Great grapes! South County wineries win

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South County wineries made us proud in the 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, bringing home brag-worthy scores amid the record-setting 5,050 entries from 23 states.

Judging for the SFCWC – recognized as the largest competition of American wines in the world – began Jan. 2 in Cloverdale. Results were released Friday morning.

“I believe this is the kind of endorsement our local wineries much-deserve, have worked hard for and finally we are getting recognized for,” wrote Kirigin Cellars owner Dhruv Khanna in an email Saturday.

Mike Wasserman, supervisor for Santa Clara County District 1, also gave local winemakers a congratulatory shout-out Saturday via email.

“South County’s winning formula: Great land + great grapes + great people = great wine!” he wrote.

Located on Watsonville Road, Jason-Stephens Winery garnered the most awards of South County wineries with a tally of 15. This is up by eight from last year, winemaker Jason Goelz noted.

“All of our submitted wines received an award with the exception of our Rose,” he wrote in a press release.

Out of roughly 100 entries to receive “Best of Class” awards, two of them come from the Garlic Capital. One is Kirigin Cellar’s 2010 Estate Malvasia Bianca, which costs $17.90 and is described on Kirigin’s website as slightly sweet with a “flowery, grapey aroma.”

The other is a syrah from Therese Vineyards on Martin Ranch, located along Redwood Retreat Road in Gilroy. Martin Ranch’s website describes the syrah as possessing “classic syrah grape characteristics with a bouquet of black currant and slight anise. The palate shows pepper, cinnamon and truffle, with a finish kissed by tannins and clove. Best with lamb or pork.” The bottle sells for $26.95.

About the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

The SFCWC was founded in 1983 as the Cloverdale Citrus Fair Wine Competition, and was later renamed the SFCWC after broadening its base. Entries rapidly rose from 3,800 wines entered in 2007 to a staggering 4,913 entries from all across the country in 2010, according to Today, 60 prestigious experts within the media, trade, hospitality and education industries from around the country join together to judge these wines each year.

Awards doled to South County wineries

Note: A “double gold” means a unanimous gold, voted by a five-member judging panel.

Castillos Hillside Shire Winery in Morgan Hill: Five bronze; two silver; one gold medal

Creekview Vineyards in San Martin: Three silver medals

Fortino Winery in Gilroy: Three silver medals

Guglielmo Winery in Morgan Hill: Two bronze; two silver medals

Jason-Stephens Winery in Gilroy: Five bronze; eight silver; one gold gold; one double gold medal

JD Hurley (a label of Martin Ranch Winery) in Gilroy: Three silver; one gold medal

Kirigin Cellars in Gilroy: Four bronze; two silver medals. *Best of class: 2010 Estate Malvasia Bianca

Martin Ranch Winery in Gilroy: *Best of class: 2008 Therese Vineyards Syrah

Sarah’s Vineyard in Gilroy: Three bronze; six silver; one gold medal

Satori Cellars in San Martin: One bronze; two silver; two gold medals

Solis Winery in Gilroy: Three bronze; one silver; one gold medal

Sycamore Creek Vineyards and Winery in Morgan Hill: Two bronze; four silver medals

Therese Vineyards (a label of Martin Ranch Winery): One gold; two double gold medals

To view the complete list of medal winners, click here.


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