiful, fresh produce is literally at his fingertips, he is able to demonstrate the direct connection that people have with the source of their food.

Chef Keith is the Owner and Chef of Culinerdy Cruzer food truck and catering, the Official California State Fair Chef, host of Culinerdy Kitchen segment on Fox 40 and an ACF Certified Executive Chef. He is a 25-year veteran Chef of hotels and restaurants including Newark Fremont Hilton, Doubletree Modesto, Nordstrom Café Bistro and Corporate Chef for Guy Fieri. TV appearances have included: Cutthroat Kitchen, Guy’s Grocery Games, FYI’s Man vs. Child, FYI’s Food Factory/Night Shift, Spike TV’s Bar Rescue and Guy’s Big Backyard Bite.

The California State Fair looks forward to further developing and promoting the Official California State Fair Chef program. In 2016 look for recipes which highlight the Best of Show winners from California State Fair’s acclaimed commercial Wine, Beer, Olive Oil and Cheese competitions to inspire consumer confidence at the shelf and in their own home kitchen. Follow Chef Keith at nerdytruck.com.

CHILLED CANTALOUPE AND CARDAMOM SOUP 2 Cantaloupes, (roughly 3 cups packed) 2 limes, juiced 2 oranges, juiced 1/2 cup coconut water Pinch sea salt Pinch cardamom 2 to 3 TBL sugar, as needed 1/4 cup D’Oliva brand Extra Virgin Olive oil

GARNISH:

DIRECTIONS: On a flat clean surface split the melon in half. Scoop out and discard all the seeds. Using a spoon remove the flesh and put it into a plastic bag. Once all flesh is in the bag (be careful not to scrape the rind), sprinkle the salt and 1 TBL of the sugar over it. Close the bag ad shake to coat. Set in refrigerator while you gather the rest of the items. In a blender, add the fruit, juices and cardamom. Blend until smooth. Use the coconut water to adjust the thickness of the soup. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, taste. Adjust flavor with salt and sugar to your taste. Once well blended, pour into a bowl and chill for at least an hour. TO SERVE: Spoon into a bowl. Garnish with the sunflower seeds and a few drops of the oil.

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2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

www.

.com

© 2014

2 TBL shelled sunflower seeds 1 TBL D’Oliva brand Extra Virgin Olive oil

/flipflopwines

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 47


BEST OF CALIFORNIA COMMERCIAL CHEESE The California Commercial Cheese Competition celebrates the hard work, craftsmanship and unique character of California Cheese. California Originals, those cheeses made without following old world recipes, as well as family recipes handed down for generations, are welcome to enter the competition.

Proud purveyors of California’s Finest Wine, Spirits, and Beer

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CELEBRATES THE 2015 CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR

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www.winewarehouse.com

2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA

With the introduction of numerous artisan cheesemakers over the last decade raising goats, sheep and water buffalo, many cheeses are being made primarily by hand in small batches, keeping with tradition. Innovation and excellent cheese-making techniques are the key to the success of these cheesemakers. California’s vast dairy industry, now the largest in the country, supplies milk to cheese producers throughout the state. Approximately 44 percent of California’s milk goes to make California cheese. These cheese companies and their skilled cheesemakers continue to impress with the quality and consistency of their products. This year, twelve esteemed judges tasted 168 cheeses and were delighted with the outcome. They awarded 35 Gold, 43 Silver and 50 Bronze ribbons as well as eleven Best of Division plaques. Two Best of Show trophies are awarded each year. One for the cow milk cheese category and one for the "Other Udder" category which was a goat milk cheese this year. JUDGES Kristi Bachman, Program Director and Cheese Buyer, The Cheese School Rebekah Baker, Corporate Cheese Buyer, Nugget Market Darrell Corti, Sacramento Grocer, Food & Wine Guru, Corti Brothers Sheana Davis, Owner, The Epicurean Connection Mary Dedrick, Owner Dedrick's Main Street Cheese Lynn Devereux, Marketing Director Marin French Cheese, Laura Chenel Chevre Kiri Fisher, Owner, The Cheese School Jenny Knotts, Managing Director of Cheese Box, Wally's Wine & Spirits Sacha Laurin, Head Cheesemaker, Educator, Winters Cheese Company Roxanne O'Brien, Educator/Chef, American River College Jana Werner, Assistant Buyer, The Pasta Shop Les Wood, Retired Inspector, Department of Food and Agriculture

