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North Coast AVAs including Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, Marin and parts of Solano County.

 



Judging
 
April 2nd & 3rd

2024

Entry Deadline
March 22nd

Early Bird End
March 11th

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Save the Date
Saturday
June 15, 2024
Luther Burbank Center for the Arts

2.  Only Gold Medals + 
Are Published

 

This is a marketing advantage that other competitions don't offer.  We promote ONLY the highest awarded-wines (golds and above), keeping your win exceptional and exclusive.

Achieving top honors carries high prestige and offers a valuable USP for increased retail sales.  Golds are converted into a point score above 90 and all 90+ point wines will get a marketable positive comment from the judging panel.  Small wineries can truly benefit from a gold medal in this contest.  

5 REASONS TO ENTER
1.  Exclusivity
 

This is a regional competition that ONLY rates wines exclusively produced and bottled in Northern California's premier winegrowing region to determine which wines are considered the Best of the Best.  Eligibility includes wines made in these California North Coast AVAs: 

  • Lake County

  • Mendocino County

  • Napa County

  • Sonoma County

  • Marin County

  • Solano County

 ​

This includes any bottled wine labeled with these AVAs as their main source of grapes and whose winery is in California.

5 REASONS

that benefit you to enter

3.  Judges with Influence

 

The best wines draw the best professional wine judges who annually vie for a coveted spot to judge here.  Many are seasoned retailers, distributors, restaurateurs and wine writers with influence.  They know how to promote the wines they enjoy and can help give your wine increased exposure.

4.  Multi-Channel Promotion

 

Public announcement of awards is made in print by The Press Democrat, the North Bay Area's primary source for news and information.  Additional on-going promotion is made in award-winning Spirited trade magazine and other print publications, online, by virtual newsletters and through social media outlets.

5.  Public Tasting

 

Gold medal-winners are invited to pour and have their wines enjoyed at the North Coast Wine & Food  Festival annually organized and hosted by The Press Democrat.  This is a fun-filled day enjoyed by wine enthusiasts near and far who look forward to tasting the Best of the Best wines Northern California has to offer.

Bill Hayes

Please join us in dedicating this years North Coast Wine Challenge to Bill Hayes.

 

The Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge along with its intimate team of judges are saddened by the recent loss of much-loved fellow judge Bill Hayes.

 

Bill was one of the core judges for the past 5 competitions and his expertise, knowledge, experience, and friendliness will be very much missed.

 

Says Daryl Groom Chief Judge “Bill was always top of my list to invite back every year. He had a great palate but more importantly he just got along with everyone. He is a judge you could put on any panel as he loved and appreciated all wines and simply got along with everyone. He was always happy and smiling and at the end of every competition made sure he came and thanked me for having him and how much he enjoyed himself. He was often the last one to leave, always being around and volunteering for any Gold Medal judge offs for Best of Class. He oozed passion, respect, and kindness."

 

The 2024 Competition will be dedicated to Bill. It’s us who thank him for being part of it and for enhancing our lives by who he was.

Alumni Judges

DARYL GROOM

Daryl Groom - Chief Wine Judge

DEBRA DEL FIORENTINO

Debra DelFiorentino Competition Director

Alexandria Sarovich 2023

Alexandria Sarovich Executive Wine Director Little Saint Healdsburg

BARRY HERBST

Barry Herbst Wine Director, Bottle Barn Liquors

Bekah Schloss

Bekah Schloss Wine Wall Supervisor, The Matheson

Bill Hayes

Bill Hayes Wine Category Manager, BevMo! | US West Coast

CHRIS MUNSELL

Chris Munsell Director of Winemaking, E. & J. Gallo Winery

CHRISTOPHER SAWYER

Christopher Sawyer Wine writer and "Sommelier to the Stars"

Berger-Dan-Vineyard

Dan Berger Wine Journalist

Debbie Zachereas

Debbie Zachereas Wine Expert, International Wine Judge

ERIK OLSEN

Erik Olsen Chief Winemaker, Constellation Wines

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan Director of Global Key Accounts at Jackson Family Wines

