Promote your wines at the El Dorado County Fair Open Wine Competition

by admin / Apr 21, 2015 / 0 comments
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By: Suzanne Wright

2015-04-21, 05:49:51 Placerville, CA

Swirl…sniff…taste…these are some of the basics we learn when enjoying the fruits of our region in liquid form. Yet there is so much more to award winning wine, and entering the El Dorado County Fair Open Wine Competition gives wineries the opportunity to compete with their peers—and go for the gold.

Wine competition is serious business. The staff at El Dorado County Fair continually refine the competition and strive to be unique. Some ways we are unique include the order of the flights; they are set up based on residual sugar. Ample judges are invited so their palates won’t get overtired, then we judge sweepstakes refreshed after a two-hour lunch. Each panel consists of a judge from each industry: Educator (winemaker, enologist, professor – Are there flaws?), Media (print, blogs, radio, TV – Would I want to talk about this wine?), Wine Sales (Restaurant, Retail, etc. – Would I want to sell this wine?). No one affiliated with a winery will ever judge his or her own wine. The judges keep their individual score sheets (with their notes) and receive the results the next day so they can link their notes to the wines they especially love, and wish to purchase or praise (depending on their industry).

We also recognize the importance of little details: the glasses—washed only with hot water; the staff—no scented products allowed; the tasting areas—divided for maximum privacy; the bottles and glasses—numbered and the list kept secret. In addition, Jody Gray, CEO of El Dorado County Fair shares, “Ours is probably the least expensive competition around; we keep the cost low, so that wineries can make entering an easy choice. Our goal is to promote the wine.”

Back Room Gold Awards are also unique to this competition. The 30+ back room staff who pour for the judges choose their favorite Red, White or Zinfandel in a blind tasting—your typical customers—which makes this, in effect, a People’s Choice Award.

New awards this year—Winemaking: Best of Lodi, Best of Amador and Best of El Dorado. These special awards are offered for the best wine produced and bottled by a winery in these three areas. We also have longstanding awards including Best Rhone, Barbera and Earth Friendly to name a few.

In partnership with the Media Windfall Group, over 20,000 copies of the results program will be published and distributed throughout El Dorado County, Amador County and the Lodi area. We keep hearing that this is not just the hottest competition in Sierra Foothills and Lodi, but also the hottest little competition in Northern California. And boy, are we proud…

To enter El Dorado County Fair’s Open Wine Competition, get your application, entry form and mailing labels at Don’t delay – wine entries are due by May 8th. If you would like to get an invitation in the mail or by email, send your address and email address to or call the fair office at 530.621.5860.