Mark Chandler - Chief Judge California Wine Competition
California State Fair Wine Competition
Dating back to 1854, the California State Fair has become synonymous with showcasing California’s very best products. The fair’s commercial wine competition allows wines from around California to be evaluated by a distinguished panel of judges for the honor of being recognized as California’s Best.
The competition is focused on regional identity, and wines are first categorized by the origin of their fruit from one of eleven California growing regions. Wines are then separated by style and category into small flights for evaluation. Judges are selected from winemakers, retailers, journalists and educators who passed the California State Fair qualifying test. The 2016 judging panel includes wine columnist Dan Berger, Professor Emeritus of Oenology at California State University – Fresno Ken Fugelsang, and Owner/Winemaker at Fieldbrook Valley Winery Bob Hodgson.
Judges will evaluate a wine’s individual merits and assign a point score. High scoring wines may be awarded Bronze (85-87 points), Silver (88-93 points), Gold (94-97 points) or Double Gold (98-99 points) rosettes. Wines then compete for a variety of honors, including Best of Region, Best of Class of Region, Best Value Wine, and Best Micro-Winery Red, White, or Other. The top scoring wines from all regions and categories compete for Best Sparkling Wine, Best Pink Wine, Best Dessert Wine and Best of Show Red and White wines. In addition, the Golden State Winery of the Year trophy is presented to the top performing winery with at least 10 entries.
The competition is open to commercially produced wines made from at least 75% California fruit. Wines must have a minimum production of 300 gallons unless entered as a microwinery.