Victorious vintage

Seven local wineries earn top marks

Choosing the best vintage for the event. BEST BETS Take the guesswork out of that next bottle of wine with the help of recent wine ratings.
With all the new, recent awards and accolades—both near and far—it’s cheers all-around for our local wineries.

Anthony Dias Blue, the well-known wine writer and editor-in-chief, for SOMM magazine, Blue Lifestyles and The Tasting Panel magazine recently awarded seven of our wineries with 90+ scores:

2013 Aver Family, Petite Sirah, Estate, Santa Clara Valley, Blessings ($60) 92 pts.

2014 Sarah’s Vineyard Pinot Noir, Reserve, Santa Clara Valley ($60) 92 pts.

2012 Jason Stephens Winery, Syrah, Estate, Santa Clara Valley, ($26) 91 pts.

2013 Morgan Hill Cellars, Merlot, Santa Clara Valley, ($22) 91 pts.

2015 Sarah’s Vineyard Pinot Noir, Estate, Santa Clara Valley ($44) 91 pts.

2013 Seeker Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Teresa Estate, Santa Clara Valley ($42) 91 pts.

2014 Stefania Wine, Syrah, Besson Vineyard, Santa Clara Valley, ($24) 90 pts.

At the recent 37th Annual San Francisco International Wine competition, 58 judges tasted over 4,300 wines from more than 30 countries around the world. Several of our wineries won gold, including the 2013 Therese Vineyards Syrah ($38), a beautiful gem of a wine from Martin Ranch Winery, which received a double gold medal. Also winning gold medals at this International competition were Guglielmo Winery for their 2015 Grignolino ($20) and Fernwood Cellars for their 2012 Red Rhone Blend ($42).

Another prestigious competition, the 41st annual, 2017 Orange County Wine Competition, gave Kirigin Cellars top honors (four stars) for their 2016 Malvasia Bianca ($19.90), a dry, fragrant and rarely seen white varietal. Also gold-medaled in this competition were the 2013 Natalie Grenache and the 2014 Natalie Grenache Blanc (both around $30) from Sarah’s Vineyard, along with the 2014 Malbec ($24) from Stefania Wine, a 2015 Syrah and a 2015 Zinfandel (both $19.90) from Kirigin Cellars.

Now in its 78th year, the Los Angeles International Wine Awards gave Fortino Winery a gold medal for their 2014 Carignane ($27). They also awarded three gold medals to Solis Winery: 2013 Red Blend, Baciami Reserve ($40), 2013 Estate Fiano ($30) and their 2013 Zinfandel ($30).

On a local level, in their annual “Best Of” awards, Fortino Winery was again named the Best Winery in Gilroy and Guglielmo Winery was voted Best Winery in Morgan Hill.

Karen Seeker, president of the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, says, “These awards are something for us all to be proud of and really vindicates our mutual feeling that this is a great place for growing grapes, and a home to quality winemakers.”

Bev Stenehjem
Latest posts by Bev Stenehjem (see all)
About Bev Stenehjem
Bev Stenehjem is a wine columnist for South Valley Magazine and is the author of the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, Arcadia Publishing. Bev also promotes the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley association on Facebook and Twitter. Reach her at [email protected].