SLO County wines dominate at 2014 Central Coast Wine Competition

Grape vines paint stripes of color at Paragon Vineyard in San Luis Obispo.
Grape vines paint stripes of color at Paragon Vineyard in San Luis Obispo.

Local wines nearly swept the 2014 Central Coast Wine Competition, winning 36 of 40 awards but missing out on the coveted Best in Show spot.

The results illustrate “just how well San Luis Obispo County can do by white wines as well as red,’’ said one of the judges, Mike Dunne, in a news release.

More than 600 entries in the annual competition were divided into 36 classes based upon the wine’s varietal, and then the top wine from each class was submitted to the large division competition, where one was selected in each of the three divisions (white, red and dessert). The three remaining wines then competed for the Best in Show title.

The overall Best in Show winner — a 2013 Edna Valley albarino — was from grapes grown at Paragon Vineyard in Edna Valley, although it was produced by Mariposa-based CRU Wine Company. To get to the final round, CRU Wine Company’s albarino first won Best Albarino, then Best White Wine.

It narrowly beat out San Antonio Winery’s 2010 cabernet sauvignon for the Best in Show title, according to the release. The cabernet sauvignon did take home the Best Red Wine and Best Cabernet Sauvignon Prior to 2011 titles, however. Other winning wines from the Paso Robles-based winery were its 2012 zinfandel and 2010 malbec.

PasoPort of Templeton won the overall Best Dessert title and the smaller Best of Fortified Desserts category for its 2009 blend (65 percent tempranillo, 25 percent touriga and 10 percent souzao).

The only other winning wine that was produced by a company outside of SLO County was Best of Pinot Gris/Grigio winner Quail Crossing Vineyard of Santa Ynez.

The winning wines will be showcased at four California fairs, including the Santa Barbara County Fair that runs through July 13 in Santa Maria; the California Mid-State Fair from July 16 to 27 in Paso Robles; Ventura County Fair, July 30 to Aug. 10 in Ventura; and Monterey County Fair, Aug. 27 to Sept. 1 in Monterey.

Local vinegars also did well at the annual competition’s first wine vinegar judging, with the top prize going to Hearst Ranch Winery’s Fig White Balsamic vinegar. Atascadero’s Chaparral Gardens also performed well with its Grain Base Berry Blend vinegar, winning Best of Any Other Vinegar Type. The winning vinegars will also be showcased at the California Mid-State Fair.

For a complete list of the 2014 competition results, visit

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