El Dorado wines win in Amador

By From page B1 | July 25, 2014

El Dorado Wins in Amador

After more than 40 years, the Amador County Fair commercial wine competition has evolved to become the showcase for Sierra Foothill American Viticultural Area wines.

For the second year in a row a Mourvedre from Amador County was awarded Best of Show, from Morse Wines in 2014.

By the end of the day of judging 378 medals were awarded in a single blind, Danish system of judging. The swirl of pale gold and ruby red wines, emanating the heavenly scents of berries, spices and fruits, filled the better part of a day during judging.

Some of the best wines in California are made from grapes grown in what the wine industry refers to as the Sierra Foothill AVA. This 170 mile long and 12-mile wide swath of farmland starts in northern Yuba County and runs through the foothills ending in Mariposa County to the south. The area is blessed with a Mediterranean climate and shallow mountain soils that stress the vines, giving moderate to low yields of high quality grapes.

That those grapes produce such high quality wines is no surprise to the local wine lovers who are familiar with the Sierra Foothill Wineries. Statistically with only 1 percent of the state’s annual crush by volume, the Sierra Foothill AVA takes a disproportionately high number of medals at the prestigious wine events including the California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition.


Wine awards

Best of Show
Morse Wines
2011 Mourvedre
Amador County

Best White Wine
Saluti Cellars
NV Viognier
El Dorado County

Best Red Wine
Morse Wines
2011 Mourvedre
Amador County

Best Dessert Wine
Legendre Cellars
2013 Impetuous
Amador County

Best Blush Wine
Helwig Vineyards & Winery
2013 Rose de Shenandoah
Shenandoah Valley

Best Amador Zinfandel

Drytown Cellars
2011 Zinfandel
Amador County

Best Amador Rhône
Karmere Winery
2013 Viognier
Shenandoah Valley

Best Amador Iberian
Drytown Cellars
2013 Verdelho
Amador County

Best Amador Italian

Fiest Wines
2012 Barbera
Shenandoah Valley


El Dorado County winners

Boeger Winery: 2013 SauvignonBlanc, bronze; 2013 Pinot Gris, silver; 2012 Primitivo, silver; 2012 Zinfandel, 14.5 percent, gold; 2012 Zinfandel, 14.5 percent, gold; 2012 Zinfandel, 14.5 percent, silver; 2011 Barbera, silver; and 2012 Merlot, silver.

C.G. Di Arie Vineyard and Winery: 2009 Barbera, silver and 2009 Petite Sirah, bronze.

Charles B. Mitchell Vineyards: 2011 Merlot, bronze; 2010 Red Bordeaux Blend, silver; 2012 Zinfandel, 14.6 percent, silver; 2012 Zinfandel, 14.6 percent, silver; 2011 Grenach, double gold, Best of Class; 2012 Syrah, gold; 2011 Merlot, bronze; 2012 Cabernet Franc,silver; 2011 Red Bordeaux Blend, silver ; and 2010 Red Bordeaux Blend, silver.

Findleton Estate and Winery: 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, gold; 2013 Viognier, silver; 2013 Chardonnay, bronze; 2012 Barbera, bronze; 2012 Grenache, gold; 2012 Mourvedre, gold; 2011 Syrah, silver; 2012 Red Rhone Blend, gold, Best of Class; NV Red Table Wine, double gold, Best of Class; and 2009 Port Style Wines, bronze.

Gold Hill Vineyard and Brewery: 2012 Viognier, silver; 2012 Chardonnay, silver; 2010 Zinfandel, 14.6 percent, bronze; 2010 Barbera, silver; 2010 Mourvedre, gold; 2009 Merlot, silver; and 2010 Cabernet Franc, gold, Best of Class.

Grace Patriot Wines: 2009 Tempranillo, silver and 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, gold, Best of Class.

Gwinllan Estate Winery: 2010 Zinfandel, 14.5 percent, silver; 2010 Red Rhône Blend, bronze and 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, silver.

Lava Cap Winery: 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, silver; 2012 Viognier, silver; 2012 Chardonnay, gold; 2011 Sangiovese, bronze; 2011 Barbera, bronze; 2010 Petite Sirah, silver; and 2013 Rosé Blend, silver.

Oakstone Winery: 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, bronze; 2013 Pinot Grigio, Best of Class, gold; 2011 Zinfandel, 14.5 percent, bronze; 2012 Barbera, bronze; 2012 Petite Sirah, gold, Best of Class; 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, bronze; 2012 Red Bordeaux Blend, silver; 2012 Malbec, silver; and 2012 Red Dessert, silver.

Obscurity Cellars: 2012 Zinfandel, 14.5 percent, silver; 2012 Charbono, silver; 2012 Alicante Bouschet, bronze; 2012 Carignane, gold, Best of Class; 2012 Petit Verdot, bronze.

Saluti Cellars: NV Viognier, double gold, Best of Class; 2011 Zinfandel 14.6 percent, bronze; 2011 Barbera, gold; 2012 Syrah, silver; and NV Port, bronze.

Shadow Ranch Vineyard and Winery: 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, silver; 2011 Zinfandel 14.6 percent, silver; and NV Red Table Wine, bronze.

Sierra Vista Vineyards and Winery: 2013 Viognier, bronze; 2013 White Rhône Blend, silver; 2012 Chardonnay, double gold, Best of Class; 2009 Syrah, bronze; 2010 Merlot, silver; 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, bronze; and 2013 Varietal Rosé, silver.

Single Leaf Vineyards and Winery: 2011 Barbera, bronze; 2010 Petite Sirah, bronze; NV Red Table Wine, silver; and 2011 Port Style Wines, gold.

Winery by the Creek:2011 Zinfandel, 14.6 percent, silver; 2012 Zinfandel, 14.5 percent, bronze; 2011 Zinfandel, 14.5 percent, silver; 2012 Sangiovese, silver; 2012 Mourvedre, silver; 2011 Syrah, bronze; 2011 Merlot, silver; and 2011 Red Bordeaux Blend, double gold.


Wine tasting

More than 40 of the top winemakers of the 2014 competition will be pouring at the annual Amador County Fair Wine Tasting event, Friday, July 25 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 which include a commemorative goblet and appetizers, served in a relaxed, casual setting. For tickets call 209-245-6921.

For more information on the Amador County Fair wine competition visit For complete judging results go to

Democrat Staff

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