Commercial Competition

Results are In: Commercial Wine Label Competition

The 2019 Commercial Wine Label Competition has completed its review of many new wine labels. The Winner of the Best of Show is a label from the 1849 Wine Company called “Triumph,” a 2015 Red Wine Blend wine. All of the 1849 Wine Company wines feature artist created labels that got the attention of the Label Committee. To see other designs of their labels, please visit their website at 1849wine.com and read about the artist who created them named “Saber.”

The Commercial Label Competition has been an integral part of the OC Fair Commercial Wine Competition for over 15 years. A committee led by long-time members, Karl Tani and Carol Miura, reviewed labels submitted by wineries with their entries or, new this year, labels entered on competition websites used by the OCWS. Out of the many hundreds of labels available for review, the Label Committee narrowed the selection to a group of 12 to 15 finalists in 12 Categories from Architecture to Whimsical, which included a full bottle display for labels that may be screen-printed or otherwise will not show well if separated from the bottle. The Committee then selects up to 10 wines for display at the Commercial Wine Competition. Judges, volunteers, and other guests vote on a favorite in each category. Based on the most votes received, Gold, Silver and Bronze winners are chosen. From the group of Gold Medal winners, the Best of Show is then voted on by the Label Committee.

New procedures were started this year, and it was very gratifying on how wineries reacted when we phoned them to advise they were finalists. We try to use original wine labels if at all possible. But if unable to obtain them, we use the digital image from competition websites. Phone calls are placed to any finalist winery for whom we only have digital copies to try and secure originals.

The Label Committee thanks all the Commercial Wine Competition Judges and OCWS volunteers for their votes and enthusiasm, as well as the many wonderful comments about this year’s labels.

– Sam Puzzo,
Chair, The Label Committee

2019 Commercial Wine Competition Volunteer Opportunities

Now that the holidays are over, it is time to begin planning for the Commercial Wine Competition. This event requires an enormous amount of volunteer time. There are volunteer opportunities in many areas; some involve more time than others. This article will outline some of those positions to help members decide on their involvement.

Are you interested in learning how we processed the 2,708 entries received last year for the 2018 Commercial Wine Competition? Do you have a desire to work with others on this organizational process? Sign up for the cataloging duties or the data entry duties beginning Tuesday, January 8 with the Building 15 cleanup work party.

Cataloging will be scheduled days and evenings (if volunteers are available) to more easily fit into your schedules. You will help unload wines, place them on tables, identify them in our database of entries, and assign them each a separate designation based on varietal and number of entry, i.e. Pinot Noir is PN23. This bottle is then labeled and placed in the Pinot Noir box. You will be working with other volunteers experienced in the cataloging procedures and data entry process.

If you have an interest in joining the cataloging team, please contact Liz Corbett with your questions and contact information for the 2019 Competition scheduling. Contact Liz at liz@ocws.org or at 714.342.6652.

Even though it is only January, please save the dates. The Competition will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Costa Mesa on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2. As always, it is the vast number of volunteers that make this event successful. Ken and Irene Scott will be filling positions such as computer score/verification, stewarding, kitchen help, glass dryers, and traffic control. In addition, bagging and sorting the wine will run from Tuesday, May 28 through Thursday, May 30. Volunteer signup information will follow in the next few months.

– Leslie Brown, Chair, Commercial Wine Competition

Commercial Wine Competition Judges Go Over & Above

The support of the Judges at the 2018 Commercial Wine Competition knows no bounds. In addition to the Judges, with the exception of a small stipend, paying their own way to attend and judge, each year a handful donate back their stipends to create a Judge’s Scholarship, which is then granted in their honor by the OCWS. This year, we extend our heartfelt appreciation to those Judges who, collectively, donated $2,000 toward our mission of scholarship fundraising for grants in enology, viticulture and culinary arts.

Special thanks to the following judges for their kindness and generosity: Brent Amos from Las Positas Vineyards; Joseph S. Franzia from Forest Glen Winery; Ondine Chattan from Cannonball Wines; Jessica Gasca from Story of Soil; Alfredo Koch from Allen Hancock Community College; Steve Lohr from J. Lohr Winery; Stephen Rasmussen from Westgate Cellars; H. Marty Spate from Meridian; Fred Weibel, Jr. from Weibel Family Vineyards & Winery; and Evelyn White.

We urge all our OCWS members to support their businesses, and if your paths cross with these generous people in your travels, to please thank them personally and relay to them just how much their caring ways mean to all of us. Thank you.

– 2018 Commercial Wine Competition Committee

Hotel Reservations for Commercial Wine Competition

If you plan on staying at the Costa Mesa Hilton Hotel for the weekend of the Commercial Wine Competition, please make reservations no later than May 20. The OCWS has booked a block of rooms for OCWS members at a discounted rate and this rate is guaranteed only until that date. The special rate does […]
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Commercial Competition Volunteers Needed

Calling all volunteers! The 2018 Commercial Competition will be held Saturday, June 2, and Sunday, June 3, and volunteers are crucial to its success! This event offers many opportunities to meet winemakers, add to your wine knowledge, and enjoy getting to know your fellow OCWS members and how our competition works. There are many tasks where […]
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Judges Giving Back

The support of the judges at the Commercial Wine Competition knows no bounds. With the exception of a small stipend, competition judges pay their own way to attend and participate in the judging process. Each year a handful of judges donate their stipends to create a Judge’s Scholarship, which is then granted in their honor by the OCWS. This year we extend our heartfelt appreciation to those judges who collectively donated $1,600.00 toward our mission of scholarship fundraising for grants in enology, viticulture, and culinary arts.

Special thanks to the following judges for their kindness and generosity:

  • Tondi Bolkan, Francis Ford Coppola Winery
  • Onodine Chattan, Geyser Peak Winery
  • John Kane, Fetzer Vineyards
  • Steve Lohr, J. Lohr Winery
  • Lisa Russell, Korbel Champagne Cellars
  • H. Marty Spate, Blossom Hill
  • Fred Weibel, Jr., Weibel Family Vineyards and Winery
  • Evelyn Taft, Taft Street Winery

We urge all our OCWS members, whose paths may at times cross with these generous people in their travels, to please thank them personally and relay to them just how much their caring ways mean to all of us.

Thank you!

– Fran Gitsham, Director

Hotel Reservations for Commercial Wine Competition

If you plan on staying at the Costa Mesa Hilton hotel for the weekend of the Commercial Wine Competition, please make reservations no later than May 19, 2017. The OCWS has booked a block of rooms for OCWS members at a discounted rate and this rate is guaranteed only until that date. The special rate […]
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OCWS Commercial Competition Results Website

The Commercial Wine Competition is a long standing Wine Society event. The wines that are entered into the Competition are not only judged during the actual competition, but are also served to patrons at The Courtyard during the annual OC Fair. Patrons are able to taste the many award winning wines. The results of the […]
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Commercial Competition Wrap-Up

The 2016 Commercial Wine Competition was held June 4 and 5 at the Costa Mesa Hilton Hotel. Our 40th year celebration of this event was a great success and it was all due to the outstanding efforts of our many volunteers! Each year, the judges tell us how organized this event is and they look […]
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