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AGRICULTURALIST OF THE YEAR

BEST OF SHOW & BEST OF DIVISION CHEESE CALIFORNIA DAIRIES NEUFCHATEL CHEESE

SOFT CHEESE COW

HARD CHEESE COW

VALLEY FORD CHEESE COMPANY ESTERO GOLD RESERVE

Charles D. “Chuck” Ahlem PENNYROYAL FARM BOONT CORNERS RESERVE

californiadairies.com (209) 202-4781 Best of Division

pennyroyalfarm.com (707) 895-2410

valleyfordcheeseco.com (707) 293-5636

Best of Show Best of Division

Best of Show Best of Division

CULTERED CHEESE COW

AGRICULTURALIST OF THE YEAR AWARD

HARD CHEESE GOAT

SEMI-HARD CHEESE SHEEP

SEMI-HARD CHEESE COW

DAIRY STAR KEFIR

BARINAGA RANCH BASERRI

FISCALINI BANDAGE WRAPPED CHEDDAR

saputousafoodservice.com (559) 686-2876

barinagaranch.com (415) 663-8870

fiscalinicheese.com (209) 545-5495

Best of Division

Best of Division

Best of Division

MARIN FRENCH CHEESE PETITE SUPREME

COWGIRL CREAMERY RED HAWK

CYPRESS GROVE CHEVRE HUMBOLDT FOG MINI

marinfrenchcheese.com (707) 996-4477

cowgirlcreamery.com (866) 433-7834

cypressgrovechevre.com (707) 825-1100

Best of Division

Best of Division

Best of Division

CRYSTAL LOW FAT crystalcreamery.com (209) 576-2309 Best of Division

2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

Chuck Ahlem is owner of Charles Ahlem Ranch in Turlock and a partner in several other ranches. He started the Ahlem Ranch dairy in 1975 with only 100 cows and has grown the business to 4,000 milking cows. He is also a founding co-owner of Hilmar Cheese Company, a global processor and supplier of cheese, whey protein and lactose. Hilmar produces more than 2.4 million pounds of cheese per day and accepts milk from 231 California dairies and 32 Texas dairies. Hilmar produces more cheese annually than any other facility in the world. Ahlem is also a founding partner in Jerseyland Sires and served as Undersecretary of California Department of Food and Agriculture from 2004 - 2005. He serves in a number of leadership roles throughout the State including: Board member of the California Dairy Council; member of the California Milk Manufacturing Board; and as an advisory member of the California Animal Health and Food Safety Board; member of the Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo Dean’s Ag Advisory Committee; Member, UC California President’s Advisory Committee on Ag and Natural resources; Board Member of, Sustainable Conservation, California Dairy Research Foundation.

SOFT CHEESE GOAT

COTTAGE CHEESE COW

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SEMI-SOFT CHEESE GOAT

CALIFORNIA ORIGINALS COW

SEMI-SOFT CHEESE COW

The Agriculturalist of the Year Award is presented to an individual who has contributed extensively, in a professional capacity, to California’s agricultural industry.

CYPRESS GROVE CHEVRE PURPLE HAZE

Past positions of leadership have included serving as dairy industry representative on the State Board of Food and Agriculture; Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board; and California Agriculture in the Classroom. 1

