Preparations are underway for the 64th annual L.A. County Fair “Wines of the World” competition, one of the top commercial wine events in the country, slated for May 14-16 at the Millard Sheets Gallery at Fairplex in Pomona, CA.
Fairplex cellar master and event organizer Mary Ellen Cole is enthusiastically laying the groundwork for the upcoming competition. This is the second year the event has included international entries.
“We’re expecting more entries in 2003,” Cole said. “Plus, we’ll have more international judges which is really exciting.”
USA Today named Wines of the World one of the top three wine competitions in the nation. Heading the competition’s steering committee once again is Dr. Robert Small, a professor in the Collins School of Hospitality Management at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. The event’s alliance with the Collins School helps strengthen the educational component of the wine competition.
Last year, the competition received a record amount of entries, a boost attributed to opening the event to all countries. Previously the event was open to wines from the Americas. In 2002, Wines of the World exceeded expectations with 3,392 entries submitted by more than 600 wineries.
The deadline to enter the 2003 contest is April 10.
Already holding the distinction of the largest and oldest county fair wine competition in the nation, Wines of the World is one of the largest commercial wine competitions of its kind in California. Wines will be judged in more than 300 classes by the elite panel of international judges Small is assembling. The event will continue to have the Limited Production Wine competition. The limited production category recognizes wines produced in smaller quantities and is open to all wines in selected classes with production levels of less than 2,500 cases. Back for its second year is the Organic Wine division.
All wines that are entered in the Wines of the World competition will be automatically entered into a separate wine packaging competition that will award medals for the best labels and bottles.