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Earning wins at San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Auburn, Calif.- A region with a rich heritage in winemaking, Placer County Wine Trail wineries have much to celebrate after earning several Best of Class wins at the 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Boasting a climate similar to that of Mediterranean grape-growing regions, the Placer County Wine Trail is winning big for its European blends, such as Tempranillo, in addition to its classic varietals. This year, Placer County Wine Trail vintners took home two Best of Class awards, seven gold, 20 silver, and 23 bronze medals at the competition. 


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The 13th annual San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest competition of American wines in the world, evaluates wines from around the nation, and this year received a record 5,825 entries from over 1,500 wineries. The competition judges included 60 wine experts within the media, trade, hospitality and education industries.

With 13 Placer County wineries placing overall, Viรฑa Castellano’s Tempranillo and Wise Villa Winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon each took home a Best of Class medal. The Lincoln-based Wise Villa Winery also earned thirteen additional medals: three gold, eight silver and two bronze. Viรฑa Castellano brought home an additional silver and bronze medal for its Grenache and Abuelito, respectively.

“Viรฑa Castellano was founded in 1999 in Placer County with the passion of our Spanish roots and due to our family’s love of wine,” said Teena Wilkins, co-owner and manager of Viรฑa Castellano. “We are honored to receive such a prestigious award, as a result of that passion, and we’re thrilled to win alongside our peers in Placer County.”

Additional Placer County 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition wins include:

    * Mt. Vernon Winery: Two gold, three silver and four bronze medals
    * Ciotti Cellars: One gold, one silver and two bronze medals
    * Fawnridge Winery: One gold, one silver and one bronze medal
    * Popie Wines: One silver and four bronze medals
    * Lone Buffalo Vineyards: One silver and two bronze medals
    * Secret Ravine Vineyard & Winery: One silver and one bronze medal
    * Pescatore Vineyard & Winery, Davis Dean Cellars and Dono dal Cielo Vineyard and Winery: One silver medal
    * Le Casque: Three bronze medals
    * Bear River Winery: Two bronze medals
    * Bonitata Boutique Wines:  One bronze medal

“We’re proud that Placer County wineries are being recognized yet again with Best of Class awards in this year’s competition,” said Placer County Agricultural Commissioner Josh Huntsinger. “We see these awards as a true testament to the high level of quality our Placer County vintners are dedicated to developing in each of their wines.”

The Placer County Wine Trail is home to 20 wineries and counting, all of which are easily accessible from I-80 and Highway 49 along the Placer County Wine Trail spanning from Lincoln to Loomis to Newcastle and Auburn.

Placer County Vintners Association

The Placer County Wine Trail is organized by the Placer County Vintners Association, a nonprofit association created to provide a forum for wineries to collaborate on events and programs. Together the Association also develops marketing programs to raise awareness of the Placer County wine region. The group believes that sharing best practices with all county wineries inspires the vintners to provide a high quality experience for winery visitors.

About PlacerGrown

Supported by Placer County, PlacerGROWN is the information source dedicated to educating residents about the freshest agricultural products the region has to offer.