TEMECULA, Calif. – A Canadian white wine, a New York dessert wine, a Sonoma County Petite Sirah, a sparkling Muscat and a Sangiovese Rose from Temecula earned the five top sweepstakes awards at the 29th Riverside International Wine Competition, which concluded Friday.
The awards continue a tradition of the Riverside event recognizing fabulous wines from non-traditional grapes and regions, and that includes the special winery awards to wineries that establish a strong presence each year at the event.
The RIWC’s Winery of the Year trophy was a tie between one of the West Coast’s northernmost wineries and one of the most southernmost.
One winery was Chateau Ste. Michelle, which won 19 top awards including four gold medals and 15 silver medals. The other was South Coast Winery, which earned five gold medals (three of then unanimous) as well as eight silvers.
The Small Winery of the Year trophy was awarded to Reustle-Prayer Rock Winery in Umpqua Valley, Oregon. The Reustle wines earned nine silver-or-better medals of its 10 entries. The Terroir Trophy for best regional showing went to JoieFarm in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada.
The JoieFarm “A Noble Blend,” inspired by the Alsace, won the award for best white wine, and it was the second year in a row that a Canadian wine won the white wine sweepstakes award at RIWC.
The best red wine of the show was a 2008 Petite Sirah from Christopher Creek in Sonoma County; the best pink trophy went to Callaway Winery in Temecula, and the best dessert wine was from Casa Larga, a Vidal Ice Wine that is annually one of the finest such wines in the world.
Forty-three judges from around the United States, mainly wine makers, wine journalists, and wine merchants, evaluated 1,923 wines over a three-day period, and many of the wines were evaluated using an experimental system that included regional identification.
Complete results may be found at www.RiversideWineCompetition.com. All winning wineries may print out shelf talkers, table tents, and much more on the web site.