The Santa Clara Valley appellation consists of 21 wineries concentrated mostly in the southern end of the valley. But this small collection of wineries scored big at the recent 2013 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, with 12 wineries taking home a collection of 61 medals including 2 Best of Class, 5 Double Golds, 11 Gold, 28 Silver and 27 Bronze medals. In addition, several wineries outside of Santa Clara Valley won awards using Santa Clara Valley grapes.
Santa Clara Valley is a wine appellation with a long history of wine making and was one of the first premium wine production regions in California. But during the last few decades the “Valley of the Heart’s Delight” has achieved a premium reputation in the non-wine industries and only recently have wine lovers seen this region achieve resurgence in winemaking. Many small boutique wineries have sprung up over the last 10-20 years concentrating on small handcrafted wines that reflect the terroir of this region.
The 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition is the largest competition of American wines and this year included a record breaking 5,600 entries from 1,379 wineries from more than 25 states, judged by 60 prominent wine judges. The competition is always fierce and as the number of entries grow, it becomes tougher.
Best of Class awards for Santa Clara Valley winemakers went to Martin Ranch Winery for their 2008 JD Hurley Cabernet Sauvignon and Fortino Winery for the Maribella Red Table Wine. Satori Cellars picked up two Double Golds for the 2010 Zen-Zin and the 2010 Estate Merlot. Sycamore Creek Vineyards & Winery came in with a Double Gold for the 2010 Flagship Reserve Evolution Bordeaux blend. J Lohr Vineyards & Wines also got two Double Golds for the 2010 Los Oso Merlot and the 2010 Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon.
Other award winners for Santa Clara Valley wineries are:
- Castillo’s Hillside Shire Winery– picked up numerous awards including a Silver for the 2010 Chibec red blend and three Bronze medals for the 2009 Cabernet Franc, 2010 Merlot and 2010 Malbec
- Creekview Vineyards– went home with two Silver medals for the 2011 Arroyo Seco Sauvignon Blanc, 2010 White Sage Vineyards Pinot Noir
- Fortino Winery– in addition to the Best of Class award for the Maribella Red Blend, they captured a Gold for the 2008 Charbono and Silver for the 2010 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
- Guglielmo Winery– won a Bronze for the 2009 Private Reserve Charbono
- J Lohr Vineyards & Wines – in addition to the Double Gold for the 2010 Los Oso Merlot and 2010 Seven Oaks Cab, they also got Gold medals for the 2011 Fog’s Reach Pinot Noir, 2011 Wildflower Valdiguie, 2009 Cuvee St. E Bordeaux Blend, 2009 Cuvee PAU Bordeaux Blend and the 2010 Highlands Bench Pinot Noir, plus to Silvers and three Bronze medals
- Jason-Stephens Winery– came home with a load of 10 awards including Silver medals for the 2008 Cab, 2009 Estate Cab, 2009 Estate Meritage, 2008 Estate Merlot, 2008 Estate Malbec , 2010 Estate Mourvedre and the 2011 Estate Reserve Chardonnay, plus three Bronze medals for the 2009 Petit Verdot, 2009 Cabernet Franc and the 2011 Estate Reserve Chardonnay
- Martin Ranch Winery– the top honors for the Best of Class JD Hurley 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, plus a Gold for the 2009 JD Hurley Merlot, Silver for the JD Hurley Carignane, 2010 JD Hurley Zinfandel, 2010 JD Hurley Griva Riesling and the 2011 Therese Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, plus three Bronze medals for the 2009 Therese Vineyards Dos Ninas Syrah, 2009 Therese Vineyards Lester Family Syrah and the 2008 Therese Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
- Sarah’s Vineyard– won a Gold medal for the 2011 Central Coast Pinot Noir, plus Silver for the 2009 Cote de Madone Rhone Blend, 2011 Estate Pinot Noir, 2011 Estate Cote de Madone Blanc White Blend, 2009 Zinfandel and the 2011 Central Coast Chardonnay, in addition to the Bronze for the 2011 Estate Chardonnay
- Satori Cellars– picked up the two Double Golds for the 2010 Zen-Zin Zinfandel and the 2010 Estate Merlot, and also walked home with Silver for the 2010 Joyous Bordeaux Blend, 2010 Estate Cabernet Franc, 2010 Estate Syrah, 2009 Estate Petite Sirah and Bronze for the 2009 Harmonic Convergence Red Blend and the 2010 Estate Zinfandel
- Solis Winery– captured a Gold medal for the 2009 Estate Merlot, Silver for the 2010 Baciami Rhone Blend and several Bronze medals for the 2010 Estate Zinfandel, 2009 Estate Syrah, 2010 Seducente Italian Blend and the 2010 Estate Sangiovese
- Storrs Winery– picked up a Gold for the 2009 Grenache, Silver for the 2011 Viento Vineyards White Riesling and Bronze medals for the 2010 Viento Vineyard Gewurztraminer, 2007 BXR Bordeaux Blend, 2007 Rusty Ridge Zinfandel, 2008 Christie Vineyard Pinot Noir and the 2009 Pinot Noir
- Sycamore Creek Vineyards & Winery– got a big win with the Double Gold for the 2010 Flagship Reserve Estate Evolution Bordeaux Blend, plus two Bronze medals for the 2010 Flagship Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2010 Malbec
The public is invited to the Public Tasting to be held at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco on Saturday, February 16th at 2 – 5 p.m.
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