In 2000, it was a captivating Cabernet Sauvignon.
In 2001, it was a magnificent Meritage.
In 2002, it was a scintillating Syrah.
In 2003, it was a glorious Grenache.
Which wine will be crowned the world’s best in 2004?
We’ll know in May when 80 international judges determine the best of the best at the L.A. County Fair’s Wines of the World competition. Scheduled for May 12-14 at the Millard Sheets Gallery at Fairplex, the oldest county fair wine competition will showcase the finest vintages in the world, again illustrating why this competition is widely considered to be the premier wine competition in the United States.
From white to red, sparkling to dessert and even organic, more than 300 classes of wine will be savored by some of the most discriminating palates in the world. Fairplex cellar master and event organizer Mary Ellen Cole is expecting to see the largest gathering of entries yet.
“Since we opened the competition to international wines three years ago, we’ve seen a steady increase in the volume of entries we receive,” said Cole. “That’s made it much more challenging for our judges and an even more thrilling competition.”
The deadline to enter is April 5.
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. The Organic Wine division returns for its third year.
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.
The Fair also hosts the Olive Oils of the World competition held in conjunction with the wine event. Begun in 2000, the competition is now the largest olive oil competition in the nation. The 2003 competition received 176 oils from 126 producers from around the world.
Beginning shortly after the end of prohibition, the L.A. County Fair began awarding medals to the finest wines in California. The event quickly grew to world-class stature. The Los Angeles County Fair Association places a strong emphasis on educating the public about wine. In 1968, the Fair introduced public wine tasting and in 1998 established a wine education center called The Vineyard. The Vineyard features more than 2,000 award-winning wines and extra virgin olive oils on display, gold medal wine tasting which serves more than 50,000 wine samples from a menu selection of 300 gold medal-winning wines and offers more than 50 wine and olive oil education classes taught by our wine and olive oil judges.
The 82nd anniversary L.A. County Fair is Sept. 10-26.
LACFA president Jim Henwood said the goal of the competition is to offer consumers valuable information about wine and the winemaking process.
“Our mission it to educate, encourage and stimulate the continuing improvement in the quality of
wines and vineyards throughout the world. We intend to enrich the reputation of these wine growing regions and their winemakers by demonstrating through our competition the ability to produce fine wines of outstanding taste, character and complexity in a manner that will inform and excite consumers.”