Watch live as 2021 North Coast Wine Challenge winners announced

The top winners of the ninth annual North Coast Wine Challenge will be announced at 11 a.m. Wednesday in a virtual unveiling from the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.

Watch live as the Best of the Best, Best of Show and Best of County winners are revealed here:

The competition, hosted by The Press Democrat, rates wines produced and bottled in the North Coast American Viticulture Areas. That includes Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Marin and Lake counties and parts of Solano County.

This year’s competition drew almost 1,200 wine entries, more than ever before and an uptick from last year’s 1,064 entries. There is also a 12% increase in wineries entering the contest for the first time this year.

Daryl Groom, chief wine judge and organizer of the competition, said the North Coast Wine Challenge has become a way for wineries to acquaint consumers with their wines, especially during the pandemic. “Winning a medal can increase their visibility,” Groom said.

The top winners will be posted on later today and published in the news section of The Press Democrat tomorrow. All of the gold medal winners will be printed in the Sonoma Feast section of the Press Democrat on April 14.

The two-day competition at the fairgrounds’ Showcase Café is following much the same format as it did last year, with COVID-19 safety precautions such as social distancing between the 27 judges and temperature checks for judges when they enter the building. Like last year, there won’t be a North Coast Wine & Food Festival, the public event following the competition where the gold medal wines are showcased with tastings and food pairings. The public gathering is expected to resume in the summer of 2022.

Wine writer Peg Melnik can be reached at or 707-521-5310.

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