Sunset Western Wine Awards Honor the Best Western Wines at Star-Studded Gala

The editors of Sunset and special guest, Tyler Florence, gathered at Sunset Savor the Central Coast for a gala presentation of these prestigious awards.

Oct 07, 2010, 09:00 ET from Sunset Magazine

SANTA MARGARITA, Calif., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- On Friday, October 1, Sunset magazine editors, celebrity guests, and some of the region's most talented winemakers gathered at the Sunset Western Wine Awards Gala to celebrate the best in Western wine.







The event was emceed by Gary Newman, chairman of 20th Century Fox Television, and attended by celebrity chef Tyler Florence alongside Sunset editor-in-chief, Katie Tamony, and Sunset wine editor, Sara Schneider. The festivities took place in the beautifully rustic Asistencia at Santa Margarita Ranch as part of Sunset Savor the Central Coast (, a four-day food and wine event dedicated to celebrating the beauty and bounty of California's Central Coast region.

The Sunset Western Wine Awards, which were established in 2005, are recognized as the biggest honor for Western winemakers, focusing solely on the best wine producers in the West. Sunset's panel of professional judges includes Western wine writers, sommeliers, and wine instructors, who nominate wines they have tasted in the past year. The winners in each category are selected by the judges during a blind tasting at Sunset's headquarters in Menlo Park, California. This year more than 250 nominated wines were tasted.

And the winner is...

2010 Sunset Western Wine Awards were awarded to the following wines, winemakers, and wine venues:

Steal of the year

$15 and under

Thistle 2008 Pinot Blanc (Dundee Hills; $15)

Townshend Nonvintage "Vortex Red" (Columbia Valley; $15)

Good value

$15 to $30

Saxon Brown 2007 Casa Santinamaria Vineyards Semillon (Sonoma Valley; $30)

Rulo 2007 Syrah (Columbia Valley; $20)

Special occasion

$30 to $50

Ramey 2008 Chardonnay (Russian River Valley; $38)

Signorello 2006 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley, $50)

Deep pocket

Over $50

Stonestreet 2007 "Broken Road" Chardonnay (Alexander Valley; $55)

Chehalem 2006 "Statement" Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley; $99)

Lifetime Achievement Award

Paul Draper, CEO and winemaker of California's Ridge Vineyards

Sommelier of the Year

Eugenio Jardim of San Francisco's Jardiniere

Wine Bar of the Year

Palate Food + Wine, Glendale, CA

Winemaker of the Year

Dan Goldfield, Dutton Goldfield Winery, Russian River Valley

Winery Tasting Room of the Year

J. Bookwalter Wine Lounge, Richland, Washington

The Green Award

Natural Process Alliance, Santa Rosa

The Western Wine Awards winners will be featured in the November issue of Sunset magazine.

In addition to the excitement of the awards ceremony, 200 gala guests had the opportunity to taste 12 nominated wines, which were passed throughout the tables. The wines were paired with seasonal cuisine, prepared by the Central Coast's top chefs from the area's most exciting restaurants, including Lido Restaurant at Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa, Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn, and The Ballard Inn. The evening's menu can be found at

Editors available for interviews.

Recipes and photos available upon request.

Sunset magazine is the premier guide to life in the West, covering the newest and best ideas in Western home design and landscaping, food and entertaining, and regional travel in 13 Western states. Sunset and are part of the Lifestyle group of magazines and websites published by Time Inc., the largest magazine publisher in the U.S., and a leading publisher in the U.K. and Mexico.

SOURCE Sunset Magazine