County Fair doles out winemaker awards ahead of June 15 opening

170 medals given out of 228 entries, including 25 of them gold

The Alameda County Fair, which begins next month, has announced the top winners of its annual wine competitions.

The competition, which also hosts an amateur division, precedes the actual fair and is open exclusively to commercially bonded wineries located within Alameda County.

A total of 228 entries were submitted this year, and fair officials said of the 170 medals given, 25 of them were gold.

Top honors went to The Wine Group, which received the award for Best of Show white with its 2015 Big House Pinot Grigio, California. The award for Best of Show Red went to Crooked Vine Winery for its 2013 Crooked Vine Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley.

Additionally, the Sauvignon Summit "Best of Show" award went to Brutocao Cellars for its 2015 Bliss Family Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc of Mendocino. The Zin Challenge Best of Show was awarded to LCF Wines for its 2013 Caricature Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi.

Fair officials said the Amateur Winemaking contest, open to California residents 21 and over, awarded three top honors. Linda Harrell of Alamo won Best of Show Red for her 2011 Cotes du Alamo (Red Blend), Tom McFadden of Manteca won Best of Show White for his 2015 Dry White Rhone Blend and Mike Johnston of Galt won Best of Show Dessert for his 2013 Port.

A complete list of winners can be found at the Alameda County Fair website, and all gold medal wines from the 2016 competition will be available for purchase by the glass at the Wine Garden every day of the fair, according to fair officials.

The fair begins June 15 and lasts through July 4.

Jade Atkins, Bay City News

— Bay City News Service

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