Once again, Food & Beverage World is ready to announce the winners of our annual California Wines of the Year Competition.

Our tasting panel started out by rounding up their favorite wines among those submitted for our review during the past twelve months. Next, we invited wineries to submit their favorite bottles into the competition as well. Our panel then went about tasting to narrow down the numbers. In the end, they selected between 5 and 7 finalists for each category.

The bottles selected for the final round were tasted by invited guests consisting of members of the public who drink wine regularly but are certainly not experts. We asked them to vote for only their favorite wine in each category.

Winners of each category are listed below with the percentage of votes they earned. We also noted the other wines that received votes. (Finalists that did not garner votes have been omitted.)


Cheers to all the winners for 2012!


Red Wines



Best Cabernet



Alpha-Omega Winery 2009 Caberet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): 42% of the vote



McGrail Vineyards 2009 James Vincent Cabernet Sauvignon (Livermore Valley): 26%

Raymond Vineyards 2008 Generations Caberet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): 16%

Hawk & Horse Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (Lake County): 16%


Best Other Bordeaux (varietal or blend over 75% Bordeaux grapes)



Alpha Omega Winery 2009 Proprietary Red Wine Blend (Napa Valley) – 33% of the vote



Sullivan Vineyards 2008 Coeur De Vigne Blend (Napa Valley) – 25%

Sol Rouge 2009 Cab Franc (Lake County) – 14%

PICAZO 2007 Merlot (Livermore Valley) – 14%

Burrel School 2009 “Extra Credit” Cabernet Franc (Santa Cruz Mountains) – 14%



Best Pinot Noir



Hunt Cellars 2009 Imagine Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara County) – 50% of the vote



Matrix 2010 Reserve Pinot Noir (Sonoma County) – 25%

McIntyre Vineyards 2010 Block 3 Pinot Noir (Monterey County) – 25%


Best Rhone (varietal or blend over 75% Rhone grapes)



Vie Winery 2009 White Hawk Vineyard Syrah (Santa Barbara County) – 50% of the vote



Vie Winery 2009 “L’Intruse” Mourvèdre (North Coast) – 42%

Hearst Ranch 2009 “Three Sisters” Cuveè (Paso Robles) – 8%


Best “Other” Red



Vie Winery 2009 Zinfandel (Napa Valley) – 42% of the votes



Dutcher Crossing 2011 Maple Vineyard Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley) – 33%

Loma Prieta 2010 Pinotage (Lodi) – 25%



Whites/Rosé Wines


Best Bordeaux (varietal or blend over 75% Bordeaux grapes)



Page Mill 2011 Sauvignon Blanc (Livermore Valley) – 50% of the vote



Shannon Ridge 2011 “High Elevation”  Sauvignon Blanc (Lake County) – 33%

Dutcher Crossing 2011 Sauvignon Blanc (Dry Creek Valley) – 17%




Best Chardonnay



Hunt Cellars 2009 Moonlight Sonata Chardonnay (Paso Robles) – 50% of the vote



McIntyre Vineyards 2011 Chardonnay (Monterey County) – 25%

Sbragia 2009 Gamble Ranch Chardonay (Napa Valley) – 25%



Best “Other” White/Rosé



Tess 2011 Blend (Napa Valley) – 42% of the votes



Zocker 2011 Gruner Veltimer (San Luis Obispo County) – 33%

Nadia 2010 White -Rhone Blend- (Santa Barbara County) – 25%



Dessert/Port Wines



Hunt Cellars 2004 Sweet Serenade Tawny Port (Paso Robles) – 83% of the vote



Pomar Junction 2010 Late Harvest Viognier (Paso Robles) – 17%