Winemaker Challenge


Welcome to Winemaker Challenge IV, the first of our international wine challenges in 2013.

The fourth annual Winemaker Challenge International Wine Competition promises to be the best yet, with 22 outstanding winemakers teaming up to evaluate newly released wines at one of the earliest wine competitions of the year. The lineup of judges for the 2013 Winemaker Challenge is quite impressive, even by the Winemaker Challenge's very own high standards.

Besides the return of star winemakers Ed Sbragia and Daryl Groom, who missed Winemaker Challenge III with schedule conflicts, we have a number of first-time judges who bring a wealth of expertise from across a broad spectrum of winemaker style and experience.

From Georgia we have Craig Kritzer, whose award-winning wines from Frogtown Cellars got our attention a few vintages back. Then there is Kim McPherson, perhaps the most renowned winemaker in Texas, of McPherson Wines in Lubbock, Texas.

World traveler Aaron Pott, with a viticultural degree from the Universite de Bourgogne in Dijon, France and stints at two top Bordeaux Chateaux, also plans to join us. We've also signed up first-timers Sara Fowler of Peju Provine in the Napa Valley and Susan Lueker of the historic Simi Winery in Healdsburg, California.

And David Hopkins, of Bridlewood Winery in Santa Barbara's Santa Ynez Valley, joins us for the first time to strengthen our representation from California's Central Coast.

It all adds up to a fabulous test for the finest wines coming out in the new year. Our judges taste blind, three to a panel, and are some of the best in the business at evaluating young wines.

We know you will agree, and welcome your participation in this unique wine competition that draws upon the expertise of renowned winemaking professionals to assess your wines.

Competition Name

Winemaker Challenge

Competition Date

January 18-19





View Competition Website

Dates & Fees

Competition Dates

January 19 to January 20, 2013

Early Registration



November 7, 2012

Late Registration



December 7, 2012

Contact Details



Robert Whitley


Wine Competition Director


Send email






302 Washington St #139
San Diego, CA, 92103-2110

Competition Details

Entry Requirements

To qualify for entry in Winemaker Challenge International Wine Competition, a wine must have been produced for commercial sale. Homemade wines will not be accepted for judging.

A complete wine competition entry is comprised of six (6) 750ml or nine (9) 375ml bottles. Distilled spirits entries such as brandy require three (3) 750ml or six (6) 375ml bottles. For larger bottles or alternative packaging, contact us for number required. Grape varieties, residual sugar, appellation, vineyard designation, proprietary names, retail price and alcohol level must be listed on the entry form with each entry. For more details please visit the competition website.

Judge Information

Judges, tasting blind, will award silver medals to wines that exhibit above average character for the wine type and place of origin. A gold medal will be awarded to wines that possess an added dimension or profound characteristics that are recognized by two or more of the judges on a three-judge panel.

Platinum awards are reserved for wines deemed to be contenders for best of category or best of show. Platinum wines will be evaluated by the entire group of judges in a championship round to be conducted after the initial medal rounds have been completed.

The votes in the championship round will determine best of category winners as well as grand prizes for best of show sparkling, white, red, rose and dessert wines. A final round of tasting best-of-show winners only will determine Wine of the Year. The Director may, at his discretion, recognize outstanding performances by a winery or importer following tabulation of all results. Awards will be announced online and winners notified by mail.

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