Saturday, January 14, 2012

Santa Clara Valley wineries shine at the SF Chronicle Wine Competition

The Santa Clara Valley appellation consists of 21 wineries concentrated mostly in the southern end of the valley.  But this small collection of wineries scored big at the recent 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, with 13 wineries taking home a collection of 84 medals including 3 Best of Class, 3 Double Golds and 10 Gold medals.  In addition, several wineries outside of Santa Clara Valley won awards using Santa Clara Valley grapes.

Santa Clara Valley is a wine appellation with a long history of wine making and was one of the first premium wine production regions in California.  But during the last few decades the “Valley of the Heart’s Delight” has achieved a premium reputation in the non-wine industries and only recently have wine lovers seen this region achieve a resurgence in winemaking.  Many small boutique wineries have sprung up over the last 10-20 years concentrating on small handcrafted wines that reflect the terroir of this region. 

The 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition is the largest competition of American wines and this year included a record breaking 5,600 entries from 1,379 wineries from more than 25 states, judged by 65 prominent wine judges.  The competition is always fierce and as the number of entries grow, it becomes tougher.

Best of Class awards for Santa Clara Valley winemakers went to Martin Ranch Winery for their 2008 Therese Vineyards Syrah, Kirigin Cellars for their 2010 Estate Malvasia Bianca, and J Lohr Vineyards & Wines for their 2009 Los Osos Merlot.  Double Gold medals were won by Jason-Stephens Winery for their 2008 Estate Zinfandel, and Martin Ranch Winery picked up two Double Golds, one for the 2007 Estate Therese Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon and 2009 Therese Vineyards Dos Ninas Vineyard Malbec. 

Other award winners for Santa Clara Valley wineries are:
  • Castillo’s Hillside Shire Winery– picked up numerous awards including a Gold for the 2009 Estate Port-style dessert wine, two Silvers for the 2009 Zinfandel and 2008 Petite Sirah, and three Bronze medals for the 2008 Estate Sangiovese, 2009 Petite Sirah and 2008 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Creekview Vineyards– went home with three Silver medals for the 2010 Arroyo Seco Sauvignon Blanc, 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel and 2009 Syrah
  • Fortino Winery– captured three Silver medals for the California Pomegranate Fruit Wine, 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2008 Charbono
  • Guglielmo Winery– won two Silver medals for the 2008 Barbera and 2008 Charbono, and two Bronze medals for the 2008 Sangiovese and 2008 Estate Zinfandel
  • J Lohr Vineyards & Wines – in addition to the Best of Class Merlot, they also got Gold medals for the 2009 South Ridge Syrah and 2008 Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon and three Silvers for the 2010 Carol’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, 2009 Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon and 2008 Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Jason-Stephens Winery– came home with a truckload of 15 awards including the Double Gold for the 2008 Zinfandel, Gold for the 2008 Estate Syrah, eight Silvers for 2006 Monte Bello Road Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008 Monte Bello Road Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 Estate Select Chardonnay, 2007 Estate Rhone Blend, 2007 Estate Merlot, 2007 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and 2007 Estate Meritage.  Plus they earned five Bronze medals for the 2010 Estate Chardonnay, 2007 Estate Syrah, 2007 Estate Select Syrah, 2008 Estate Merlot and 2008 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Kirigin Cellars– besides the Best of Class Malvasia Bianca, two Silver medals for the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2008 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, plus four Bronze medals for the 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, 2009 Zinfandel, 2008 Estate Pinot Noir and NV Estate Red blend
  • Martin Ranch Winery– the top honors for the Best of Class Syrah and two Double Gold medals Cab and Malbec, plus Gold for the 2009 Therese Vineyards Carignane, and JD Hurley 2008 Merlot plus Silver for both the 2010 JD Hurley Sauvignon Blanc and 2009 JD Hurley Zinfandel
  • Sarah’s Vineyard– won a Gold medal for the 2010 Santa Cruz Chardonnay, six Silver medals for the 2009 Central Coast Chardonnay, 2010 Central Coast Chardonnay, 2010 Estate Chardonnay, 2010 Estate Pinot Noir, 2009 Estate Cote de Madone Rhone Blend and 2008 Charbono, plus three Bronze medals for the 2010 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir, 2007 Merlot and 2010 Central Coast Pinot Noir
  • Satori Cellars– got two Golds for the 2009 Merlot of the Violet Flame and 2009 Estate Joyous Reserve Bordeaux Blend, two Silvers for the 2009 Estate Zen-Zin, 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon of the Blue Hand and Bronze for the 2009 Estate Oh So Zin  
  • Solis Winery– captured a Gold medal for the 2009 Seducente, Silver for the 2007 Reserve Cara Mia Bordeaux Blend, and three Bronze medals for the 2010 Estate Chardonnay, 2009 Estate Sangiovese and 2007 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Storrs Winery– picked up two Silver medals for the 2008 Central Coast Zinfandel and the 2009 Late Harvest Reserve Zinfandel
  • Sycamore Creek Vineyards & Winery– won four Silver awards for the 2009 Merlot, 2008 Estate Uvas Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 Estate Flagship Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2008 Mosaico Bordeaux blend, plus two Bronze for the 2009 Zinfandel and 2008 Petite Sirah
  • Travieso Winery– earned a Silver for the 2009 El Chupacabras Red Wine
The public is invited to the Public Tasting to be held at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco on Saturday, February 18th at 2 – 5 p.m.
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