List of some major Wine Competitions in USA
Los Angeles International Wine Competition
Seven decades of tradition began shortly after the end of prohibition, when the annual L.A. County Fair began awarding medals to the finest wines in California. The competition achieved world-class status, attracting wines from North and South America and finally in 2002, opening the doors to wine entries from around the world. Today, the event includes spirits and extra virgin olive oils. The judging panel has grown to nearly 100 judges from all parts of the globe.
The competition is the foundation for an extensive wine education program available to the nearly 1.5 million visitors to the L.A. County Fair. Public wine tasting began in 1968; in 1998 a wine education center opened, complete with consumer-driven classes, tastings and a display of the award-winning wines. The Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition is committed to educating the public about wine, featuring industry experts with extensive knowledge about wine growing and selection, wine tasting and wine and food pairings. The 2013 wine competition will be: May 15-16, 2013.
San Francisco International Wine Competition
The San Francisco International Wine Competition, the largest, most influential international wine competition in America, is judged by a prestigious panel of nationally recognized wine experts. Judging is based on a blind, consensual procedure, ensuring competitive integrity as it remains the nation's most respected wine competition. Celebrating its 33rd year in 2013, the Competition is held annually in mid-June. Results are found here as well as entry forms which are posted in April.
The San Diego International Wine Competition
The San Diego International Wine Competition was founded in 1983 by wine journalist Dan Berger, attorney Bob Foster and wine broker Dick Colangelo. Through its first 20 years it was called the San Diego National Wine Competition and it was open exclusively to wines produced in the 50 United States. Syndicated wine columnist Robert Whitley took over as Director in 2003 and opened the competition to international entries while changing the name to the San Diego International. The SDIWC is owned by the Social Service Auxiliary of San Diego, a 501c3 non-profit organization that works on behalf of the charities supported by the Sisters of Social Service, an order of Catholic nuns near downtown San Diego. Their annual Wine & Roses Charity Wine Tasting and Sale has become a fixture on the San Diego wine and culinary calendar. W&R benefits Camp Oliver, a youth camp in Descanso, CA. Over the past three decades Wine & Roses has sent thousands of deserving San Diego children to summer camp through “camperships” made possible by the tasting and sale of medal-winning wines from the San Diego International.
Mid-American Wine Competition
The competition is open only to commercial wineries of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
This competition gives wineries the opportunity to have their wines judged against carefully selected food-friendly dishes. This is the first competition in the United States to offer this format.
“Typically wine competitions judge wines only against other wines, and typically the biggest wine wins. But wine is supposed to be consumed with food. So we are going to judge these wines in a setting more conducive to wines of balance, and by judging the wines in a setting more receptive to wines of balance, and by judging the wine with food, we think we will see a different outcome than the usual ‘bigger is better’ response,” noted Chief Judge Doug Frost.
The New York International Wine Competition
The New York International Wine Competition is the first major international wine competition with TRADE ONLY judges from top to bottom that consist of people who are buyers from the top retail stores, restaurant owners, sommeliers, hotel beverage directors, distributors and importers. Unlike other competitions, these judges have purchasing power and the ability to make a direct impact on brand sales.
In our 3rd year we have become one of the most respected international wine competition in the world because our judges are real trade buyers judging the wine by its category and actual price. We call it the “Real World”. As the saying goes….If you can make it in New York you can make it anywhere!
North Coast Wine Challenge
The Press Democrat and Vineyard & Winery Management have teamed up to create The Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge, which will allow entries from wineries that source fruit from the North Coast, including the American Viticultural Areas spanning Napa, Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties, and parts of Marin and Solano counties.
The regional focus of the new competition emphasizes its similarity to the Chronicle's, which grew out of the "tri-county" wine tasting competition at the Cloverdale Citrus Fair - Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino.
Two long-time Healdsburg wine consultants have come on board, including Australian-turned Sonoma winemaker Daryl Groom to recruit a panel of judges.
Lone Star International Wine Competition
The Lone Star Wine Competition, as it had been known from its inception in 1984, was limited to Texas Wines and Texas Wineries. In 2001 the Board of Directors of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association (TWGGA) made the decision to expand the competition internationally. The first U.S. region included in this expansion extended from the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. It was important for the Great Plains to be the first region in this expansion, since Texas is very much a part of the Great Plains. We included Canada and Mexico in the spirit of the Free Trade Agreement; and Austria as a courtesy to the Grapevine, Texas sister city of Krems, Austria. For the 2002 Competition, the committee decided to expand to the remaining wine states, except the largest producers New York, Oregon, Washington, and California. In 2004 we continued to expand including all international and national commercial wineries. Since 2004, with the LSIWC new commitments embracing and welcoming its national and international neighbors and friends, we’ve tripled the number of entries.