cypressgrovechevre.com (707) 825-1100 Best of Division

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 51


BEST OF SHOW CHEESE - COW

GOLD CHEESE WINNERS Cottage Cheese

Semi-Soft Cheese

Semi-Hard Cheese

Hard Cheese

CRYSTAL

COWGIRL CREAMERY

BARINAGA RANCH

DI STEFANO CHEESE

LOW FAT - COW Best of Division

Cultered Cheese DAIRY STAR KEFIR - COW Best of Division

Soft Cheese CALIFORNIA DAIRIES

NEUFCHATEL CHEESE - COW Best of Division

COWGIRL CREAMERY INVERNESS - COW

MT TAM - COW

CYPRESS GROVE CHEVRE HUMBOLDT FOG MINI - GOAT Best of Division

MONTEREY JACK - COW

JOSEPH FARMS CHEESE

BANDAGE WRAPPED CHEDDAR - COW Best of Division

MOZZARELLA, WHOLE MILK COW MOZZARELLA, PART SKIM COW

MARIN FRENCH CHEESE TRIPLE CREME BRIE - COW

PURPLE HAZE - GOAT Best of Division

Best of Division

LAURA CHENEL'S

PETITE CREME - COW

LAURA CHENEL'S

MARIN FRENCH CHEESE MARIN FRENCH CHEESE

PINEAPPLE LOG - GOAT

TRIPLE CREME BRIE WITH TRUFFLES - COW

NICASIO VALLEY CHEESE COMPANY

POINT REYES FARMSTEAD

FOGGY MORNING - COW

NICASIO VALLEY CHEESE COMPANY

NICASIO SQUARE - COW

BEAR FLAG BRAND/ VELLA CHEESE COMPANY

JOSEPH FARMS CHEESE

MARIN FRENCH CHEESE CYPRESS GROVE CHEVRE PETITE SUPREME - COW

HONEY FLAVORED LOG - GOAT

BASERRI - SHEEP Best of Division

FISCALINI

KAROUN

HISPANIC - COW

CACIOCAVALLO - COW

PEDROZO DAIRY AND CHEESE COMPANY

BLACK BUTTE RESERVE - COW

PENNYROYAL FARM

BOONT CORNERS RESERVE GOAT Best of Show, Best of Division

VALLEY FORD CHEESE COMPANY

PETALUMA GOLD

ESTERO GOLD RESERVE - COW Best of Show, Best of Division

WHITE CHEDDAR - COW

California Originals

POINT REYES FARM STEAD

COWGIRL CREAMERY

TOMA - COW

RED HAWK - COW Best of Division

SIERRA NEVADA CHEESE COMPANY

FISCALINI

GRAZIERS RAW MEDIUM CHEDDAR - COW

ORIGINAL BLUE - COW

QUESO DEL VALLE

PANELA CHEESE - COW

LIONZA - COW

FISCALINI

SAN JOAQUIN GOLD - COW

NICASIO VALLEY CHEESE COMPANY

SAN GERONIMO - COW

QUESO SALAZAR

Estero Gold Reserve

MOZZARELLA - COW

Valley Ford Cheese Company By Kem Pence

Karen Bianchi-Moreda and Joe Moreda are the mother/son team that created this year’s Best of Show Cheese in the cow milk division. Their Valley Ford Cheese Company, Estero Gold Reserve took top honors at the State Fair Cheese Competition this May. Fourth and fifth generation members of the family that has owned Mountain View Jersey Dairy since 1918, the pair has created Valley Ford Cheese through dedication, education and hard work. In 2008, after working for the family dairy for years, Karen took classes in cheese making and decided to follow her dream to produce cheese like the one her grandparents always had on the sideboard served with a glass of ice cold milk or a nice red wine. She came up with her signature cheese, Estero Gold, after months of trial and error. Joe graduated from Cal Poly in 2010 with a Dairy Science degree and a minor in Agricultural Business. After graduation, he turned down offers to join the corporate dairy world preferring to come home and join the family business. He has taken over plant management responsibilities and is now Head Cheesemaker. Estero Gold Reserve, the Italian Montasio style cheese produced at Valley Ford, is made from raw Jersey milk and aged at least sixteen months. This is the same cheese as the Estero Gold, only aged longer. As the cheese ages, it develops a stronger flavor, a harder and dryer texture and sweet flavors of fruit that are similar to a parmesan style cheese. It also develops little granular “crunchies” known as crystals. The “crunchies” are formed from the amino acid tyrosine, common in high protein, extra-aged cheeses. The cheese is brine salted and the ageing room is carefully monitored for correct temperature and humidity.

2015

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2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

The Bianchi family continues the tradition of raising and milking Jersey cows as their family has been doing since 1918. The family has kept the cattle as a “closed herd” - no other breeds being introduced and no cross-breeding - keeping them pure-bred. This helps create herd immunity and lowers disease risks.

Karen Bianchi-Moreda

The Jersey cow is very versatile adapting to hot climates and locally grown foods. The Bianchi’s cows have unlimited access to pasture. They are fed in barns where the doors are kept open so cows can come and go as they please. The Bianchi’s value the Jerseys for the high fat and protein content in their milk, earning them high accolades from consumers and gold medals at the California State Fair. Karen Bianchi-Moreda says that having their dairy certified under the Certified Humane program is important because it provides consumers with the assurance that they are buying a humanely raised product. “It’s a total education towards the consumer,” Karen explained. Sacha Laurin, cheesemaker and educator and cheese judge at this year’s competition commented, “Delicious aroma, fruit, butterscotch. Crumbly, beautiful yellow. Complex, bright. Fabulous cheese. Lovely looking rind – congratulations! This is a winner!” Rebecca Baker, specialty cheese buyer at Nugget Market, and competition judge agreed. “Caramel, musty, nutty. Nice texture and crystallization. Beautiful rose/copper color to the paste. Complex aroma and flavor with a refreshing texture that was both semi-firm and crystaly”. 1

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 53


BEST BEST OF OF SHOW SHOW CHEESE CHEESE -- GOAT GOAT

Boont Corners Reserve Pennyroyal Farms

By Kem Pence Boont Corners Reserve is a small aged wheel of cheese made with raw goat’s and sheep’s milk in spring and summer. In the fall, only goat’s milk is used. Goats produce milk for only ten months of the year and sheep for five. The time off helps the animals stay healthy. The taste of the milk also varies with the seasonal changes of the pasture grasses. Pennyroyal Farms allows its goats and sheep to pasture on wild grasses and pennyroyal mint across the entire 100-acre farmstead. ©2015 Trinchero Family Estates, St. Helena, CA

Sharing a passion for farming, owner Sarah Cahn Bennett and cheesemaker Erika Scharfen combined their interests and skills in viticulture and cheese making to create Pennyroyal Farms. Sarah and Erika met in college and both earned their masters degrees from U.C. Davis. Goats have been in residence on Sarah’s family’s Navarro Vineyards, Boonville Farm, for half a decade and sheep for over a quarter of a century. Sarah led the charge to create an innovative farm based on many of the sustainable farming techniques developed at Navarro Vineyards. Erika is a herd co-owner and has been a cheesemaker in France and California. She produces small quantities of handmade cheese to international quality standards.

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

Pennyroyal makes “Farmstead” cheese which is different from artisan cheese. All the milk comes from their farm. The creamery is just steps away from where the goats are milked every morning and evening. The goats are hand or machine milked with a gentle vacuum suction, then the milk is gently rolled over a path to the creamery. The milk is gravity fed from tanks; never pumped, piped or poured. Gentle handling of the milk eliminates any processing break down and oxidation of the fragile fatty acids, ensuring the quality and flavor of the cheese. Everyone at Pennyroyal is on a first name basis with every goat on the property. Every goat has a name and is treated like family. The herd is a carefully selected blend of Alpine, Nubian, La Mancha, Saanens and Oberhasli. They produce an average of a gallon of milk a day for eight to ten months. The sheep are a blend of East Friesian and Lacaune. They are more difficult to

milk, and produce less so their milk is prized. The Boont Corners Reserve is aged the longest of the three Boont Corners vintages produced. The curds are cut and stirred to encourage removal of moisture and then scooped into large molds for pressing to remove more whey. The wheels get a brine bath and are transferred to pine shelves in a cold, humid room to age. The cheese develops captivating aromas and flavors of roasted nuts, brown butter, custard and damp cave. The cheese resembles a good pecorino with a hard, dry crumbly texture with trademark hints of buttery oil. The flavor is salty, rich and nutty, with caramel, lanolin and grassy notes. Local food and wine guru Darrell Corti, Chief Judge at this year’s competition said, “A ‘Grana’ type cheese. Nicely aged, aromatic, fruity, delicious.” Mary Dedrick of Dedrick’s Main Street Cheese, another of this year’s judges commented, “Amazing, Delicious, Great Job!” 1

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 55


BEST OF CALIFORNIA EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

©2014 LangeTwins Winery and Vineyards, Acampo, CA | POS# 3-7005026800-13

As of January 2015, there were more than 35,000 acres planted in California for the production of extra virgin olive oil with more than 400 growers and producers accounting for more than 75 olive oil varieties.

It is estimated that in 2013-2014 California produced more than 3.5 million gallons of extra virgin olive oil. (Source: California Olive Oil Council)

JammY and Indulgent Juicy, fresh and easy drinking A LUSCIOUS WINE

with VIVID PERSONALITY

A blend of Old Vine Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon grown in Lodi by the LangeTwins family. Enjoy!

2

This year, the California State Fair introduced its inaugural Extra Virgin Olive Oil competition, exclusively for California producers. Distinguished judges and experts analyzed and evaluted the best olive oils from the Golden State. This year, 13 judges awarded 24 Gold, 35 Silver and 19 Bronze ribbons as well as eleven Best of Division plaques. Two best of show trophies are awarded each year. One for Best of Show Extra Virgin Olive Oil and one for Best of Show Flavored Olive Oil.

