​Fifty nine professional judges, ranging from all areas of the wine industry including experts in the media, restaurant and hospitality, education, winemaking and retail outlets, tasted over 6,417 entries from more than 28 states, last week at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, recognized as the largest competition of American wines in the world.
Utilizing an extensive process that divided the varietals into several categories and subcategories, the event gave the panels the chance to rate entries as Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Double Gold (equivalent to a unanimous rating by all panel members).
Only eight entries were honored with the prestigious Sweepstake Award and, in its fifth year, a special category included a label contest that is independent of the wine competition.
The judges picked the Sweepstake Award​ winners, which signify the best of the best in the competition,​ for the following categories:  Sparkling, White, Blush, Red, Dessert / Specialty and Label. The winners hail from California, Ohio and New York, as follows:
Sparkling Sweepstake
Gloria Ferrer - 2010 Blanc De Blancs, Carneros, $42.00
White Sweepstake (tie)
ZD Wines - 2013 Chardonnay, California $38.00
Dr. Konstantin Frank- 2013 Riesling, Semi Dry,  Finger Lakes, New York $14.99
Pink Sweepstake
Robert Hall Winery - 2014 Rose de Robles, Paso Robles, $14.00
Red Sweepstake (tie)
Sonoma -Cutrer - 2012 Pinot Noir, Founders Reserve, Russian River Valley $65.00
Pezzi King - 2102 Estate Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Row 14 Reserve, $50.00
Dessert Sweepstake
Debonne Vineyards - 2013 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, Grand River Valley, Ohio $29.99
Label Sweepstake
Inizi - 2012 Charbono, Calistoga, $32.00
Many of the award winning wines will be available to taste at the Public Tasting, held on February 14, 2015 at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco.