Friday, July 22, 2011

2011 California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition

I'm not certain where to find the results, but examiner posts by Steve Ferree show winners in two areas close by.

Santa Cruz Mountains

Bargetto Winery

I've never been. I'll have to put this on my must hit list.

Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards

This is a fun, down to earth winery with some nice wine.

Kathryn Kennedy Winery

Unfortunately, this winery is not open to the public, but the wine is readily available. The Estate Cabernet and the Small Lot Cabernet are wonderful. I wish I enjoyed them more often. It takes a very special occasion for me to splurge for the Estate Cabernet, given its $100+ price tag, like a good friend's 55th birthday. Pick up a Small Lot Cab as well and a good time will be had by all comparing, contrasting, and enjoying them both.

The Lateral has never done much for me. I don't recall ever trying any of the other varietals.

Kings Mountain Vineyards

Unfortunately, this winery is not open to the public. I'll have to try to find some to taste.

Loma Prieta Winery

A beautiful winery, with very nice grounds, including a bocce court, and a stunning view. It's a great place to have lunch. The wines have been hit or miss, depending on the year. The 2008 Viognier was an absolute hit, especially with many of the wives, but the 2009 was not.

Martin Ranch Winery

I've never been. I'll have to put this on my must hit list.

Sonnet Wine Cellars

Unfortunately, this winery is not open to the public. I'll have to try to find some to taste.

Storrs Winery

When I asked Bruce Cass, a great teacher of Fundamentals of Taste & Smell, what his favorite Santa Cruz Mountains winery was, he replied Storrs. While it's not my favorite, it is very nice. They have a huge number of wines that are all very good and priced lower than expected. They are very generous when it comes to allowing groups to group their purchases to get a maximum discount and will even include your wine club bottles in the count up for a case discount. Some wineries are major pains when it comes to this. Storr's attitude was friendly and refreshing. What is not to like about this place?

Thomas Fogerty Winery

Fogerty has a fantastic view. It's a beautiful place to get married. I have had two friends get married there, one of which even invited me. Their wine is good, but a little overpriced. While the fantastic view is available for events, the tasting room really doesn't have that good of a view. They frequently throw great events for their wine club members. They are isolated from other wineries, so it's hard to plan a trip and include them, unless you are interested in only going to one winery. *gasp*

Villa del Monte Winery

This winery is run by two very nice guys who make and sell some good wine. One of them turns out to be a glass blowing partner of a good friend. It's a small world.

Woodside Vineyards

I've never been. I'll have to put this on my must hit list. It's not generally open regular hours, and so harder to get to.

Sones Cellars

A hole in the wall wineries that producing some surprisingly great wine that is priced well.

Livermore Valley

I'm embarrassed to say that while Livermore is about as close as many of the other wineries I've visited, I've never been. In fact, I've wondered if they could be any good at all. I guess I can stop wondering.

There are at least 43 wineries in the area. I'll have to plan a trip starting from the narrowed down list of this year's 12 winners. It'll take at least 3 trips just to hit those 12, let alone the other 31. The beauty of the pursuit of good wine is that it's a lifelong goal. The good news is, I have plenty of time.