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The 2006 professional judging took place in Cloverdale at the Citrus Fairgrounds from January 10-13. 55 judges from around the country participated in evaluating over 3300 entries. This judging which began over twenty years ago with a few entries from local wineries is now the largest competition of American wine in the world.

Entries were submitted from across the United States, though the overwhelming majority originated with wineries in California. The competition is tough and not everyone walks away with a medal. But those that do, especially the coveted Best of Class and Sweepstake awards, have a year’s worth of bragging rights and a valuable promotional story.

Here is a recap of the big winners.

The consistent quality of the fruit and winemaking in the sweepstakes winners is verified by their repeated garnering of awards. Gloria Ferrer won top honors for another of their bubblies during the most recent Harvest Fair in Sonoma County. Windsor Vineyards has been one of the winningest wineries in the country and that tradition seems set to continue in 2006. And lastly Patz & Hall took the top red wine honor two years ago and came back to win it again.

 

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