Monterey County’s little ol’ Arroyo Seco American Viticultural Area (or AVA) won big at the largest domestic vino showdown in the country, The San Francisco Chronicle’s 2014 Wine Competition.
The region claimed 35 medals.
More than 40 percent were gold and three were double gold medals across a multitude of categories.
Martin Ranch’s 2012 JD Hurley’s Griva Chardonnay, Mercy’s 2012 Zabala Vineyard Chardonnay and J Lohr’s 2012 Flume Crossing Sauvignon Blanc each enjoyed a double gold.
Beyond usual whites like Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc, Arroyo Seco’s white wines were awarded including its “Blanc-de-Blanc” sparkling wine, Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio, and Riesling with several nods going to red wines including Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, and a Rhone-based blend.
Arroyo Seco Winegrowers President Michael Griva was among those tickled by the haul of hardware.
“Up against such a large volume of high quality wines that are entered each year," he said, "the caliber of the wine made and the grapes grown across this innovative and artisan appellation was clearly evident.”
A total of 65 judges looked over 5,825 entries across 25 states and 1,500 wineries.
Two local Chardonnays even took the competition’s highest honor, Best of Class: Cameron Hughes 2012 won for the $10-$14.99 category and Scott Family’s 2012 Estate took top nod for the $25-$29.99 slot.
“I’ve been growing grapes in Arroyo Seco for over 30 years,” Scott winemaker Roger Moitoso says, “and continue to be impressed with the impact that the AVA is having on the global wine stage.”
Five different Arroyo Seco Pinots earned medals.
Mercy won silver for their 2010 Cedar Lane and 2012 Riverbed while Ventana took home a silver for their estate-grown 2012. Two bronze medals went to Mercy’s 2010 Zebala and Blair Estate’s 2010 at Delphina’s Vineyard.
Learn more about the Arroyo Seco AVA at the winegrowers website.
A full list of winners can be viewed at the S.F. Chronicle Wine Competition website.