Welcome to the 2019 Monterey International Wine Competition


Monterey International Wine Competition Announces Awards

The 2019 Monterey International Wine Competition, wrapped up on Sunday, March 10th at the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds in King City. Eighteen judges representing all aspects of the wine industry swirled and sipped through 730 entries, resulting in the selection of 61 Platinum Award winners, 154 Gold Award winners and 43 ‘Best of’ award designations.

Platinum awards are reserved for wines scoring 94 points and above. Gold honors awarded to wines scoring 90 to 93 points. The wines scoring a minimum of 90 points and the highest point total in each category are recognized as the ‘Best Of’ for the 2019 competition.

Special honors include the Wine of the Year - the 2015 V. Sattui “Paradiso” Red Wine from Napa Valley (97 points), and the Best of Monterey County - the 2016 Ghost Hull Cabernet Sauvignon, San Lucas Vineyard, San Lucas, Monterey County (96 points).

This year’s Winery of the Year is awarded to Halter Ranch Winery of Paso Robles, CA. This award recognizes the overall quality of the wines entered in the competition.

"As always over my twelve year association with the competition, entrants showed that their wines have a place on the world stage among the finest of their types from their respective regions, and MIWC is proud to celebrate their achievements." Rich Cook, Director and Chief Judge.

The Monterey International Wine Competition Grand Tasting will be held on Thursday, May 16, the opening night of the Salinas Valley Fair. Over 500 people are expected to taste award winning wines from the competition while sampling foods from local producers, caterers and restaurants. For event information and tickets go to SalinasValleyFair.com or call the Salinas Valley Fair office at 831-385-3243.

Chief Judge, Rich Cook, Tastes Platinum Award Winning Wines. See notes on all Platinum Award Winners Get Rich's take on this year's winners in the Platinum Award Winner Notes

Best Of Monterey

2016 Ghost Hull - Cabernet Sauvignon
San Lucas | Monterey

Wine Of The Year

2015 V. Sattui Winery - "Paradiso" Red Wine
Napa Valley

Our Judges


Wayne Belding

Master Sommelier, Boulder, CO

Thrace Bromberger

WALT Wines, Sonoma, CA

Amy Butler

Owner/Winemaker, Ranhero Cellars, Paso Robles, Ca

Anna Marie dos Remedios

Owner/Winemaker, Idle Hour Winery, Carmel Valley, CA

Traci Dutton

Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, Calistoga, CA

Tom Stutz

Consulting Winemaker, Santa Rose, CA

Kimberly Charles

Charles Communications Associates, San Francisco, CA

Angie Lazarre

Director/Co-Winemaker, Lazarre Wine

Mike Stepanovich

Wine Writer/Author, Bakersfield, CA

Patrick Muran

Winemaker, Niner Wines, Paso Robles, CA

John Shiltz

CS, Atascadero, CA

Laura Ness

Wine Writer, Monterey, CA

Jon Elkins

Revel Wine, Oakland, CA

Dr. Valery Uhl

North of the Gate Wine Competition, Petaluma, CA

Brett Jones

Noble Vines, San Bernabe, CA

Kevin Walsh

WSET Advanced, Henry Wine Group, San Diego, CA

Jon Walton

Failla Wines, Napa, CA

Adam Lazarre

Lazarre Wines, Paso Robles, CA

Tim McDonald

CSW, Wine Spoken Here, Napa, CA

The Competition


Award Categories

Judges will award Silver honors to wines that demonstrate above average character for the wine type and place of origin. Gold honors will be awarded to wines that rise above a straightforward recommendation.

Platinum awards will be reserved for wines nominated for Best of Show in these categories:

  • sparkling
  • rose
  • white
  • red
  • dessert

All judges will participate in the tasting evaluation and vote for Best of Show and Wine of the Year. Judges will taste all wines blind, but may ask for information about place of origin or grape varieties included in a blend. Producer, price and vintage will not be disclosed until the close of the competition. The Director may, at his discretion, recognize outstanding performances by an individual winery or importer following tabulation of all results. Awards will be announced at www.montereywinecompetition.com and by regular mail.

General Questions

Lauren Hamilton
831-385-3243
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Competition Questions

Rich Cook, Director
760-522-3167
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  • Chief Executive Officer: TJ Plew
  • Director: Rich Cook
  • Cellar Master: Paul Slocum
  • Salinas Valley Fair, Director & Staging Manager: Kevin Piearcy
  • Administration & Computer Systems: Lauren Hamilton
  • Administrative Support: Cindy Escobar
  • Volunteer: Sharon Pursley & Terry Lewis