Grapes grown on a sun-drenched gentle slope in Redcrest, surrounded on one side by towering redwood trees, have produced several wines that took top honors at the 2012 Humboldt County Fair.
Rosina Vineyards was selected as the Best Humboldt County Winery; its 2007 pinot noir received double gold awards, named as the Best Wine Made with Humboldt County grapes and the Best Red Wine in the Humboldt County Fair competition. Best white wine in the competition was Fieldbrook Winery's Arrequin Vineyard's (Redwood Valley) 2011 Chardonnay.
Three other Rosina Vineyard wines captured awards; the Humboldt County pinot noir rosè received double gold awards, the 2008 pinot noir received a silver ribbon, and the 2009 pinot noir, a bronze ribbon.
Several years ago Fieldbrook Winery's Bob Hodgson took the lead in establishing a professional scoring system for judging the Humboldt County Fair wine competition. This year's event organizer was North Coast Co-op's Bob Stockwell. Oregon mathematician Neil Hulkower assisted with this year's scoring and tallying of results.
"The fair is delighted to have the cooperation of the Humboldt Wine Association in encouraging their members and other area wineries to participate," said Humboldt County Fair entries and exhibits coordinator Susan Combes. She also expressed her appreciation to Hodgson and Stockwell for their contributions to improve the competition, and to The Ivanhoe's Barb Mogni for help to make the event run smoothly, and for obtaining the original judges, several of whom still serve on the panel.
In the Eel River Valley, Ferndale's Frog Alley Winery captured two gold, one silver and three bronze ribbons, and Monument Vineyards in Rio Dell brought home one gold ribbon and one bronze ribbon.
Southern Humboldt wineries to take home awards included Briceland Vineyards, with a total of 12, including a double gold for its 2010 Lake County Syrah; Riverbend Cellars in Myers Flat with two silver ribbons and 2 bronze ribbons; Lost Coast Vineyards with three bronze ribbons; and Elk Prairie Vineyard with a bronze ribbon for its 2009 pinot noir.
Photos by Mary Bullwinkel/Beacon
1. Rosina Vineyards earned top awards at the 2012 Humboldt County Fair.
2. The first grapes in Rosina Vineyards in Redcrest (pictured) were planted in 1999 and its first bottle of pinot noir was produced in 2005.
3. Briceland Vineyards received a dozen awards for its wines, several of which are pictured.
4. Elk Prairie Vineyards, owned by Alan (pictured) and Sandra Estrada, received a bronze ribbon for its 2009 pinot noir, made from grapes grown in their Fruitland Ridge vineyard.