California Cider Competition

See the complete list of 2017 awards-winners.

California Cider Competition on Tuesday named this year’s winners, and Gowan’s Heirloom Cider won the top spot for the second straight time.

Gowan’s, a 141-year-old apple grower based in Philo in Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley, won Best in Show and Best in Class – Modern Cider for its 2016 Sierra Beauty Heirloom. The cidery also won Best in Class – Varietal Ciders for its 2016 Gravenstein Heirloom and 2016 Macintosh Heirloom.

The Philo cidery took the 2016 Best in Show for its 1876 Heirloom Cider at the third annual competition. The 2016 version this year won Reserve Best in Class – Modern Cider.

Gowan’s last year also took the Best in Show and Reserve Best in Show titles at the second Mendocino Apple Show International Cider Competition. This year’s results are set for release Wednesday.

Here are the other 2017 California Cider Competition top winners:

• Reserve Best in Show: Early Harvest, Sierra Cider, Mariposa, California

• Best in Class – Heritage Cider: Early Harvest, Sierra Cider

• Best in Class – Traditional Cider: Farmhouse Style, Sierra Cider

• Reserve Best in Class – Traditional Cider: 2016 Orchard Blend Cider, Richard Reeves

Started in 2014, the competition ( is held in conjunction with the Mendocino County Fair & Apple Show, held Sept. 15–17 in Boonville.

For judging, cider entrants were grouped by style and blind-tasted. Each cider is scored one at a time against a 21-point scale by a panel of four judges. Best of Show is determined by a side-by-side comparison of Gold Medal winners, identified only by style of cider and varietal or fruit ingredients, if applicable.

Judges were selected for their experience in cider, wine, beer and culinary competitions, as well as their experience in cidermaking, winemaking and brewing. To qualify for their role, judges joined us on Monday August 29th for a professional cider organoleptic training lead by returning head judge Bob Peak.

The 2017 judges included Adam Padilla, Amanda Lathrop, Christian Miller, Christophe Smith, David Sandri, David Schwoegler, Debra Del Fiorentino, Dennis Yardroff, Dianne Boate, Jack Crispin Ian Cain, Jim Brown, Maël Renault, Michal Clements, Robert Meyer, Tim Bray and Tom Allman.

A public tasting of award-winners is set for Sept. 16, 1–5 p.m., Sept. 17, noon–4 p.m.

California Cider Competition

See the complete list of 2017 awards-winners.