CAR ICATUR EWINE.COM FACEBOOK .COM/CAR ICATUR EW INE

Crafted by Tradition. Inspired by Life. CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR WINE COMPETITION

89 POINTS

2013 CHARDONNAY

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL JUDGES Julie Menge Mary Bolton Tim Ossun Thom Curry Alexandra Devarenne Deborah Rogers Laurie Schuler-Flynn Franco Dunn Robyn Taylor Louie Gonzalez Yannis Toutounzis Michael Laukert Glenn Weddel

88 POINTS

2013 CABERNET SAUVIGNON

95 POINTS

BEST OF CLASS 2013 MALBEC

95 POINTS

2013 PINOT NOIR

90 POINTS

2014 PINOT GRIGIO

©2015 HANDCRAFT ARTISAN COLLECTION, MANTECA, CA 95336 ALCOHOL 13.0%— 14.5% BY VOLUME

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BEST OF SHOW & BEST OF DIVISION EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL SINGLE VARIETY DELICATE

CHILI-BASED FLAVORED OLIVE OIL

THE OLIVE PRESS SEVILLANO EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

SCIABICA’S JALAPEÑO

theolivepress.com (707) 939-8900

GOLD EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL WINNERS DELICATE SINGLE VARIETY SEVILLANO THE OLIVE PRESS, SEVILLANO EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL Best of Show, Best of Division

MEDIUM SINGLE VARIETY - MISSION OILS OF PAICINES, ORGANIC EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL Best of Division

sunshineinabottle.com (209) 577-5067

MEDIUM SINGLE VARIETY ANY OTHER CULTIVAR COBRAM ESTATE, ULTRA PREMIUM PICUAL

Best of Show Best of Division

Best of Show Best of Division

MEDIUM SINGLE VARIETY ASCOLANO MOONSHADOW GROVE, ASCOLANO

ROBUST SINGLE VARIETY ANY OTHER CULTIVAR BOZZANO OLIVE RANCH, ORGANIC CORATINA

SINGLE VARIETY MEDIUM

CITRUS FLAVORED OLIVE OIL

OILS OF PAICINES ORGANIC EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

THE OLIVE PRESS BLOOD ORANGE OLIVE OIL

oilsofpaicines.com (831) 389-4263

theolivepress.com (707) 939-8900

Best of Division

Best of Division

ROBUST SINGLE VARIETY - MISSION COBRAM ESTATE, ULTRA PREMIUM MISSION

▲ Commercial Extra Virgin Olive Oil judging

▼ 2015 California State Fair Extra Virgin Olive Oil Exhibit

DELICATE BLEND ANY OTHER CULTIVAR BUCKEYE CREEK, FRANTOIO Best of Division

DELICATE BLEND - KORONEIKI GALLO FAMILY, EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

MEDIUM BLEND - ANY OTHER CULTIVAR APOLLO OLIVE OIL, MISTRAL Best of Division

MEDIUM BLEND - ASCOLANO BOZZANO OLIVE RANCH, A2

MEDIUM BLEND - ANY OTHER CULTIVAR AZUL Y ORO, ESTATE EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

BLEND DELICATE

BLEND ROBUST

BUCKEYE CREEK FRANTOIO

TERNERO FARMS PICUAL

buckeyecreekfarm.com (530) 724-0447

ternerooliveoil.com (916) 208-3334

Best of Division

Best of Division

MEDIUM BLEND - ANY OTHER CULTIVAR D'OLIVA OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

MEDIUM BLEND - ANY OTHER CULTIVAR OLIVE LEAF HILLS, TUSCAN BLEND

ROBUST BLEND - ANY OTHER CULTIVAR TERNERO FARMS, PICUAL Best of Division

ROBUST BLEND - ANY OTHER CULTIVAR DRY CREEK OLIVE COMPANY, ALTA MESA BLEND

ROBUST BLEND - ANY OTHER CULTIVAR KATZ FARM, ESTATE GROWN ORGANIC CHEF'S PICK

ROBUST BLEND - ANY OTHER CULTIVAR APOLLO OLIVE OIL, SIERRA

BLEND MEDIUM

APOLLO OLIVE OIL MISTRAL apollooliveoil.com (877) 776-0703 Best of Division

CHILI-BASED FLAVORED OIL

“ California agriculture has an enviable reputation for high-quality products sought by consumers here and around the world, including ‘California grown’ olive oil.” said California Department of Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross. “I am excited that the California State Fair has added olive oil to its well established roster of commercial competitions that find “the best” of wine, cheese and beer in our Golden State each year.”

