Placer County wineries set record with 37 medals at state fair

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The results of the California State Fair Wine Competition are in and Placer County wineries claimed top billing with 37 awards from eight of its 18 wineries, the highest number of medals achieved by the region to date.

“Our Placer County wineries continue to grow in numbers and increase the quality of their wines,” said Jocelyn Maddux, of Lone Buffalo Winery in Auburn. “We’re proud that we have achieved a record number of awards to add to our ‘Best’ wins with Lone Buffalo’s Best of Class for the Sierra Foothills in 2010, Wise Villa in 2011 and Popie Wines this year. In addition, Casque Wines won Best of Show Microwinery Awards in 2010 for both red and white wines.”

From Lincoln to Loomis and up through Auburn, eight Placer County wineries were recognized in the fair’s commercial wine competition among 2,890 wine entrants. More than 70 judges on 18 panels tasted all of the wines submitted by 688 participating wineries.

Lincoln’s Wise Villa brought home the most medals among the submitted Placer wineries, with a total of 13 medals including three gold, six silver and four bronze awards.

Loomis had four wineries with impressive wins, with four silver medals for Casque Wines, Ciotti Cellars with one silver and three bronze and Secret Ravine Winery with three silver awards. Popie Wines won two silver medals for its 2009 Red Generic and its Bianci di Barbera, which also tied for the Best of Class, Sierra Foothills Appellations.

A bit further up Highway 80, in Auburn, PaZa Vineyard was recognized with two silver medals and one bronze, Fawnridge Winery won one silver and two bronze and Lone Buffalo went home with four silver awards and one bronze.

“This is such an outstanding achievement for our area’s wineries,” said Placer County Agricultural Commissioner Josh Huntsinger. “All of our wineries deserve recognition and the state fair endorsement means so much. Placer County wineries have been one of the region’s best-kept secrets and we’re working hard to change that.”

Huntsinger said the Placer County medal winners will be among more than 200 wineries pouring their showcase wines at the Grape and Gourmet event at the state fairgrounds Aug. 18.  Tickets are available for $40 in advance and $50 at the door. Visit for more information about the California Grape and Gourmet. More information about Placer County wines is available at