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Mother Lode Wines Earn 50+ National Medals

Sonora, CA – This year, in the world’s largest annual competition of American wines Mother Lode wineries claimed over 50 medals.

Held each winter, the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition this year reported receiving a record-breaking 7,162 entries from independent and small boutique winemakers to large-scale wineries across the country.

Three Murphys area wineries garnered Double Gold Medals: one each by Villa Vallecito Vineyards for its 2013 estate-grown Barbera; Vina Moda for its 2013 Sierra Foothills Cabernet Sauvignon; and Zucca Mountain Vineyards for its 2014 “Belle Nipoti” dry rose/blush wine.

Villa Vallecito Nails Nine Awards

Villa Vallecito captured eight other medals, bringing its total take to nine. Among them: a Gold for its 2013 “Payaso,” a Rhone blend; four Silvers for its 2011 estate-grown Barbera, 2012 Calaveras grown Barbera, 2012 Sierra Foothills Syrah, and 2012 estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon; and three Bronzes for its 2013 Calaveras grown Syrah, 2013 estate-grown Grenache and 2013 Calaveras Cabernet Sauvignon.

Vina Moda made off with seven medals in total for its Sierra Foothills-sourced wines, including the following; three Golds for its 2013 Barbera, 2013 Syrah and 2013 Grenache; and three Silvers for its 2014 Chardonnay, 2013 Petite Sirah, and 2013 “Vinas,” a red blend.

Ironstone also earned seven medals; a Gold for is 2013 Lodi Zinfandel; three Silvers for its 2013 “Rous Reserve Ancient Vine” Zinfandel, 2013 Lodi Petite Sirah and 2014 Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon; and three Bronzes for its 2014 Lodi Chardonnay, 2013 Sierra Foothills Cabernet Sauvignon and 2014 Lodi Cabernet Franc.

Others Score Impressive Wins

Frog’s Tooth Vineyards secured six medals overall; Gold for its 2012 Sierra Foothills Barbera; Silvers for its 2012 Calaveras grown Viognier and Meritage; and three Bronzes for its 2012 Calaveras “Pink Diamonds” sparkling wine, and 2012 Sierra Foothills Zinfandel and Tempranillo.

Three Calaveras wineries each took home five medals apiece. Along with its abovementioned Double Gold for its proprietary dry rose/blush, Zucca Mountain earned Silvers for its 2013 Amador “Cooper Ranches” Barbera, “De Witt Vineyards” Barbera, and 2013 Calaveras “Canterbury Vineyards” Syrah; and Bronze for its 2012 Amador Sangiovese.

Black Sheep Winery’s five include a Gold for its 2012 Calaverasgrown Cinsault; three Silvers for its 2014 Calaveras “Ewephoric” white blend, 2012 Amador Zinfandel, and 2010 Amador “Rambunctious” red blend; and a Bronze for its 2012 Calaveras Zinfandel. Millaire Vineyard’s five are: Gold for its 2012 Calaveras Zinfandel; Silvers for its 2012 Calaveras “Ghirardelli” Zinfandel, and 2012 Amador “Clockspring” Zin; and Bronzes for its 2014 Sierra Foothills Gerwurtztraminer and 2013 Mokelumne River-Lodi Pinot Noir.

Hovey Wines Persevere

Hovey garnered four medals for its wines this year: Gold for its 2013 El Dorado “Walker Vineyard” Barbera; and three Silvers for its 2013 Calaveras “Dragone Ranch” Zinfandel, 2013 Calaveras Petit Sirah, and 2013 Calaveras “Rolleri Vineyards” Tempranillo. No doubt, it was a sweet triumph for high-profile winemaker Chuck Hovey and supportive team who have kept operations running smoothly as he continues to recover from a serious stroke, previously reported here.

In other Calaveras wins, Renner claimed a Bronze for its 2012 Sierra Foothills-sourced Late Harvest Syrah.

In Tuolumne County, Inner Sanctum Cellars took home three medals: Silvers for its 2013 “The Don” locally grown Barbera, and 2013 “The Beginning – Reserve” Cabernet Sauvignon; and Bronze for its 2014 “Mateo the Matador,” entered under Other White Varietals. Gianelli Vineyards claimed a Silver Medal for its 2012 estate-grown Barbera.

To view last year’s local results, click here.