Mid-State Fair

Paso Robles vineyard wins 2018 Winery of the Year in Central Coast Wine Competition

Paso Robles’ Cass Vineyard & Winery won the 2018 Winery of the Year in the Central Coast Wine Competition at the California Mid-State Fair.
Paso Robles’ Cass Vineyard & Winery won the 2018 Winery of the Year in the Central Coast Wine Competition at the California Mid-State Fair.

Paso Robles wineries once again lived up to wine lovers’ expectations.

It was Cass Vineyard & Winery that stood above the rest at the California Mid-State Fair’s annual wine competition. The vineyard east of Paso on Linne Road was given its second Central Coast Wine Competition’s Winery of the Year award Friday.

“We couldn’t be more humbled to win this award from this terrific competition that takes place right here in the Paso Robles community,” said Steve Cass, co-owner of Cass Vineyard & Winery. “After we won in 2015, our team was determined to stay the course and continue focusing on producing the best wines.”

More than 700 wines were entered into the 16th annual competition, and a record number of nearly 150 Gold Medals were awarded to wineries located in the Central Coast and Northern California counties of Alameda, San Mateo, Contra Costa, San Benito, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura.

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“As we in the Central Coast know, some of the world’s best wines are being grown and produced right here in our backyard. Our goal is to celebrate and shine a global spotlight on these agricultural artisans,” said Michael Bradley, CEO of the California Mid-State Fair.

The two-day competition at Estrella Hall where 18 judges blind tasted the hundreds of wines. The winners were announced at the 2018 California Mid-State Fair Wine Industry Awards on Friday night.

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Steve and Alice Cass at their Cass Vineyard and Winery in Paso Robles, photographed in 2007, won the Winery of the Year award in 2015 and again this year. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Awarded wines from the Central Coast

Cass entered 14 wines, all of which received medals, including a Double Gold Medal, six Gold Medals, six Silver Medals, a Bronze Medal and several Best of Class awards.

A notable win was Cass’ 2016 Mourvèdre, which won Best of Class in the Mourvèdre category and overall Best Red.

“We, along with others in the Central Coast, have been working with (the Mourvèdre) grape for years, so it’s nice to see it beginning to get the mainstream recognition it deserves. That’s a win for all the Rhone wineries and farmers in the region,” said Cass Winemaker Sterling Kragten.

The Paso Robles winery’s 2017 Marsanne won a Double Gold and Best of Class in the Other White Rhones category, and their 2015 GSM won Best of Class in the Grenache-Based Blends category.

The high number of gold medals and weighted points earned made Cass the clear winner, CCWC returning Chief Judge Tim McDonald, president of Wine Spoken Here, said in a news release.

Other wineries in the area were also given awards.

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Best Pink Wine went to Paso Robles’ Opolo Vineyards’ 2017 Rosé, which also won a Gold Medal and Best in Class for the Any Rosé Blends category.

Another Paso Robles wine, Glunz Family Winery’s Mission Angelica, won Best in Class in the Fortified Wine category, a Gold Medal and Best Dessert Wine for the second year in a row.

From Arroyo Grande, Laetitia Vineyard & Winery’s 2015 Brut Rosé was awarded Best Sparkling Wine, Best in Class in the Méthode Champenoise category and a Gold Medal.

Best in Show was awarded to Alara Cellars’ 2017 Grenache Blanc from San Benito County, which also won Double Gold Meda, Best in Grenache Blanc Class and overall Best White Wine. This is the first time a Grenache Blanc was awarded Best in Show.

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