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Winners of the LA Int’l Wine And Spirits Competition Announced

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Post by Greg Thompson/Special to LAist (Photo by Greg Thompson)

On June 19th, the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition announced the winners of the 2009 competition. This annual event showcases the finest in both domestic and international vintages.

Categories include traditional and innovative new wines, ranging from light. crisp and dry to sweet 'Late Harvest' styles. There is an award for the best Organic, and a Wine World of sports category for celebrity winemakers like Tommy Lasorda, Greg Norman, and Mario Andretti. 2009 introduces 'Music Uncorked' for Musician Vintners like Barry Manilow, Li'l Jon, and Best of Show winner, Maynard James Keenan of Tool.

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Grapes and wine have been an important part of California's agriculture since the days of the missions, so very shortly after prohibition ended wine judging began. The LA International Wine and Spirits Competition has over 7 decades of tradition in Pomona (The Los Angeles County fair began in 1922 and is in it's 86th year). This year the fair's 70th annual competition featured over 3,000 wines and almost 4,000 total entries, including wine, spirits, and extra virgin olive oils.

The dates of the 2009 competition were: May 26-28 for olive oil; May 27-29 for wine; and June 1-2 for spirits. The winners were showcased at at McCormick and Schmick’s Beverly Hills location on June 18.

The competition includes public tastings and a a wine education program for the LA County Fair’s 1.4 million visitors. Having begun public wine tasting in 1968, the Fair opened a wine education center in 1998, complete with classes, tastings and displays of the award winning wines. No wonder it’s one of the top five in the country! Come visit and have a taste while the fair is on, between September 5 and October 4.

Notable award winners:

BEST MERLOT
Windsor Vineyards Merlot, Classic Series, Mendocino County 2006

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Gold Medal
Maison Bouachon 'La Tierre du Pape' Chateauneuf du Pape 2005

PLATINUM AWARD Gold Medal BEST OF CLASS
Castle Rock Pinot Noir Monterey County 2007

BEST OF SHOW Wine World of Sports
Lasorda Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT 2008

PLATINUM AWARD BEST OF CLASS, Dry Red Blends
Escudo Rojo, Baron Phillipe Valle Maipo Chile 2007

BEST OF SHOW Music Uncorked Category Red Blends
Caduceus Cellars Merkin Vineyards Shinola California 2007