Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Livermore Valley 2019 Uncorked Competition Results

The Livermore Valley has long been a premier wine region since the mid-1800s. Vintners recognized the region’s climate and terroir as suitable for grape growing. In fact a Livermore Valley wine was the winner in of America’s first Gold Medal for Wine in the 1889 Paris Exposition. To honor this great winemaking and grape growing heritage, the Tri-Valley Conservancy has sponsored “Livermore Valley Uncorked”, an annual wine competition that is open only to wines made from grapes grown in the Livermore Valley.

Every year the Tri-Valley Conservancy hosts the Livermore Valley Uncorked Wine Competition.  This competition has gained popularity and earned the respect of wine industry professionals, specialty wine shop and restaurant owners, retail distributors and consumers. A select group of judges do the final judging of the wines selecting the Best of the Best.

The winners for 2019 are:

Best of Show, Best White and Best Other Dry White

  • Las Positas Vineyards, 2018 Verdelho

Best Rose

  • Garre Vineyard & Winery, 2018 Rosato di Sangiovese

Best Red & Best Red Blend

  • Stony Ridge, 2016 Trifecta

Best Barrel-Fermented Chardonnay

  • Fenestra Winery, 2017 Chardonnay

Best Other Red Varieties

  • Steven Kent Winery, 2017 Amphora

Best Merlot, Malbec or Petite Verdon

  • Cuda Ridge Wines, 2016 Petite Verdot

Best Zinfandel

  • Stony Ridge, 2015 Stone Patch

Best Cabernet Sauvignon ($40 or less)

  • Page Mill, 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon

Best Cabernet Sauvignon (over $40)

  • Cuda Ridge Wines, 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

Best Petite Sirah

  • Stony Ridge, 2016 Petite Sirah

About the Tri-Valley Conservancy

In 1900 the valley was home to over 5,000 acres of vineyards and over 50 wineries. Prohibition hit the Livermore Valley wine industry drastically as the vineyards dwindled to only 1,500 acres and only six wineries. As the Bay Area was growing in the end of the 20th century and the California wine industry was expanding, many in Livermore were afraid that the valuable agricultural heritage would be lost by the expansive growth of housing. A group of people and politicians in the Tri-Valley area gathered together to develop the South Livermore Valley Area Plan to provide strong economic incentives and equitable development regulations to promote investment in viticulture and ensure that development limits be placed on agricultural lands.

Following adoption of the Plan in 1994 the South Livermore Valley Agricultural Trust (now the Tri-Valley Conservancy) to protect and steward the land within the plan. The Tri-Valley Conservancy has a mission to permanently protect the fertile soils, rangelands, open space and biological resources, and to support a viable agricultural economy in the Tri Valley area. This mission involves both acquisitions to working with willing landowners to preserve their land in the tri-valley area and through stewardship to consult with property owners about their easement.

Celebrating 15 Years of Wine, Food & Fun at Lodi Lake - ZinFest!

Celebrate the 15th annual ZinFest Wine Festival with a weekend full of fabulous Lodi wine, food, and entertainment. Events run May 17 through May 19, with the Grand Tasting taking place from noon to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, at Lodi Lake Park. Additional weekend activities include a blind tasting of old vine Zinfandel wines and Vintner’s Grille on Friday, May 17, as well as Cellar Tours on Sunday, May 19. More than 4,000 wine lovers are expected to attend this year’s weekend activities.

New this year is the ability to purchase an early entrance admission ticket to Saturday’s Grand Tasting. Guests can beat the crowds and enter one hour early at 12:00 noon where they will be granted the exclusive opportunity to taste reserve wines not made available to the general public. The early entrance admission tickets are limited to only 500 and are expected to sell out. 

Although Zinfandel can certainly be considered Lodi’s heritage grape, ZinFest offers so much more. At Saturday’s Grand Tasting, at least 200 wines from more than 40 Lodi wineries will be poured. From Iberian varietals like Albariño and Tempranillo to Rhône Valley stunners like Picpoul Blanc and Grenache, there are wines for every palate. 

Serious oenophiles and anyone wanting to learn more should not miss the ZinFest Wine School which will feature a new presentation at the top of the hour starting at 1:30 p.m. Class schedule is as follows:

1:30-2:15 p.m. | Blind Tasting 101 – What to look for when evaluating wine featuring Randy Caparoso (lodiwine.com)

A great introduction to the “art” of tasting wines — and identifying and delineating the sensory qualities of different varietal types — led by 40-year wine professional and award-winning journalist, Randy Caparoso.

