Hello, Hello, Hello!

WOW!!! I’m hardly ever short on words, but right now I’m struggling to find any that can convey what an awesomely incredible time Kathy and I had last week in Sonoma. I had the professional experience of a lifetime judging the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competiion, but I’m not sure I had as much fun as our Grape Creek wines.
Once again GCV wines overachieved, bringing back 12 medals. Our 2013 Cabernet Trois won Double Gold (meaning all 3 judges scored it Gold), and the ’13 Serendipity and Merlot reeled in Gold medals as well.

We garnered 7 Silver medals, including our ’13 Mosaic, Bellissimo, Petite Sirah, and Rendezvous, and the ’14 pinot Grigio, Cuvee Blanc, and Muscat Canelli . Two of my favorites, the ’13 Cabernet/Syrah and ’14 Riesling brought back Bronze.

Next week, I’ll talk about the mechanics of the competition, how the judging works, and how the wines are scored. Today, however, I want to write about the competition itself.
The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (SFCWC) is the largest, most prestigious American wine event in the country. This year there were 7162 entries from at least 28 states, crushing last year’s record of 6417. Entries were divided into 100+ categories, and I was one of over 60 judges from around the country assigned the daunting task of scoring them. In 3 days, my panel judged over 300 wines.

The best medal winners from this event (including our Cab Trois, Serendipity, and Merlot) will be featured at a public tasting in San Francisco on Saturday, February 13. Tickets and more info (along with a complete list of medal winners) can be found at www.winejudging.com.

The proceeds from the competition and public tasting support wine and food education at educational institutions across the country.

Here, I have to mention and extend the biggest THANK YOU possible to the Directors of the SFCWC, Bob and his son Scott Fraser. They are organizational geniuses. If there was a glitch, there was no microscope powerful enough to find it! Their hospitality and gracious warmth, not to mention the confidence they placed in me, is beyond words.

During the Sweepstakes Round, which takes place on the fourth and final day of the event,  we choose the best of the best. There are 79 wines in front of me, and I have about an hour and a half to select the best white, red, rose, sweet, and sparkling wine. Holy Guacamole!