President’s Message

Another One For The Record Books

The 47th Annual OC Fair Commercial Wine Competition was held June 3 and 4 at the Hilton Hotel in Costa Mesa. The amazing weekend found upward of 90 professional winemakers and winery principals judging 2,260 wines.

The Competition Committee worked tirelessly for the prior nine months to make this happen and will now have just enough time to take a deep breath before beginning again this September in anticipation of the 2024 competition.

As the competition chair, as well as the current organization president, THANK YOUs from me are not worthy enough words to express my appreciation, coupled with my awe and respect for the following committee members who put their hearts, sweat and tears into making this competition a reality and a raving success:

  • Kevin Coy, Director of Judges
  • Rochelle Randel, Judges’ Liaison
  • Teri & John Lane, Wine Cataloging Leads
  • Bill Redding, Facilities Coordinator
  • Robyn & Dean Strom, Volunteer Coordinators
  • Chris Bruce, Scoring Verification Supervisor
  • Dave Stancil, Data Entry Supervisor
  • Stacey Taylor, Competition Software and Results Website Creator and Mentor
  • Greg Hagadorn, Wine Sort and Move Coordinator
  • Dave White, Wine Bagging Coordinator
  • Carol Frank & Sam Puzzo, Label/Bottle Competition Coordinators
  • Carolyn Christian, Marketing
  • George Cravens, Assistant Extraordinaire in Everything

Although, not technically on the committee roster, I would be remiss if I did not give a shout out to:

  • Helga Hrowel, Judges’ Scoring Coordinator
  • Jane Goodnight, Assistant to Director of Judges

And to the hundreds of volunteers who stewarded, manned the kitchen, dried glasses, verified scores, verified and entered data, coordinated judges’ food, etc., etc.

Every year I continue to be amazed at what a cohesive, accommodating and hard-working committee we have and one that makes me feel great about what we accomplish as a team. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to everyone who had anything to do with the resounding success of the competition and for personally holding mine and each other’s hands and hearts!

For competition results check out and look to enjoy the fruits of the winemakers’ labors.

Fran Gitsham, President & 2023 Commercial Wine Competition Chair