Winners of the California State Fair Wine Competition were announced Thursday following a mammoth amount of sipping that involved more than 2,600 wines - and wineries from the Sacramento region ranked among the top honorees.
Judges awarded gold medals to 218 wines, while 977 wines scored silver and 652 nabbed bronze - a total of 1,847 medals. Judging was held over two and a half days last week at Cal Expo.
Sacramento region wineries fared well in the winners pool. Heringer Estates of Clarksburg won a double gold for its late harvest chardonnay, while Jeff Runquist Wines of Plymouth, a perennial State Fair winner, earned gold medals for its barbera and grenache.
Macchia Winery of Acampo, which sources its grapes from Lodi and Amador county, earned five gold medals plus a double gold for its 2011 Linsteadt Vineyard zinfandel. Lodi's Michael-David Winery scored three golds, including "best of class of region" for its 2010 petit verdot.
Wines that cost $15 and under - a sweet spot for price- conscious consumers - also earned accolades. Boeger Winery of El Dorado County scored a gold medal for its $15 bottle of 2009 sangiovese. Lodi's Harlow Ridge won a gold for its 2011 chardonnay, which costs $6.99. Cabana Wines of Lodi earned double gold for a 2012 sauvignon blanc that costs $8.99.
The amount of State Fair entries was down slightly from 2012. This year, 2,625 wines were submitted for the competition, compared with 2,890 in 2012.
The number of judges remained consistent from 2012 to 2013, with 72 judges over 18 panels. However, the 2013 group was a slightly more rigorous bunch. Seventy percent of wines earned a medal this year compared with 75 percent in 2012.
The percentage of gold medals awarded to wines was nearly identical over the past two years. Approximately 12 percent of wines earned gold in both 2012 and 2013.
Best of California awards and Best of Show wine winners will be announced at 10 a.m. June 25 on the west steps of the state Capitol. Golden State Winery of the Year will also be announced at this event.
The public can taste these winning wines at Cal Expo on Aug. 22 at the Grape & Gourmet event, which includes food from popular local restaurants. The event costs $40 in advance or two tickets for $60. Tickets on the day of event cost $50 each.
For more information: (916) 263-3636.