2:30-3:15 p.m. | Six Grapes to Know featuring Catherine Fallis, MS (Grape Goddess and author, Ten Grapes to Know)

A presentation on the six varieties every wine lover should know. Wines include:

  • Pinot Gris – Anaya Family Vineyards 
  • Sauvignon Blanc – Oak Farm Vineyards Estate 
  • Viognier – Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards 
  • Sangiovese – Sorelle Winery 
  • Syrah – Fields Family Wines 
  • Cabernet Sauvignon – Michael David Winery 

3:30-4:15 p.m. | One Grape to Know featuring Catherine Fallis, MS (Grape Goddess and author, Ten Grapes to Know)

A presentation on old vine Zinfandel. Wines include:

  • Jessie’s Grove Winery Royal Tee Vineyard Zinfandel (planted 1889)
  • St. Amant Winery Marian’s Vineyard Zinfandel (planted 1901)
  • Tizona by Bokisch Vineyards Suess Vineyard Zinfandel (planted 1920s)
  • Michael Klouda Wines 1902 Block Zinfandel (planted 1902)
  • Harney Lane Winery Scottsdale Vineyard Zinfandel (planted 1900s)
  • Turley Wine Cellars Kirschenmann Vineyard Zinfandel (planted 1915)

All ZinFest attendees can increase their food and wine pairing knowledge during the ZinFest Barbecue Experience, headlined by Chef Chad Rosenthal of Food Network. Chef Rosenthal is the owner of acclaimed restaurants, such as The Lucky Well in Philadelphia, and winner of multiple barbeque competitions. Chef Rosenthal will offer tips and summer grilling favorites paired with some of Lodi’s best wines in three 45-minute demonstrations that are sure to make anyone the star of their next tailgate or backyard party.

In addition to the wine and barbecue schools, guests can enjoy gourmet food from local restaurants, live music, and unique merchandise from artisan purveyors, such as local olive oils and reclaimed wine barrel furniture.

ZinFest tickets can be purchased online at ZinFest.com or by calling the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center at 209.365.0621. Early entrance admission tickets cost $75 and are not available at the gate. General admission tickets cost $55 per person in advance and $65 the day of the event. Designated driver tickets (no wine tasting) are also available at $25 per person for early entrance and $20 in advance for general admission. Tickets include a ZinFest wine glass, wine tasting, and participation in all seminars and entertainment. All attendees must be 21 years of age or older, including designated drivers. 


The ZinFest Wine Festival is the pride of the Lodi Appellation’s winegrowers and vintners and is California’s premier wine festival. On an annual basis, the festival contributes more than $10,000 in support of local service groups and schools as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in economic impact to the local community. This would not be possible without the generous support of the festival’s sponsors. This year’s sponsors include, among others: 

  • Vintner’s Grille Presenting Sponsor: Vintage Crop Insurance Agency, Inc.
  • Ancient Vine: American AgCredit, Made in the Shade Tent Rentals, Vino Farms, LLC
  • ZinFest Music Lounge: Rescue Dog Wines
  • Heritage Vine: American Medical Response, Cottage Bakery, DSW Ag, Inc., Farmers & Merchants Bank, Irrigation Design & Construction, Inc., Lodi District Grape Growers Association, Watermark Labels

About Lodi Wine Country

Located 40 miles south of Sacramento and 90 miles east of San Francisco, the Lodi wine region benefits from a classic Mediterranean climate of warm days and cool evenings. A historic winegrowing region since the 1850s, Lodi cultivates more than 100 diverse winegrape varieties. From Iberian varietals like Tempranillo and Albariño to classic Rhône varietals such as Grenache and Cinsault, Lodi offers wines for even the most discerning palate.

The region also serves as home to 85 boutique wineries specializing in small-lot, handmade wines that have garnered major awards at domestic and international wine competitions. In 2015, Lodi was awarded the prestigious Wine Star Award for “Wine Region of the Year” from Wine Enthusiast Magazine. The recent increase in critic and consumer attention paid to Lodi-designate wines has fueled an astronomical growth in demand for Lodi wines, as well as tourism to the wine region. 

Lodi is a leader when it comes to sustainable viticulture. Created in 2005, LODI RULES™ is California’s first 3rd-party-certified sustainable winegrowing program and has received significant recognition over the years, having been awarded the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) in 2006 and again in 2014. For more information about the Lodi wine region, visit lodiwine.com and lodigrowers.com.