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fall 2016 ag

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Jon Walton and Tim McDonald consider a flight of wine at the Monterey International Wine Com- petition. Jon is a native of King City and currently is with Failla Wines of St. Helena. Tim is a wine industry marketing consultant and is connected to several high profile wine competitions. - Photo Credit Bob Walton Tim McDonald, judges a flight at the Monterey International Wine Competition -Photo Credit Bob Walton Judy Hostetter is a founding organizer of the Monterey International Wine Competition. 2016 was her final year as staging manager of the event. Judges recognized Judy for her dedication and commitment to the wine industry at the Competition's Volunteer dinner. - Photo Credit Lauren Hamilton Lafond Best Dessert Wine – awarded 99 points and recognized as the 2016 Wine of the Year - Photo Credit Lauren Hamilton Four way tie for Best Wine & Cauliflower Pairing. Cauliflower was picked fresh prior to being roasted and served to the judges of the Monterey International Wine Competition in March of 2016. - Photo Credit Lauren Hamilton Monterey International Wine Competition The Salinas Valley Fair- grounds in King City once again hosted the annual international wine competi- tion and a list of winners can be found below. From its inception in 1994, the competition has pursued one goal: To honor the ef- forts of dedicated winemak- ers by recognizing their ac- complishments through the award of medals. Our judges, most of them lifelong industry professionals and wine makers, understand the challenges of modern viticulture and wine making, not to mention the fierce competition for market share and shelf space that is now very much a part of today's wine world. While the event is called a competition, we are careful to ensure the wines are evaluated in their own context – in other words, we're not saying this wine is better than that wine. Our desire is to celebrate high quality wines of all styles, from all regions of the world. Our judges are experienced tasters with significant experience in the industry running the gamut from marketing consultants that represent large wine portfo- lios to Master Sommeliers. Cumulatively, they have nearly 200 years of judging experience. During the competition, Judges award Silver honors to wines that demonstrate above average character for the wine type and place of origin; Gold honors to wines that rise above a straight- forward recommendation; and Platinum awards for wines nominated for Best of Show in the categories of sparkling, rose, white, red and dessert. Social media plays a big role in this unique competition. Competition Director Rich Cook notes that "Our competition offers medals, scores, regional awards, public tasting opportuni- ties and and social media promotion for our top award winners. This way, wineries can select all or part of what they are awarded to use as befits their marketing programs" More than 45 volunteers invest nearly 800 hours to make the annual competi- tion a success. Volunteers manage the wine cellar, score tabulations, wash dishes, pour wine and handle countless other duties in- volved in running an efficient competition. Most of the volunteers have been helping with the competition since it began 23 years ago. In 2015, the competition added special awards to recognize local vintners with our Best of Monterey County award. Scheid Vineyards' 2011 Merlot Estate Grown Monterey was recognized as Best of Monterey in 2015, followed by Bargetto Win- ery's 2015 Monterey County Pinot Grigio in 2016. A nod to local agriculture led to the additions of the Best Wine & Broccoli Pairing award in 2015, and the Best Wine & Cauliflower Pairing in 2016. Many of the 2016 competi- tion winners will be available for tasting at the Mission San Antonio's "Evening In The Garden" fundraiser on November 4, 2016 at a booth hosted by Monterey International Wine Competi- tion volunteers. For a complete list of win- ners of the 2016 competi- tion, volunteer information and details about the annual competition, visit Monterey- WineCompetition.com. Best of Monterey County, 2016- Photo Credit Lauren Hamilton Mark your calendar for March 4-5, 2017 when next year's competition will be held. While the actual wine judging remains a private event, the public is invited to taste the winning wines on May 18, 2017 at the Grand Tasting during the Annual Salinas Valley Fair in King City.

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