Monterey Wine Competition
Monterey International Spirits Competition logo

Entry Information


A complete entry is comprised of four (4) 750ml or nine (9) 375ml bottles. Distilled spirits entries such as brandy require three (3) 750ml or five (5) 375ml bottles. Grape varieties, residual sugar, appellation, vineyard designation, proprietary names, retail price and alcohol level must be listed on the entry form with each entry. Please fill out the entry form completely and accurately. The winery’s telephone number, email address and contact person are important. Winners will be notified shortly after the end of the competition by regular U.S. mail. Results also will be posted on the website at

IMPORTANT: Be sure to enter each wine in the proper category. If a category does not exist for your wine, leave the category field blank and the Director will assign the wine to the correct category or create a new category, if necessary, using the varietal composition and residual sugar level as a guide.

Wines entered in the wrong category will be moved to the correct category by the Director. Enter the wine’s name as it appears on the label. The wine’s label will determine how the wine is identified to consumers and industry when awards are announced.

Entry Fees

Online entry fee is $75 per wine competition entry / $150 per spirits competition entry for entries received before February 16, 2024.

The fee for wines entered after February 17th is $85 per wine competition entry / $150 per spirits competition entry.

Final deadline is March, 1, 2024

Make checks payable to Salinas Valley Fair or complete and submit our credit card authorization form or enter online at Mail entry form and fees to: Salinas Valley Fair, 625 Division Street, King City, CA 93930.

Please direct any questions to Lauren Hamilton at 831-385-3243, [email protected] or Rich Cook, Competition Director at 760-522-3167, [email protected].

Entering Online

You can enter your wines and pay your fees directly through the links above. If you are a first time user of enofile, click on “REGISTER” in the upper right area of the page at to create a profile. Once you’re signed in, select Monterey International Wine Competition and enter your wines. If you have trouble, please contact Director Rich Cook for assistance.

Welcome to the 2024 Monterey International Wine & Spirits Competition

You are cordially invited to enter the 31st annual Monterey Wine Competition, an international wine competition to be held at the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds on March 9, 2024.

What is it that makes Monterey unique among competitions and worthy of your consideration? This year we will again be including scores on all wines rated Gold or above for use in your marketing strategy. I’ve found in my discussions with wineries that awards are a useful tool in the tasting room and on shelf talkers, but that the power of a two-digit score in today’s age of social media is of significant value to wineries that have implemented such strategies into their overall marketing plan. We’re offering both, so you can use whatever combination works best for you.

While the event is called a competition, we are very careful to ensure that wines are evaluated in their own context – in other words, we’re not out to say that this particular wine is “better” than that particular wine. It is our sincere desire to celebrate high quality wines of all styles, from all regions of the world.

Our judges are experienced tasters that have significant experience in the industry, running the gamut from marketing consultants that represent large wine portfolios to Master Sommeliers. Judges will be added as we approach the competition – check our website for the most current list. Our special awards will include the Best of Monterey County, Wine of the Year, Winery of the Year and some unique Director’s Awards. In addition, award winners will be poured at our Grand Tasting at the Salinas Valley Fair in May.

Thank you for taking the time to consider the Monterey International Wine Competition – we hope that it’s a fit for your marketing strategy, and we look forward to celebrating your winemaking achievements!


Rich Cook, Director & Chief Judge

Rich Cook, CEO, Man in his 50's with a bald head and a gray goatee wearing a maroon plaid dress shirt

Our Judges

Wayne Belding

Wayne Belding

Master Sommelier
Boulder, CO

Kimberly Charles

Charles Communications
San Francisco, CA

Dr. Valery Uhl

Dr. Valery Uhl

Wine Grower
Petaluma, CA

Leon Tackitt

Tackitt Family Vineyards
Paso Robles, CA



LaZarre Wines
Paso Robles, CA

James Ewart

Delicato Family Wines
Napa Valley, CA


McBride Sisters Wines
Oakland, CA

Robert Larsen

The Larsen Projekt
Sonoma County, CA



Springboard Wines
San Diego, CA


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


Winemaker, Niner Wines, Paso Robles, CA


Consulting Winemaker
Santa Rose, CA


Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, Calistoga, CA

Laura Ness


Freelance Writer
Monterey, CA


Lazarre Wines, Paso Robles, CA

Tim McDonald


Wine & Spirits Spoken Here
Napa Valley, CA

2024 Awards

The 2024 Monterey International Wine & Spirits Competition has concluded.

Congratulations and thank you to all producers who participated. We look forward to celebrating your wines and spirits at the 2023 Salinas Valley Fair Grand Tasting.
Winners can download digital official competition award badges below.

ZD Wines

Wine Of The Year

ZD Wines

2021 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley

Lawrenceburg Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Spirit Of The Year

Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

“Guadalupe” Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Port Cask Finished, 2021 Release

Long Valley

Best Of Monterey

Long Valley Ranch

2019 Pinot Noir

Estate Vineyards Monterey Country

Distillery of the year

Distillery Of The Year

Lawrenceburg Boubon Company

Award Winner Badges

Winners can download badges to display proudly.
PC Users: Right click on the image and "save as" to your desktop (or other folder)
Mac Users: Drag & Drop the image to your desktop (or other folder)

Winery of the Year
Wine of the Year
Best of Monterey County
Directors Award
Platinum Wine Award
Gold Wine Award
Silver Wine award
Spirit Of The Year
Monterey International Platinum
Monterey International Silver
Monterey International Silver

The Competition


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 that are the best of the best as selected by our judges. 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 and by regular mail.


  1. To qualify for entry in the 2024 Monterey Wine Competition a wine must have been produced for commercial sale. Homemade wines will not be accepted for judging.
  2. Each wine’s category will be determined by information on the label.
  3. The decision of the judges is final.
  4. The Director reserves the right to create new categories as entries warrant.
  5. Four (4) 750ml or six (6) 375ml bottles comprise a wine entry.
  6. All wines entered must be received by March 1st, 2024.
  7. Make checks payable to Salinas Valley Fair or complete and submit credit card authorization form.

International Wines: The 2024 Monterey Wine Competition accepts entries from commercial wineries worldwide.


Lauren Hamilton
E-mail Here


Rich Cook, Director
E-mail Here

Chief Executive Officer: Lauren Hamilton (Acting)

Competition Director: Rich Cook

Cellar Master: Janice D’Arcy

Staging Manager: Kevin Piearcy

Entries & Payments: Lauren Hamilton

Volunteer Coodinator: Terry Lewis

Chief Executive Officer: Lauren Hamilton (Acting)