Heidi Barrett

Heidi Barrett Winemaker, Barrett & Barrett Wines | Napa Valley, CA

Jennifer Kelly

Jennifer Kelly President, Sales and Marketing Luxury Wine Partners

Jesse Katz

Jesse Katz Winemaker, Aperture and Devil Vineyards

Kerry Damskey

Kerry Damskey Winemaker, Consultant, Owner- Ter-ior Artisan Wines

Kimberly Charles

Kimberly Noelle Charles, DipWSET President & Founder, Charles Communications Associates San Francisco

Kris Anderson

Kris Ronald Anderson Wine Buyer Wilibees Wines & Spirits

LARRY VAN AALST

Larry Van Aalst Radio Host of "The Sonoma Wine Report", Sommelier, Equus Restaurant

Lee Morse

Lee Morse Assistant Winemaker Flowers Winery

LINDA MURPHY

Linda Murphy Contributing Writer, Sonoma Magazine

DR. LIZ THATCH

Dr. Elizabeth "Liz" Thach, MW, Professor of Wine,  Professor of Management, Author,

Michael Beaulac

Michael Beaulac Director of Winemaking, , Foley Family Wines

MICK SCHROETER

Mick Schroeter Winemaking Director, Sonoma-Cutrer

NICK GOLDSCHMIDT

Nick Goldschmidt Winemaker and Consultant, Goldschmidt Vineyards

Paul Coker

Paul Coker Director of Beverage Montage Resort Healdsburg.

PEG MELNIK

Peg Melnik Wine Critic & Wine Blogger

Scot Covington

Scot Covington Winemaker, Trione Vineyards and Winery, Geyserville, CA

Tim Bell

Tim Bell Winemaker, Dry Creek Vineyard

Traci Dutton

Traci Dutton Sommelier, Manager - Public Beverages/Wine Studies, CIA

ZIGGY ESCHLIMAN

Ziggy Eschliman Radio & TV Personality, Wine Blogger

Laura Ness

Laura Ness Food and Wine Writer

COREY BECK

Corey Beck Director of Winemaking, Francis Ford Coppola Winery

SPRETI VALENTE

Spreti Valente Certified Sommelier - Wine Buyer - Professional Wine Judge, Consultant & Educator

Ellen Landis

Ellen Landis CS, CSW

Elsie Wolfe

Elsie Wolfe Senior Buyer on the Adult Beverages team at Target

Philip Levesque

Philip Levesque Wine Consultant Oakville Grocery, Healdsburg

Ross Reedy

Ross Reedy Winemaker, Truett Hurst & VML Winery | Sonoma County, CA

Chelsea Barrett

Chelsea Barrett Winemaker | Calistoga, CA

LESLIE SBROCCO

Leslie Sbrocco Author, TV Host, Consultant, Wine Lover

Erin MIller

Erin Miller Wine Director - Dry Creek Kitchen - Head of Best of Award of Excellence Wine List - Wine Spectator  -

Miro Tcholakov

Miro Tcholakov Winemaker, proprietor, salesman, cellar rat -  Miro Cellars & Trentadue Winery

RANDY ULLOM

Randy Ullom Winemaster, Kendall Jackson

Wilfred Wong

Wilfred Wong, Chief Storyteller, Wine.com

Greg Urmini

Greg Urmini

Hady Kahale

Hady Kahale Head of Wine Buying, Naked Wines US – Wine consultant and winemaker - Napa, CA

Jon McCarthy

Jon McCarthy WINE + BEVERAGE DIRECTOR

FRED DAME

Fred Dame Master Sommelier & VP of Prestige Accounts, American Wine & Spirits

Jasper Russo

Jasper Russo Director of Wine Education, Sales & Marketing, Sigel's Fine Wines and Great Spirits

Pedra Polakovicova

Pedra Polakovicova Beverage Manager-Sommelier - Montage Healdsburg

Bob Foster

Bob Foster - Assistant Editor of the California Grapevine wine newsletter

  ALUMNI ASSOCIATE JUDGES
 

The Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge strives to be an educational platform for young wine industry professionals growing in their careers. Associate Judges are nominated by their peers and attend the judging process,

each assigned a panel with our highly experienced wine judges. They get to learn and network with winemakers,

sommeliers, media people and other seasoned wine industry professionals.

JUDGES
GET IN TOUCH

Questions?

Email: debra@winecompetitions.com

For any general inquiries, please fill in the following contact form:

Thank you for contacting us. We will respond at our earliest convenience - generally within 1-2 business days.

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