Dr. Robert W. Small, in his sixth year as chairman of the L.A. County Fair’s wine steering committee, looks forward to another record-breaking year for the “Wines of the World” competition with more entries, expanded competitions and an international panel of prestigious judges. The wine competition will be held May 14-16 in the Millard Sheets Gallery at Fairplex in Pomona, California.
“We want people to recognize what we do at the L.A. County Fair as something that provides a broad perspective from individuals who know and understand wine and who are looking at selecting the best quality wines from the largest competition in the country,” said Small. “The expertise provided by the judges helps us to educate and inform the public about wines at the Fair’s ‘Vineyard’ exhibit."
The competition is expected to be the largest yet, with wines coming from throughout the globe. The limited production category, open to wines in selected classes with production levels of less than 2,500, is back for the fifth year. Hugely popular last year with more entries than expected, Small said he anticipates even greater participation this year. There is also the organic wine competition for wines made from organically grown grapes.
The Packaging Design Competition and the Olive Oils of the World Competition will return in 2003.
The Packaging Design Award was added in response to interest from consumers who attended the 1998 Fair. “Not only is it aesthetically interesting, but a lot of people make wine selections based on the appearance of the bottle and what the bottle actually tells them,” said Small. “So the package, or how a bottle of wine gets presented becomes an important issue.”
The Best Winery of the Competition Award will be decided based on the highest ratio of earned points to the number of wines entered. “This category provides another opportunity for wineries to showcase themselves,” Small explained. “Ultimately, it also benefits the consumer by providing more information.”
The wine education programs introduced during the 1998 Fair will expand to provide even greater opportunities to the public to learn about wine judging and to better understand the subtleties of wine and the wine tasting process.