Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

State Fair Wine Competition a welcome sign of fair season


Congratulating award-winners at the State Fair Wine Competition. From left, Caroline Beteta, Visit California;  Joe Benzinger, Imagery Estate Winery; CDFA Secretary Karen Ross; Paul Ahvenainen, Korbel.

Congratulating State Fair Wine Competition award-winners. From left, Caroline Beteta, Visit California; Joe Benzinger, Imagery Estate Winery, winner, Best of Show Red; CDFA Secretary Karen Ross; Paul Ahvenainen, Korbel, winner, Best of Show White.

As we look forward to the start of another State Fair season in California (July 12-28), an annual hallmark of preparation has already passed – the State Fair Wine Competition. Each year, wine experts from around the state gather to taste and rate many hundreds of California wines. The judges are wine educators, wine makers, wine journalists, retailers, wholesalers, wine collectors and those from the restaurant trade, and their job is daunting. This year, 72 judges evaluated 2,625 entries from 709 different brands.

Some of the big winners were recognized recently at an event at the State Capitol. I was honored to join members of the legislature and representatives of two of our partner agencies, Go-Biz and Visit California, in meeting the winners and speaking to a group that included members of the news media about the appeal of California wines. They are a cultural beacon in our state, a sense of pride for Californians, and a reason for people around the world to come visit. Wine is one of California’s signature products – an image leader, right there with our beaches, our remarkable cities, our mountains, our deserts, our amusement parks, our entertainment industry, and our innovative food and agriculture producers.

I invite you to learn more about the wine competition and a great deal more about California agriculture by visiting our State Fair, which, along with our excellent local fairs, provides a great opportunity to see the spectacular bounty California has to offer.

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