OC Fair Home Wine Competition
Co-Sponsored by the Orange County Wine Society
The Orange County Wine Society, in conjunction with the OC Fair, has sponsored the OC Fair Home Wine Competition since 1976. This competition is open to all amateur home winemakers in California. It is one of the largest amateur home wine competitions in the USA. The judging is double blind and the scoring is based on a modified UC Davis 20 point scale. To ensure continuity in the valuation and scoring of the wines, we hold judging workshops prior to each year’s competition.
The winemakers who enter the competition do so not just for the bragging rights of the awards but also to get feedback from the judges. Judges have some discretion. Some wines have faults and some do not. If a judge marks a wine lower for a characteristic that can be corrected, the winemaker can then make an adjustment to his/her wine prior to finishing and bottling. That is probably the most valuable feedback for the competition entrants.
The competition is held in early June and the deadline for entry is usually mid-May. Four Best of Show awards (for Red, White, Fruit and Dessert Wines) are announced the day of the competition with the remaining awards posted the next day. The ribbons (and sometimes medals) are mailed about 4-6 weeks later.
Labels are also judged during this competition. Awards are presented for Best of Show along with Gold, Silver, and Bronze in each label category.
The OCWS Winemakers group provides the management for the competition. This continues to be the largest annual activity for the Winemakers group.