Pine Mountain - Cloverdale Peak Vintners Dazzle Wine Judges at S.F. Chronicle Competition

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Pine Mountain - Cloverdale Peak growers and vintners host welcome social for more than 60 wine judges from around the USA at the opening of judging week at the Cloverdale Citrus Fair as part of the 34th Annual San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, largest competition for American wines in the world.

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"Our wines made from grapes grown in the Pine Mountain Cloverdale Peak AVA show intense color and concentrated fruit. The higher elevation produces wines with robust but softer tannin." Sam Teakle, winemaker Captûre wines.

The growers, vintners and winemakers of Pine Mountain - Cloverdale Peak (PM-CP) American Viticultural Area (AVA) hosted a scrumptious welcome reception and social for over sixty renowned wine judges at the 34th annual San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (SFCWC) earlier this month. The judges, many repeat participants and numerous first timers, flocked to the Cloverdale Citrus Fair in Cloverdale, California where the competition has taken place since its inception in 1983. The judges were impressed by the complex, balanced and well structured wines produced with the grapes grown on this small but rising AVA.

The judges represented all segments of the wine industry including growers, winemakers, distributors, educators, media and wine sales. They arrived from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Washington D.C., Texas, Florida and elsewhere. The SFCWC is the largest competition for American wines in the world and had nearly 7,000 entries from more than half of the States in the U.S.

The wineries representing the AVA included notable producers like Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Imagery Estates as well as other rising stars like Captûre (Jackson Family Estates), Ampère and Miro Cellars. The 60 plus judges and other participants appreciated what high elevations produce...wonderful fruit and softer, well defined tannins.

Sam Teakle, winemaker for Jackson Family's Captûre label stated, "Our wines made from grapes grown in the Pine Mountain Cloverdale Peak AVA show intense color and concentrated fruit. The higher elevation produces wines with robust but softer tannin. The Pine Mountain AVA, located in the far reaches of the Mayacamas Mountains shows distinction and quality that expands the Jackson Family portfolio of remote high-elevation vineyards in Sonoma, Napa, and Lake Counties mountain wines."

Making the competition even more fulfilling was the numerous medals awarded to wines from the AVA. Imagery Estates received eight medals including two Best of Class awards for their PM-CP Riesling and their 'Other Red Varietal'. Trentadue winemaker Miro Tcholakov, whose Miro Cellars makes a couple PM-CP wines, was pleased to see his Trentadue Alexander Valley Sangiovese Rose receive the Best of Class for 'Pink' Wines.

In addition to their wines, the AVA was pleased to offer appetizers prepared by The Trading Post Market and Bakery, recently opened in Cloverdale. Visually stunning, the Post offered Deviled Eggs, Korean BBQ Skewers, Wild Salmon and Bakery items. Also presented were some of the exceptional award winning olive oils pressed from the thousands of olive trees producing tons of olives on Pine Mountain each from Split Rock Springs Ranch. Like the grapes, olives grown in these extreme growing conditions, produce much more intense fruit with distinctive and highly desirable flavor profiles.

This event offered very high profile exposure for the growers and winemakers featuring Pine Mountain Cloverdale Peak wines to an audience of local and out of town wine experts. Barry Hoffner, President of the PM-CP winegrowers organization remarked, "It is a distinct pleasure to be a part of this great community of vintners and growers. Having the opportunity to share the exceptional wines made from Pine Mountain grapes with the great wine aficionado's judging the largest competition for American wines was exciting and very rewarding. We're confident that our wines held up against the other great wines they tasted through the judging week."
Pine Mountain has more going for it than ultra-premium wine grapes. The views of the geysers from the mountain's peaks, the ability to look to both Mendocino and Napa Counties and of course down the Alexander Valley of Sonoma County, all offer a visual thrill. It is extraordinarily beautiful and unspoiled. It also has entrepreneurial residents, restaurateurs, olive farmers and talented music/film executives.

For additional information about Pine Mountain - Cloverdale Peak, contact the AVA at info(at)pinemountainava(dot)org or 707-894-1105.

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