SCIABICA'S, JALAPENO Best of Division, Best of Show - Flavored

CITRUS FLAVORED OIL THE OLIVE PRESS, BLOOD ORANGE OLIVE OIL Best of Division

CITRUS FLAVORED OIL MOONSHADOW GROVE, MANDARIN ORANGE

CITRUS FLAVORED OIL THE OLIVE PRESS, LIMONATO OLIVE OIL

CITRUS FLAVORED OIL THE OLIVE PRESS, LIME OLIVE OIL

HERBAL FLAVORED OIL SCIABICA'S, BASIL

– Karen Ross, California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary

ANY OTHER FLAVORED OIL ENZO OLIVE OIL, GARLIC INFUSED EVOO

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2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 59


BEST OF SHOW EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL - SINGLE VARIETY

BEST OF SHOW EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL - FLAVORED

Daniel Sciabica, Nick Sciabica, Joseph Sciabica (Grandfather) and Jonathan Sciabica.

Jalapeño Flavored Olive Oil Sciabica’s

By Orietta Gianjorio

Single Varietal Sevillano The Olive Press

By Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne, Head Judge It is delightfully appropriate that the Best of Show Extra Virgin Olive Oil award at the inaugural California State Fair Olive Oil Competition went to a uniquely Californian olive oil: the single varietal Sevillano made by venerable Sonoma County institution The Olive Press. Famously large in size, the Spanish variety Sevillano is one of California’s traditional table olive varieties, best known to most people lurking in the bottom of a martini. But as some of California’s olive oil producers have discovered, despite its meager oil content, this olive makes a distinctive and delicious olive oil. The aroma of The Olive Press Sevillano is intense, dominated by sharp herbaceous notes. In addition to the green aromas, there is a riper fruity note of peaches. On the palate, the oil is soft and sweet, with lots of floral character and more of the stone fruit notes and nutty flavors that linger on the finish with only the barest hint of pepper in the throat. The mixture of bright greens in the nose and round ripe flavors in the mouth makes this a complex and intriguing extra virgin olive oil. 60

Great olive oil starts with great olives, harvested at the precise right moment. The Olive Press sourced the fruit from a single estate in the heart of California’s northern table olive country near Corning. Harvest was on November 11—on the late side for this variety, resulting in the complex ripe fruit character of the oil. Careful extraction using a two-phase mill with a hammer grinder was followed by conservation of the oil under nitrogen. According to marketing manager Amy Popplewell, “We don’t rush through it and we never take on so much that any olives are sitting around or we’re trying to process too much at one time. That way we can make sure everything is done properly and with the highest attention to detail.” This attention to quality and detail shows in this extraordinary extra virgin olive oil. You can taste the award-winning Sevillano and other oils at The Olive Press retail locations in Sonoma and Napa. 1

2015 BEST OF CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE

When I moved from Rome to Sacramento seven years ago, I immediately started working as a sommelier for Miraflores Winery, a breathtaking place in the Sierra Foothills. Exactly in this heavenly place, I first tasted Sciabica olive oil. I was helping the general manager, Matricia Haigood, create an olive oil tasting bar where consumers could not only taste the different and wonderful California extra virgin olive oils, but they could also get educated about high quality olive oil and the health benefits of a good product. Eventually, Sciabica olive oil caught my attention for the colorful label and the Italian sounding name. I soon discovered that there is so much more to the Sciabica family than that. Originally from Sicily, the Sciabica family has been farming in Modesto since 1925. Nicola (Nick) and Fedele Sciabica, where looking for a warm climate location that reminded them of their sunny homeland. They first arrived in the United Sates in the winter of 1911 landing in Waterbury, Connecticut and then in the summer of 1920 they moved to San Francisco. Winter in Connecticut and summer in San Francisco were equally as cold for the Scibica family. And not only for them, if we believe the quotation attributed to Mark Twain: “The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco”. So, as it often goes for us Italians, because “la famiglia” (family) is the most important value, when the company opened, in 1936, it was named Nick Sciabica & Sons. The original Nick (Nicola) Sciabica was the Grandfather and the Sons were Joseph and his brother Vincent. Today, the Sciabica’s are at the third and fourth generation with Nick and his son Jonathan as well as Daniel and his daughter Christa. As is the story for many Italian immigrants, the beginnings were not easy for Nick Sciabica & Sons. The Great Depression almost made their dream vanish. It was through the kindness of competitors, the Oberti Family, who co-signed for a bank loan, that made necessary funding available and set them on the road to success. Since then, Nick Sciabica & Sons have grown gradually over the years slowly installing state of the art equipment and adding new buildings and facilities. But if you think this is a men’s business, think again. “Mamma” Gemma Sciabica is the co-owner of Nick Sciabica & Sons and has been actively involved with promoting the

