Huge Success at 47th OC Fair Home Wine Competition

We are proud to report that the annual OC Fair Home Wine Competition was held June 10, celebrating our 47th year as the longest-running amateur wine competition in California. The competition, which is open to all California residents, is co-sponsored by the Orange County Wine Society and the OC Fair. We judged wines from 163 winemakers from all parts of California who entered a total of 599 wines. From those wines, judges awarded 68 Double Gold, 95 Gold, 177 Silver and 129 Bronze medals. Our Best of Show winners included:

Red Wine: Don and Pam Brennan from Chino — 2021 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Petite Syrah Blend

White Wine: Brad Bunkelman from Santa Maria – 2019 100% Torrontes GRE from Allan Hancock College Vineyards

Fruit Wine: Robert Joakimson from Concord — 2023 Black Raspberry Wine

Dessert Wine: Carmen Babcock from La Mesa – 2022 Black Forest Style Wine

Label Winner: Lora and Jeffrey Sanders from Temecula – 2020 Sangiovese

This year there were a total of 83 judges with several coming from Northern California and 87 volunteers who supported the event. A special thanks to the 14 people from our Cooks’ Caucus, who provided two AWESOME hot meals for breakfast and lunch! Thank you to all who gave up several days, and in some cases, weeks of preparation for this one-day event.

Our 2023 Home Wine Competition Committee includes Kevin Donnelly – Competition Chair, John Lane – Judging Chair, Ed Reyes and Cheryl Knapp – Volunteer Coordinators, Stacey Taylor – Wine Administration and Competition Database Developer, Jerry Guerin – Judge Seminar Instructor, Kim Guerin – Scoring Chair, Wendy Taylor – Label Competition, Carolyn Christian – Marketing, Lynda Edwards and Sally Toth – Award Mailing, and Fran Gitsham – OCFEC Liaison.

A big THANK YOU to all who contributed this year, and I hope to see you all again at the 2024 OC Fair Home Wine Competition!

A complete list of award winners and competition photos may be found on our website at

Kevin Donnelly, OCWS Director and Home Wine Competition Chair