Wow! Congratulations to Sue and Rodney Tipton of Acquiesce Winery and Vineyards for your honors and awards at the 2022 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. The world’s largest wine competition of North American wines. The competition was held earlier this month, and Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards walked away with an astounding array of achievements. This year, well over 5,000 wines entered from the USA, Canada, and Mexico (who knew that wine is made in Mexico?) Not only is it the largest in North America, but it is also highly regarded by wine professionals around the world.
Just what exactly is it, and how does it work?
Well, first think state fairs and the various competitions that occur from pies to livestock, and you are part way there. Then layer on the AKC Dog Show (Competition), and you are closer. Now, similar to the AKC Dog Show (judged by breed), each variety of wine is evaluated against the recognized standard for that variety. In some cases, like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon, the varietal category is then broken down further by price.
Now here is where things begin to differ.
The wines are judged blind, meaning that the judging panel only knows the variety (and the price, if it is one of the popular varieties). Thus no judge is influenced by who made the wine, the bottle shape, etc. Each judge evaluates a wine for color, aromas, flavors, weight, mouthfeel, acidity, sweetness, etc., against “the standard” for that variety. As such, the judging panel may award multiple wines in a category that meets the standards for Bronze, Silver, or Gold levels.
Gold, of course, is best, and if all judges on the panel (three judges per category) award a wine the Gold metal, then that wine is designated Double Gold which separates them from the pack. Only Double Gold wines are then considered for the “Best in Class” award.
Lastly, there is a Sweepstakes winner for each of the following: Best White Wine, Best Red Wine, Best Rosé Wine, Best Sparkling Wine, Best Specialty Wine, and Best Packaging. Each Best in Class winning wine is judged against all of the other Best in Class winners within the six Sweepstakes categories. Sweepstakes winners are the top prize in this competition. Therefore, there is no singular “Best in Show” across all red, white, rosé, sparkling, and specialty varietals. (although that could be fun!)
So the awards given are:
Best of Class
and yes, wines outside of the standard are not awarded
Whew! I know very little about how judging works. Therefore, I would like to acknowledge that the ‘insights into the wine judging’ are courtesy of my colleague John Compisi, a judge at this competition.
Rising to the Top – Congratulations, Sue and Rodney!
Now to win any awards is an achievement and a testament to the winemaker’s skill. But certainly, to win one of the Sweepstakes awards, like Best White Wine, is a colossal achievement. Not to mention, Best of Class is also quite significant. So check out the awards below to see why my congratulations are so admirably given to Sue and Rodney.
Congratulations on these Awards
- White Wine Sweepstakes Winner – Viognier $27.00 & over
- Grenache Blanc – Best of Class
- Other White Single Varietals (Picpoul) – Best of Class
- Roussanne – Best of Class
Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards entered all ten (10) of the current releases into the competition. In addition to the four awards above, Acquiesce also received five Silver medals, and one Bronze. Yep, ten awards for ten wines.
Strong Coffee to Red Wine and Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards Partnership
I have partnered with Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards since our first virtual tasting in June of 2020. What do I mean by partnered? Acquiesce sells its wine directly to the consumer – meaning that you buy it at the winery or from the website. So short of heading to Lodi, California, there is nowhere to taste these wines before you purchase. Therefore, I host tastings and take any opportunity to introduce these wines to new customers. It is a great relationship, and I think of Sue & Rodney (the owners) as friends as well as partners.
Congratulations again for an outstanding showing at the 2022 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Head to their website to order any of their wines. And be sure to put Strong Coffee to Red Wine in the special instructions field once in checkout.
Finally, other posts about Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards:
Virtual Tasting * Acquiesce Winery
Vintage to Vintage – Why It Matters
Rick and Gary