use of extra virgin olive oil in all aspects of food preparation for many years. She selfpublished 5 cookbooks sharing her secrets to using olive oil in every recipe. Today, the Sciabica brand produces extra virgin olive oil as well as several infused olive oils. All the flavors you can imagine, from Basil to Rosemary, from Lemon to Garlic and from Blood Orange to the best of show winner of this year’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil State Fair Competition: Jalapeño. The Jalapeño flavored oil is definitely a full flavored spicy olive oil! Drizzle it over steamed or sautéed vegetables and you will understand what I mean. The State Fair award, in my opinion, couldn’t have gone to a better recipient. And here is why: many of you may not be aware that the Sciabica’s olive oil (Marsala Brand) won the last three gold medals issued during the California State Fair Olive Oil Competition in 1959, 1960 and 1961. This year, the Olive Oil Competition was reinstituted after a 54-year hiatus and the Scibica family won again. Last and first. Don’t tell me it is not heart warming. I may be soft hearted, one who likes a story with a happy ending, one who tears up during a romantic movie, but I have to admit, it feels good to have rewarded a family that was able to live the American dream and produce a good olive oil for so many years. In fact, one of the oldest olive oil producers in California. 1

COMPLETE COMPETITION RESULTS AT CAStateFair.org 61


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The success of the California State Fair competitions would not be possible without the hundreds of volunteers that give their time, experience and energy to help select the best that California has to offer. Thank you for your generous support.

THE SUN MAY RISE IN THE EAST, BUT IT GETS BOTTLED IN THE WEST. BRIGHTEN UP YOUR NEXT OCCASION.

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BEST OF CALIFORNIA CRAFT BEER

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In California, 570 breweries produce approximately 3.5 million barrels of craft beer, more than any other state. California also has 12 of the top 50 largest craft breweries by volume in the country. (Source: California Craft Brewers Association).

In early June, 100 judges and 34 stewards presided over the California Commercial Craft Brew Competition. 163 California breweries submitted 1,086 entries that were judged in 29 specific categories of craft beer. JUDGES Lisa Agoitia Shane Aldrich Elan Alford Darrell Amerine Jj Anderson Rob Archie Andrew Armstrong Alan Atkinson Tom Baldwin Jeff Barber Donna Bettencourt Liza Bodistow Dwight Bradish David Brattstrom Rael Briggs Jay Brooks Ricky Burnett Mike Carey Thomas Castillo Scott Chaffee Jason Chavez Steve Christian Brian Cofresi Bryan Crass Calvin Crawford Tom Dalldorf Greg Davison Erin Dendorfer Amber Dibernardo Rich Dickson Chris Dooley Tim Dozier Jared Durgen Todd Emr

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Anna Marie Ferris Glen Franke Ryan Fry Quinn Gardner Kenny Gowan Jim Gowan Ryan Graham Clay Grosskopf Amy Gutierrez Jim Harte Robert Horst Daniel Houts Bill Hudson Lance Huravitch Michael Johnson Denise Jones Tom Karvonen Paul Keefer Chris Keeton William Kenney Rob Kent Andy Klein Todd Leber Anthony Lemaster Chuck Lockhart Beverly Lockhart David Long Kevin Malia Jerry Mankoski Lynn Mayugba Mark Mecord Mike Moore Michael Mraz Patrick Mulvaney Manuel Mussen

Thomas Nunes Sean O’brien Therese Olsen Mike Peasley Richard Perry Jeri Petersen Daniel Petrie Jess Poshepny Vallery Michael Raines Brent Sahm Dave Sapsis Jose Savedra Peter Schiller Jr Jan Schutze Dan Scott Geoff Scott Jim Shevlin Gary Sleppy Cary Smith Mason Starbird Thomas Stull William Tarchala David Teckam Jeff Temple Bud Tourville Pete Wang John Watson Roger Watson Jason Williamson Peter Wisham Richard Wong Peter York Mark Zahn

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BABE'S BARBQUE & BREWHOUSE

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BELGIAN STRONG ALE

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SUDWERK BREWING COMPANY

Please enjoy our ciders responsibly. ©2015 Crispin Cider Company, Colfax, CA

HIGH WATER BREWING

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INDIA PALE ALE (IPA) SCULPIN

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Fat Hog

Ritual Brewing Co. By Mike Moore

Ritual Brewing Co. has won Best of Show overall at the California State Fair Commercial Beer Competition with their Fat Hog Barleywine Ale. Brewers throughout California entered more than 1,000 of their best beers into this competition – one of the premier commercial beer competitions on the West Coast. To walk away with a medal, and to rise to the top overall prize, is a notable accomplishment.

