Thursday, 18 July 2024

'People's Choice Wine Awards' winners announced

From left to right, Kaj Ahlmann, chairman, Lake County Winery Association and owner, Six Sigma Ranch; Gregory Graham, winemaker/owner Gregory Graham Wines; Matt Hughes, People's Choice Wine Awards event chair, and past chair Lake County Winery Association; Donna Roumiguiere of Steele Wines, winner of Winery of the Year; and Ron Nagey, event volunteer and concept originator. Courtesy photo.

LAKE COUNTY – The inaugural “People's Choice Wine Awards” has crowned its first winners.

On Oct. 3, the Lake County Winery Association hosted the final portion of the People’s Choice Wine Awards for consumers at Six Sigma Ranch and Winery in Lower Lake.

The event brought 300 people to the Lake County wine region for a day of wine tasting and voting.

The day's public tasting was the culmination of a few months of concentrated efforts.

Earlier this summer, wineries in and outside Lake County were invited to submit their wines to the first ever, “Lake County” wine competition. The only criterion for taking part in the competition was that wines had to be produced using Lake County grapes.

In August, a panel of 10 prestigious wine judges gathered at Langtry Estate and Vineyards to narrow down the number of competing wines from the 168 submitted. A total of 38 wines in 164 categories were nominated to be part of the People's Choice competition.

The day's tasting concluded with the revealing of awards. Ribbons were given to winners and runners-up in each of the categories including: varietal, American viticultural areas (AVAs), "Best Red Wine of Lake County" and "Best White Wine of Lake County."

A special award was given to the "Winery of the Year" which was determined by the winery with the most votes for all its nominated wines.

The People’s Choice tasting was organized as a "double-blind" tasting. All bottles were uncorked in the tasting room by a few trusted volunteers and brought out one at a time, disguised in foil or black paper bags. A plain label revealed the wine varietal but named the brand only as "x", "y", or "z".

A few of the winning wineries included: Best Sauvignon Blanc, 2008 Hess Collection; Best Chardonnay, 2008 Shannon Ridge; Best Cabernet: 2006 Shed Horn Cellars; Best Zinfandel, 2007 Writer’s Block from Steele Wines. A full list of winning wineries is available at .

“The People’s Choice Wine Awards event was created to educate and expose the public to the excellence of Lake County Wines,” says Kaj Ahlmann, Chairman, Lake County Winery Association and owner, Six Sigma Ranch. “To that end, we feel we met our goals. People had fun and were very enthusiastic – about the event and the wines. This was a perfect first occasion, and we look forward to doing the same next year...and beyond.”

The Lake County Winery Association’s People’s Choice Wine Awards event was sponsored by the following businesses and organizations: Lake County Winegrape Commission, Tallman Hotel, Blue Wing Saloon & Café, Kädär Hungary Cooperage, Synergy Glass and Packaging, Twin Pine Casino and Hotel, Bella Vista Farming Company, Clearlake Chamber of Commerce, Elk Mountain Vineyards, Foods Etc., Hardesters Market, Jonas Oil, SaverGlass, Inc., M.A. Silva Corks, U.S.A., Rosenthal Vineyards and World Cooperage.




Best of show for both reds and whites went to Gregory Graham Winery. Pictured at Greg and Marianne Graham. Courtesy photo.





Community members visited Six Sigma Ranch on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009, to take part in the final part of the People's Choice Wine Awards. Courtesy photo.


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