In a double-blind pairing of three Ramona and three French wines, judges preferred Ramona.
“This is a similar result as the 1976 Judgment of Paris and is a big deal for the wine industry in the Ramona Valley,” said John York, president of the Ramona Valley Vineyard Association. “The Ramona wineries won the formal judging and the people’s voting, as well as both the judges and people’s overall awards.”
Judging was at the 2012 French American Wine Challenge in the 57 Degrees Wine Bar in San Diego on Friday, April 13.
A panel of French and American judges made the choices of the competing wines.
“I was so proud to watch people try Ramona wines, hearing how great the Ramona wines were, and even prouder when, as each pairing was announced, it was Ramona in a clean sweep of the event,” said Teri Kerns,
executive editor of Ramona Valley Wine Region magazine and a Ramona vintner.
Representing Ramona in the challenge were a 2009 Cabernet Franc from Marilyn and Steve Kahle’s Woof‘n Rose Winery, a 2006 Syrah from Beth and Victor Edwards’ Edwards Vineyard & Cellars, and a 2010 Sauvignon Blanc created by Jim Hart at Milagro Farm Vineyards and Winery.
In addition to the Ramona wines winning each category, Woof’n Rose’s 2009 Cabernet Franc also won the People’s Choice Award.
“Way to go, Ramona!” said Kerns.
York selected the competing wines from Ramona Valley, and John Alonge, popularly known as the “Wine Heretic,” selected wine varietals from Southern France generally in the same price range as those from Ramona.
“Southern France has a climate and geological foundation not too dissimilar from ours,” said York.
The alliance Francaise de San Diego and Ramona Valley Vineyard Association hosted the challenge.
“It was unbelievably well attended,” said Marilyn Kahle, estimating that about 200 people attended. “The support from the community was just incredible. It was heartwarming.”
Commenting about the awards Woof ‘n Rose Winery received, a modest Kahle said, “I’m sure it was close, because the Ramona wines were good.”
Having the Ramona wines judged the best in the tasting contest had added meaning, as the French wines “are all from well-established wineries...four or five generations in the family,” said Kahle.
“It’s another rung on the ladder toward Ramona being recognized for its wines,” she said.