The Central Coast Wine Competition announced the award-winning wines from its 16th-annual blind-tasting event, held in June at the California Mid-State Fair. Wines were considered for Double Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals as well as Best In Class awards.
Of the more than 700 wine entries, a record number, nearly 150 Gold Medals were awarded to wineries located in the Central Coast counties of Alameda, San Mateo, Contra Costa, San Benito, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.
The judging took place at Estrella Hall at the California Mid-State Fair over two days. On the first day, the 18 judges blind tasted more than 700 wines, rating and then voting on which should be awarded a Gold Medal and Best in Class honor. The following day, the 43 Best in Class wines were blind tasted and awarded best Red, White, Rosé, Sparkling, Dessert, and Best in Show.
Alara Cellars won Best in Show with their 2017 Grenache Blanc, sourced from San Benito County. The honor came after judges awarded it a Double Gold Medal and deemed it both Best in Class for Grenache Blanc and overall Best White Wine. Alara’s win marks the first time a Grenache Blanc—a variety that has become a fixture of Central Coast wine—has ever won Best in Show in the competition’s 16-year history. Nine different Grenache Blanc entries were considered in this year’s event.
Cass Vineyard & Winery won The Best Red Wine with their 2016 Mourvèdre. The Paso Robles winery also won a Gold Medal and was awarded Best in Class for the same wine.
Opolo Vineyards‘ 2017 Rosé won the award for Best Pink Wine. The Rosé from the Paso Robles winery also won a Gold Medal and was awarded Best in Class for the “Any Rosé Blends” category.
Best Sparkling Wine was awarded to Laetitia Vineyard & Winery’s 2015 Brut Rosé. The same bubbles from the Arroyo Grande winery also claimed a Gold Medal and won Best in Class in the Méthode Champenoise category.
Best Dessert Wine was awarded to Glunz Family Winery’s Mission Angelica. The wine from the Paso Robles winery also won a Gold Medal and was awarded Best in Class in the Fortified Wine category. This is the second year in a row that Mission Angelica was awarded Best Dessert Wine.