Dubbed as the world's largest American wine competition, over 3,800 wines from across the nation were presented to 11 five-judge panels, which swirled, nosed, sipped, gurgled and spat 70 categories of wines to select this year's award winners.
Among those receiving gold, silver and bronze awards at this prestigious event were four local vineyards - Bloomfield Vineyards, CA'NA Wines, Enos Family Vineyards and Hannah Nicole Vineyards.
Ranking over well-known brands such as Clos Du Bois and Rodney Strong, Hannah Nicole's 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve topped the $35 to $44.99 Cabernet category, claiming the only Gold Medal among far East County wineries.
"The wines did real well," said Hannah Nicole vintner Neil Cohn. "We got five medals - a gold, two silver (2003 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2003 Meritage) and two bronze (2003 Syrah and 2003 Red Table Wine) … we're really happy."
In the Bordeaux blends category (up to $14.99), Enos Family Vineyards was ranked at the top of its class, earning silver. No gold-level wine was named in that category.
"This really shows how we (Brentwood) have grown as a winegrowing region," said Jeff Tamayo of CA'NA Wines, who also took home bronzes for his 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2002 Port.
"The wines from our community have always shown well in tastings and competitions, regardless of where we have entered them," said Tamayo. "But the Chronicle tasting is really something special to us - to win a medal here shows just how good all of our wines really are. We aren't just selling bulk grapes to the big boys anymore."
Bloomfield Vineyards does both, selling its grapes to North Coast wineries and producing bottles of wine under its own label.
Bloomfield vintner Rebecca Bloomfield said that while their wine has won before in the San Francisco competition under other labels, this is the first time they have put their own label on the line. Of the four wines they entered, their 2005 Viognier and 2005 Pinot Grigio were both awarded bronzes.
"I actually won more awards under other labels," Bloomfield said. "But these are my wines and that's cool."
Also receiving awards at the four-day competition was CA'NA Wines vintner's other label, Tamayo Family Vineyards, which is produced from grapes grown in Napa's Oak Knoll district. Under that label, Tamayo received the prestigious Double Gold award for its 1998 Brut and two silvers for its 2004 Pinot Noir and 2005 Chardonnay.
For more information on all of the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition award-winning wines, log onto www.winejudging.com.
Locally, these wines can be purchased in Brentwood at Gooseberry Fool, 622 First St.; Brentwood Wine Store, 633 First St.; and Grazie! Italian Cuisine & Martini Bar, 642 First St.