top of page

Nevada City Winery Wins Big Against Major Industry Players


Nevada City Winery Wins Big
Against Major Industry Players

March 14, 2023

Nevada City Winery’s Non-Vintage Reserve Barbera earned a platinum medal, a 94-point rating, and the distinction of “Best Barbera” at the 41st Annual San Diego International Wine and Spirits Challenge competition.

Nevada City Winery announced today that their Non-Vintage Reserve Barbera won an award of distinction at the 2023 San Diego International Wine and Spirits Challenge competition. A platinum award is the highest-ranking medal given and is reserved for the best wines in each category. In order to earn this distinction, a panel of judges, who are tasting the wines blind, must all agree that the wine is worthy of advancing beyond a “Gold” award. Those that do are then scrutinized yet again by the Competition Director and Chief Judge. 

Here is what Rich Cook, the Competition Director, had to say about the Non-Vintage Reserve Barbera, “While it may be unusual to see a non-vintage wine in this category, this bottle makes an argument for the practice of blending wines from two or three vintages to achieve a fine result. This shows the dark side of Barbera, with both freshness and richness thanks to ripe fruit, typical varietal acidity, and judicious use of oak. Nicely realized wine!"
This Sierra Foothills wine is a great expression of the region’s terroir with a bit of smoke, expressive fruit, and a dash of spice. Made by Mark Foster and released in September of 2022, it is a blend consisting of predominantly Barbera (97%) and dash of Dolcetto (3%). The amount of Dolcetto is minor, but Foster swears that even the smallest addition can accentuate the character of his wines, creating the depth he desires. This wine opens with a floral bouquet and is followed by flavors of plum, black cherry, and cinnamon. The finish is long and complex. It has moderate acidity and just the right amount of oak.

It's nice to see a local winery rank high amongst the big industry players such as Gloria Ferrer, Josh, Menage a Trois, and Muse Vineyards. Although the total number of Barberas submitted for competition is not known, Nevada City Winery won over submissions from well-known brands such as Eberle Winery in Paso Robles, Imagery Estate Winery’s in Sonoma, Jeff Runquist’s in Amador County, Nello Olivo Wines in El Dorado, Oak Farm Vineyards in Lodi, Trecini Winery in d'Asti DOCG Italy, and many others.

Barbera is a popular wine in California but is actually an Italian red varietal found predominantly in Northern Italy. It produces good yields and is known for deep color, full body, light tannins and high levels of acidity. The warm, high-altitude terroir of the Sierra Foothills is similar to that of Northern Italy and is perfect for the cultivation and production of this big, ripe, red Italian varietal. 

Nevada City Winery is located on the California I80 corridor halfway between Sacramento and North Lake Tahoe in the famed gold rush town of Nevada City. They are celebrating 43 years in business and offer a diverse selection of wines that can be enjoyed in a tasting, by the glass, and the bottle. Guests are welcome to sit and relax in the tasting room, gallery, or outside patio. The onsite gift shop has a wonderful selection of wine-gifts and accessories, cheeses, and other treats to enjoy during a visit. The barrel room and production facility are located directly below the tasting room, enabling immersive crush-related experiences. The art gallery hosts a variety of local artists and is open to the public free of charge.

Join our mailing list to stay up-to-date on all upcoming events!

Join the Mailing List

bottom of page