Distinguished wine judges gathered in Mendocino County’s beautiful Anderson Valley to judge the 43rd annual Mendocino County Fair Wine Competition, one of the oldest regional wine competitions in California. This year, there were 174 wine entries from 32 wineries. An impressive number of gold medals were awarded: 37 double golds and 41 gold medals. This year’s judges were Dan Berger, Kathleen Willcox, Ziggy Eschliman, Matt Talbert, Carrie Boyle, Scott Taylor, Thomas “Mac” Gregory, Laura Ness, and Greg Richtarek.
The Best of Show awards are:
Best of Show Sparkling Wine – Boujee (by Rivino Winery) 2018 Estate Blanc de Blancs, Mendocino
Charlie Barra Award / Best of Show White Wine – Rivino Winery 2021 Estate Viognier, Mendocino
Best of Show Rosé Wine – Yokayo 2021 Pinot Noir Rose’, Mendocino
John Parducci Award / Best of Show Red Wine – Foursight Wines 2019 “Paraboll” Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley
Best of Show Dessert – Husch Vineyards 2021 Late Harvest Gewurztraminer, Anderson Valley
Rivino Winery was a big winner at the wine competition with all their entries receiving medals: two Best of Show awards, two double golds, one gold and two silver medals. Yokayo Wine Company also scored well with all their entries scoring gold or better: Best of Show 2019 Pinot Noir Rose’, double gold for both 2020 Barbera and 2020 Zinfandel, and gold for 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon.
Pinot Noir continues to be the big player in the Mendocino County Fair Wine Competition with a total of 30 entries for vintages ranging from 2018—2020. Judges commented that there was a great range of Pinot Noir styles this year, from ragged edge to elegant. Winemakers are having fun with pinot in Mendocino County!
The 2019 Foursight Wines “Paraboll” Pinot Noir won over the judges earning the coveted John Parducci Award for Best of Show Red. Foursight winemaker Joe Webb is making stellar Pinot Noir from their estate vineyards in Anderson Valley. The Foursight Wines 2017 Clone 5 Pinot Noir also won Best of Show Red just three years ago.
The “Other White Varietal” category was clearly one of the judges’ favorites. All the twenty-one entries scored a medal: six double-gold, six gold, and eight silver medals. Varietals ranging from Arneis, Vermentino, Gruner Veltliner, and Pinot Blanc wowed the judges who had this to say, “these wines show the experience and breadth of Mendocino County winemakers”.
Gold medal wines will be poured at the Mendocino County Fair in Boonville, September 23-25, 2022.