IEWC is one of the oldest and largest professional wine competitions in the United States. Entries are available to wineries produced in the Eastern and Midwestern regions of the United States and eastern Canada, making a truly regional affair. IEWC is judged by knowledgeable wine professionals and media from the east, Midwest and beyond. This event includes the Riesling Championship, which honors the best Riesling of the competition.
Amateur Wine Competition
The very first Maryland Wine Festival was held at the Shriver Homestead in Union Mills, in September, 1984. It was the brainchild of John Barker, then director of tourism in Carroll County. How he conceived the idea is unknown, and the first we heard about it was in the early spring, when he called the local chapter of the American Wine Society and asked for help in planning the thing.
The details are vague now, 20-some years later. The basic Festival was pretty much the same then as it is now, but on a much smaller scale, and was held for only one day. The Wine Education Seminars, managed by a few stalwart compadres, were part of the original program. There was an amateur wine adjudication, but it was an impromptu affair. Folks brought in their homemade wines and asked for comments on them. No one had planned for this. The idea for a wine-making demonstration had not yet germinated.
Dallas Morning News Wine Competition
The first competition was held in March of 1985 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas. That first year we invited 15 judges to evaluate the 570 entries we received. For our first 14 years the competition was open only to wines that produced in the United States. In 1999 we opened the competition to wines produced in all wine regions of the world. That year we received 1,783 entries. For the 2012 competition we received 3,272 entries representing 25 states and 17 foreign countries.
Over the years we have developed an eager following of the results, especially in north central Texas. It did not happen overnight. We have always printed a listing of the award winning wines, but the first four years of the competition was just a list. The first special section of the award winning wines distributed in the newspaper was in 1989. Readers of The Dallas Morning News make the publication listing the award winning wines their buying guide for months after its release. Retailers and restaurateurs buy and promote the award winning wines.
Riverside International Wine Competition
For 30 years, the Riverside International Wine Competition has provided consumers and the wine industry with carefully considered results of a blind tasting by professional wine evaluators. A key benefit of this event is to recognize wines in a wide variety of styles, including wine regions that don’t often get such recognition.
El Dorado County Fair Wine Competition
The first recorded Fair in El Dorado County was held in 1859 in Coloma. Until 1939, the Fair was held at various locations including Coloma, Diamond Springs, and downtown Placerville.
The Fairs of 1859, 1860, and 1864 were held in Coloma. Two other towns where the Fair was held in the early years were Placerville and Diamond Springs. The downtown areas of these small towns were transformed into the fairgrounds each time the County Fair was held.
With no permanent facilities to call its own until 1939, the County Fair annually used whatever facilities it could glean to hold the event. In those early days, the entire town where the Fair was held became the Fairgrounds. When in Placerville, some venues included the Confidence Hall, Sigwart’s Opera House, the Central House Hotel and Ballroom, and the Stockyards.
The first County Fair at the current site on Placerville Dr. (old Hwy 50) was held in 1939 conducted by the American Legion under a contract with El Dorado County. The American Legion conducted the County Fairs until 1952 when the current Fair Association was formed. World War II caused the Fair to become dormant from 1942 until 1947 when the American Legion reactivated the event.
New World International Wine Competition
NWIWC has consistently been named as one of the top competitions for over 15 years. It is the only competition in America, and perhaps the world to pit the best wines from each price class against each other to determine an overall best of variety or type.
Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition
The Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition began in 1995 and is open to any commercial vineyard, winery or amateur winemaker in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia or West Virginia. Now in its 14thyear, the competition continues to increase in popularity as the wine industry in the Southeastern United States grows. In the past five years, the number of competitive entries has grown by more than 150 percent, with over 500 wines submitted for consideration in 2012.
“The wine industry in the Southern U.S. has enjoyed explosive growth over the past 20 years,” said Jim Collins, Wine Superintendent and coordinator of the Fair’s Wine Competition. “Looking across the region, there are a number of talented winemakers who are producing terrific vintages. The Dixie Classic Fair is proud to support and promote wineries in the region through the Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition, and we look forward to another successful competition in 2013.”
Illinois Wine Competition
The Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association (IGGVA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing the viticulture and enology interests of Illinois through information exchange and cooperation among Illinois grape producers and vintners.
We are governed by a board of directors and receive input from the state’s four wine-growing regions by regional chairs.
Disclaimer: Please note that the competitions listed on this page are not related to or are directly or indirectly involved with the Beverage Trade Network. BTN has listed the competition as a reference purpose only.