In the only event of its kind in the world, over two hundred canned wines flexed their aluminum muscles at the second annual International Canned Wine Competition held July 21-23 at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville, California. Seventy producers from around the globe sent in a total of 226 entries. Wines were submitted from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, and Spain as well as from many parts of the U.S.A. While California and Oregon producers took their share of honors, many of the 96 gold medals went to wines from less prominent regions.
According to competition founder Allan Green, it was notable that 30% of the entries were Rosé wines: “Rosé has become so popular in the last few years, and it lends itself to cans: people take Rosé along for a picnic or drink it sitting by the pool.”
The competition judges came from academia, marketing and the wine trade. Professional judge Mark Bowery noted that he has, “been judging wine professionally for 36 years, but this was my first foray into the canned category. And I’ve got to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality, across the board. I was especially impressed by the varietal accuracy and deep satisfaction delivered in the Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc submissions.”
Handley Cellars’ winemaker Randy Schock said, “It was amazing to see the improvement in quality across the board compared to the first International Canned Wine Competition last year. Not just with the products oriented to the pop “spritzer” market, which were fun and refreshing, but the wines that expressed traditional bottled varietal expressions exceeded my expectations.”
Because of the Covid 19 virus, the organizers of the competition scheduled the judging over three days, with three judges on each daily panel socially distanced in a large exhibition hall. Judges had individual sets of glassware and bussed their own samples after each flight.
2020 Gold Medal Winners
Browne Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley
Day Drinking Watermelon Rosé Wine Spritzer
House Wine Paloma Wine Cocktail
Pampelonne La Peche, France
Ste. Chapelle Wild Huckleberry Spritz
In addition, Browne Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon received a gold medal for package design.