On February 18, the city of San Francisco welcomes the 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Public Tasting once again and tickets are still available. If you want to try the wines that were part of the largest competition of American wines in the world, then click here to buy your tickets, and plan on being at Fort Mason between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $65 in advance. You could wait and try to buy tickets at the door for $80, but the event usually sells out so that may not be a good plan.
This wine judging event started back in 1983 as the Cloverdale Citrus Fair Wine Competition. Over the years it has broadened its geographical base of candidates to include all of America, and in 2000 the name was changed to the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Proceeds help support the non-profit Cloverdale Citrus Fair and wine and food education at educational institutions and non-profit organizations.
The 2012 Wine Competition judging took place in early January with over 5600 wines from wineries in 25 states competing. The 60 judges included winemakers, wine trade representatives, wine writers/wine media personnel, wine educators, and culinary or tourism professionals.
Wine Competition Winners
The 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition had 5 Sweepstake winners for wine:
Sparkling Wine: Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, Sonoma CA, 2006 Carneros Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Wine
White Wine: Dr. Konstantin Frank, Hammondsport NY, 2010 Finger Lakes Gewurztraminer Reserve
Pink Wine: Barnard Griffin, Richland WA, 2011 Columbia Valley Rosé of Sangiovese
Red Wine: McGrail Vineyards & Winery, Livermore CA, 2008 Livermore Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Dessert Wine: Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga CA, 2010 Anderson Valley Late Harvest Gewurztraminer
There was also a Label Sweepstake winner, Mutt Lynch Winery in Healdsburg CA, for the label on their 2009 Out of Reach “Muttitage” red wine.
The 5 Sweepstake Winners for wine came from the 110 individual Best of Class Award Winners at the Wine Competition. For some varietals there is only one Best of Class Award given out (such as Petit Verdot, whose Best of Class Award went to Eagle Eye Winery in Napa for their 2008 Petit Verdot). However, for many wines, there are multiple Best of Class Awards given out based on price point. For example, there were eight Pinot Noir awards:
- Up to $19.99 – Lucky Star, Graton CA, 2010 Pinot Noir
- $20.00 to $24.99 – Mark West, Graton CA, 2010 Russian River Pinot Noir
- $25.00 to $29.99 – Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Geyserville CA, 2009 Francis Coppola Reserve Pinot Noir
- $30.00 to $34.99 – Fritz Winery, Cloverdale CA, 2009 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
- $35.00 to $39.99 – MacPhail Family Wines, Healdsburg CA, 2009 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
- $40.00 to $49.99 – Fog Crest Vineyard, Sebastopol CA, 2009 Estate Pinot Noir
- $40.00 to $49.99 – Davis Family Vineyards, Healdsburg CA, 2009 Horseshoe Bend Pinot Noir
- $50.00 and over – Wild Horse Winery and Vineyards, Templeton CA, 2008 Cheval Sauvage Pinot Noir
Public Tasting Event
If you go to the SF Chronicle Wine Competition Public Tasting on February 18, you will be able to sample wines from over 800 wineries at Fort Mason. That’s an eight with two zeros after. So be sure to stay hydrated and don’t skip breakfast that day.
Luckily, the Public Tasting will also have plenty of food tasting opportunities. Regional gourmet website SavorCalifornia.com has arranged for many of its partners to provide and sell their products during the event, including artisan breads, hand crafted cheeses, meats, sauces, and desserts. Staff and students from the California Culinary Academy and the Santa Rosa Junior College Culinary Arts program will be showing off their skills as well.
If you decide to attend the Public Tasting, be sure to plan ahead for your transportation. Caltrans confirmed this morning that the Bay Bridge will be closed in the Westbound direction this weekend from 8 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Tuesday.
For more information about the Public Tasting, or to purchase tickets, click here.
For more information about the winners of the Wine Competition, or to see a complete list of all of the medals awarded, click here.
(no, that’s not a typo above, both Fog Crest Vineyard and Davis Family Vineyard won Best of Class in the same price range of $40.00 to $49.99)