Arizona Stronghold Vineyards in Cottonwood has taken home five gold medals and six silvers in four prestigious international wine competitions this year -- The Dallas Morning News and TexSom Wine Competition, the 25th Annual Tasters Guild International Wine Judging, Sunset International Wine Competition (affiliated with Sunset Magazine) and the San Francisco International Wine Competition.
The golds went to the vineyard's 2010 Mandala Red, 2010 Nachise, 2010 Dala Chardonnay and 2010 Dala Cabernet Sauvignon and silvers to 2010 Tazi, 2009 Mangus, 2010 Syrah Nursery and 2010 Mandala White.
The 2010 Dala Cabernet Sauvignon won a Double Gold medal at the San Francisco competition, and the label has been invited to go on an exclusive, 14-city Grand Tasting Tour, part of a wine and sprits event that kicks off today (for industry and media folks only) and tomorrow for the general public at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa.
As Paula Woolsey, National Sales Manager for Arizona Stronghold, puts it, "These are real competitions with very prestigious judges. We're seeing our wines stack up against some of the best wine in the world and gaining recognition not just as an Arizona wine but within the wine world at large."
The judging panels for each of these competitions are a high-powered group of wine critics, distributors, importers, sommeliers, Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine -- considered the best tasters in the world. She adds that "winning in San Francisco is enormous," and happily points out that AZ Stronghold's gold medal win in the Sunset competition prompted the magazine to buy 169 cases of Tazi 2010 to distribute to their wine club members.