Calistoga had a worthy showing in the largest competition of American wines, with top honors for a winemaker, wineries and grapes grown in the Calistoga AVA.
The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, which held its public tasting in San Francisco last weekend, receives almost 7,000 entries from 35 states across the country.
Best of Class
Best of Class honors were given to Frank Family Vineyards for their 2015 Carneros Chardonnay (in the Chardonnay, $34-$37.99 category) and Paoletti Estate Winery’s 2015 Calistoga Nero D’Avola (in the All Other Red Varietals category).
Calistogan Matt Reid, winemaker for Benessere Vineyards in St. Helena – and also a member of the Calistoga Joint Unified School District’s Board of Trustees – received two Best of Class ribbons; one for the Benessere Vineyards Pinot Grigio (in the $20 and over category), and one for the Rosato di Sangiovese (in the Dry Rose zero residual sugar category).
Among several other awards, Castello di Amorosa’s 2016 Gewurztraminer (in the $15 and over category) nabbed a Best of Class, and proprietor and Calistoga resident Dario Sattui’s other winery, V. Sattui, took in a number of awards, too, including the V. Sattui Winery 2016 Yountville, Carsi Vineyard (in the Chardonnay, $38-$44.99 category).
The Double Gold winning group includes Stellareese Wine 2014 Calistoga Marcey’s Vineyard (in the Cabernet Sauvignon $55-$58.99 category), a wine made with Calistoga grapes from Marcey’s Vineyard by Rachel Stellareese Davies, who grew up in Calistoga, and her husband Geoff Davies, who grew up in St. Helena and Angwin.
More Double Gold winners include Frank Family Vineyards 2015 Carneros Pinot Noir (in the Pinot Noir $32-$35.99 category); Huge Bear Wines 2015 Sonoma County Chardonnay (in the Chardonnay $34-$37.99 category); Paoletti Estate Winery 2015 Napa Valley Don Pepe El Tesoro (for Cabernet dominant blends, $30 and over); and Calistoga resident Miljenko “Mike” Grgich’s Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Napa Valley (in the Cabernet Sauvignon $71-$94.99 category.)
Other notable winners – Gold
Tedeschi Family Winery 2016 Napa Valley (Calistoga vineyard Gamay Rose (Dry Rose zero residual sugar)
Ballentine Vineyards 2015 Cabernet Franc Calistoga Pocai Vineyard (Cabernet Franc $30-$39.99)
Castello di Amorosa 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Cabernet Sauvignon $55-$58.99)
Kenefick Ranch 2014 Calistoga Chris’s Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon (Cabernet Sauvignon $63-$70.99)
Ballentine Vineyards 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Calistoga Pocai Vineyard (Cabernet Sauvignon $71-$94.99)
Castello di Amorosa 2015 North Coast Il Rubino Pinot Noir (Pinot Noir $40-$43.99)
Castello di Amorosa 2016 Santa Barbara Bien Nacido Vineyard Chardonnay (Chardonnay $38-$44.99)
Tank Garage Winery 2016 California White Wine (White blend $30 and over)
Summers Estate 2015 Calistoga Charbono (All other red blends, $30 and over)
Paoletti Estate Winery 2015 Napa Valley Gianni’s Dolce Vita (Cabernet Sauvignon dominant blends $30 and over)
Castello di Amorosa 2014 Russian River Valley Zingaro Zinfandel (Zinfandel $36 to $39.99)
The full list of winners, including Silver and Bronze honors, can be found at WineJudging.com/medal-winners.