Montevina Winery, an historic Sierra Foothills winery specializing in zinfandel and Italian varietal wines, picked up top honors for white zinfandel at the California Exposition and State Fair Commercial Wine competition. Montevina qualified to be considered for best white zinfandel in the state by receiving a double gold medal for its 1999 Amador County White Zinfandel, scoring 98 of a possible 100 points. Montevina Winery shared best of California honors with a white zinfandel produced by Fetzer Winery of Hopland, California. The major award was announced recently at the annual medal winners' tasting held at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds in Sacramento.

"We are thrilled to receive this award from the California State Fair. This is the oldest wine competition in America, with a distinguished panel of judges," said Montevina winemaker Jeff Meyers. "This award shows that with Amador County zinfandel, great things are possible!" The California Exposition and State Fair Commercial Wine Competition was first held in 1855, and is arguably the most meaningful of the major competitions restricted to California wines. Judges are highly skilled, and must qualify through testing or extensive professional experience before being entered in the judges' pool.

Amador County one of California's best zinfandel regions

Montevina ("mountain vine") was established in the scenic Shenandoah Valley of Amador County in 1970 -- the Sierra foothills' first new winery since Prohibition. From the time of the Gold Rush, Amador County, with its warm growing season and lean, rocky soils, has been known as a premier zinfandel region. In 1988, the Trinchero family of Napa Valley purchased the winery, and established it as one of California's finest producers of zinfandel and Italian varietals such as sangiovese and barbera. The Trincheros are perhaps best known for their landmark Napa Valley winery, Sutter Home, and for popularizing white zinfandel, America's best-selling varietal wine. The family currently owns over 400 acres of prime organic and sustainably farmed vineyards in Amador County. A new $14 million, 64,000 square foot winemaking facility on the current Shenandoah Valley winery site will be completed for harvest 2000.

The 1999 Montevina White Zinfandel was vinified from low-yielding Amador County zinfandel vines. The wine was fermented to dryness, then a small amount of unfermented grape juice was added for a touch of sweetness. A fresh and lively wine, with great zinfandel berry character and a pretty pink color, Montevina Amador County White Zinfandel is wonderful for sipping or as a versatile partner to a wide variety of foods. The wine is available nationally, at a suggested retail price of $6.50.

Trinchero Family Estates has been owned and operated by the Trinchero family vintners in Napa Valley since 1948. The company produces fine wines and premium food products under the following labels: Sutter Home, M. Trinchero, Montevina, Fre and Soleo.