2018 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Winners

After receiving 6,960 entries from 35 states across the country, the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (SFCWC) has once again successfully narrowed thousands of wines down to an exclusive few. A complete listing of results, sortable by price point and category, can be found at winejudging.com.

In the second week of January, 67 skilled judges from a variety of fields including trade, education, media, retail and hospitality traveled to the Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds in Sonoma County to determine the best wines in the USA. Utilizing an extensive process that divides the varietals into several categories and subcategories, the event gave the panels the chance to rate entries as Bronze, Silver, Gold or “Double Gold” (equivalent to a unanimous rating by all panel members).

Three full days of judging were followed by the Sweepstakes judging, which took place on Friday morning. An astounding 3,478 glasses were used in the final tasting for the best of the best. Only 7 entries were honored with the prestigious Sweepstake Award in the categories of Label, Sparkling, White, Pink, Red, and Dessert/Specialty wines. For the first time, in 2018 the SFCWC has also added a Cider Sweepstake winner.

The 2018 Sweepstake Award Winners are:

Red Sweepstake Winner
O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery (CA), 2014 Napa Valley Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon $100.00

White Sweepstake Winner
Brick Barn Wine Estate (CA), 2016 Santa Ynez Valley Vermentino $40.00

Sparkling Sweepstake Winner
Rack & Riddle (CA), NV Sonoma County Blanc de Noirs $22.00

Pink Sweepstake Winner
Barnard Griffin (WA), 2017 Columbia Valley Rose of Sangiovese $14.00

Dessert/Specialty Sweepstake Winner
Merritt Estate Winery (NY), 2015 Lake Erie Vidal Ice Wine $39.99

Wine Label Sweepstake Winner
Rodney Strong Vineyards (CA), 2015 Sonoma County Upshot $28.00

Cider Sweepstake Winner
Goose Watch Winery (NY), NV Finger Lakes Flying High Semi-Sweet Cider $14.99

Some amazing American Viticultural Areas are bringing in wines of extraordinary quality, resulting in 173 Best of Class awards. A complete listing of winners in each category can be found under the “Medal Winners” section at sfgate.com and winejudging.com.