Top Awards Announced in Dan Berger International Wine Competition

Share Article

Competition Moves to Sonoma County, California After 34-Year Run in Southern California

News Image
The Competition's name was changed this year after a 34-year run and now reflects the efforts of the dean of American wine competitions, Dan Berger.

J. Lohr Winery, based in San Jose California, and Francis Ford Coppola Winery of Sonoma County tied for Winery of the Year honors at the first annual Dan Berger’s International Wine Competition (DBIWC) held last week in Sonoma County.

All results of the competition can be found at

The two large wineries each earned multiple gold medals and numerous other high awards at the event that is the successor to the Riverside International Wine Competition. The RIWC name was changed this year after a 34-year run in southern California, and now reflects the efforts of the dean of American wine competitions, Dan Berger.

Also added to this year’s DBIWC was a separate judging of craft ciders, employing six cider judges who worked their way through more than 200 craft ciders. The cider named as Best of Show was Alpinefire Glow Rosé from Port Townsend, WA.

A total of 127 medals were awarded to more than 200 ciders, including 17 golds. The cider competition was one of the largest ever staged in the United States, and the largest on the West Coast.

Other wineries showing well in the wine competition were Coyote Moon winery from New York state and Maryhill Winery from Washington, which were tied as winners of the annual Terroir Award trophy for best use of local grape varieties.

The Small Winery of the Year award went to Jeff Runquist Wines, which earned six gold medals, including three Best of Class awards.

Value Winery of the Year was again Sutter Home Winery with a remarkable showing – 18 silver medals all for wines that sell for $6 a bottle or less. Note: The competition does not judge wines by price.

The five individual winners for best wines of the major categories were:

  • Best of Show Sparkling: Nonvintge Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs, Carneros ($22)
  • Best of Show White: 2015 Husch Chenin Blanc, Mendocino County ($13)
  • Best of Show Red: 2013 Tondre Grapefield Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands ($40).
  • Best of Show Rosé: 2015 Peche Merle Rosé of Syrah, Sonoma County, ($23).
  • Best of Show dessert: 2013 Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards “Rojo Dulce” Port, ($24/375-ml).

The International Riesling Foundation awards for the top four Rieslings were:

  • Dry: 2014 Kilikanoon, Clare Valley, Australia
  • Medium Dry: 2014 Jekel, Monterey County, CA
  • Medium Sweet: 2014 Wagner, Finger Lakes, N.Y., Semi Dry
  • Sweet: 2014 Wagner, Finger Lakes, N.Y., Riesling Select.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Tom Wark