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Ritual’s Fat Hog, weighing in at 11.6% ABV, boasts a dense, fruity bouquet and intense flavor palate with a thick body and reddish-brown color. This Barleywine’s big maltiness is superbly balanced by a wonderfully intense, bittersweet hoppiness. Already aged at the brewery, this brew arrives on the scene for immediate enjoyment or can be laid down to rest in order to develop additional complex flavor notes. As Ritual Brewing Co. continues their expansion into the regional market, more and more Southern Californians are learning about this premiere brewery. This summer, look for Ritual’s release of FUNNER session IPA and Single Rye IPA featuring a rotating selection of single

The brewery recently released its third annual release of Fat Hog and there is still limited availability in 22 oz. bottles and on tap throughout most of Southern California. To locate a pint or bottle of Fat Hog, see a retailer of fine beer near you or simply ask your favorite store, pub or restaurant. About Ritual Brewing Co. Open since 2012 under the leadership of founder/brewers Steve Dunkerken and Owen Williams, Ritual Brewing Co. has established a strong reputation as one of Southern California’s favorite craft breweries. In addition to brewing, Ritual features a friendly neighborhood Tap Room in Redlands, which has quickly become one of the top local beer destinations in the Inland Empire. Ritual’s diverse lineup includes Monk’s Lunch (Belgian Single), Wit’s End (Witbier), Extra Red (American Red) Hop-O-Matic (IPA), Hellion (Belgian Strong Golden), Single Rye IPA (Single Hop Series) and Big Deluxe (Imperial Oat Stout). 1

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BREWERY BEST OF SHOW OF THE CRAFT YEARBEER

I N TR O D U C I N G T H E N E W

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Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse For the oldest brewery in the Coachella Valley, winning the Brewery of the Year honors at the 2015 California State Fair was pure shock, followed by sheer excitement! Established in 2002, Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse is Coachella Valley’s oldest craft micro-brewery. What makes Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse such a unique brewery is its custom JV Northwest 10 bbl. brew system with hand-hammered, aged copper exterior, four fermenters and five serving tanks. A monstrous functioning malt silo stands tall next to the restaurant’s entrance and holds 15,000 lbs. of malt. Locals choose Babe’s as their favorite, all-season hangout for dinner and a movie or shopping, happy hour and for their Monday Beer Appreciation Day. The barbeque secret is in their smoking process, unlike many that rely on heavy sauces or rubs. It’s one reason they’ve won Palm Springs Life’s “Best of the Best” bar-b-que restaurant six times in a row (and still counting)! Their founder and mentor knew what he liked: sweet, fresh, made-from-scratch, chef-created and taste-tested with his personal stamp on it. Everything on the menu reflects Don Callender’s philosophy of good taste that people crave. Try the Baby Back Ribs, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Boneless Beef Short Ribs, Callender’s Skillet Cornbread and fresh pies and shortcake, made daily in their kitchen. Complement the meal with one an ice-cold, award-winning micro brew, perfect with any entree or by themselves. Their newest and greatest accomplishment is winning the Brewery of the Year for the 70

California State Fair Commercial Craft Beer competition. Each brewery got to choose six beers to enter into the competition. Then as the beers were judged, those that placed in the top three earned points and an honorable mentioned was used if there was a tie. The honorable mention was key in Babe’s win this year, and their honorable mention put them on top of the competition. This was a great accomplishment and reaffirmed their reign as not only the Coachella Valley’s best microbrewery but now as the California Brewery of the Year.

GOOD FRIENDS NEVER ARRIVE EMPTY HANDED.

Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse won a gold medal this year with their Babe’s Belgian Vanilla, silver for Babe’s Blackfin Lager. If visiting the Coachella Valley, stop in for a pint of their award winning beers. 1

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©2015 Kendall-Jackson Winery, Santa Rosa, CA

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