San Francisco International Wine Competition to take place June 9-12; Now Accepting Entries

The 2016 San Francisco International Wine Competition®, the nation’s largest and most influential of its kind, will take place June 9-12 at the luxurious Hotel Nikko in downtown San Francisco. The competition is America’s largest and most influential international wine competition, celebrating its 36th year this June. The SFIWC maintains the highest level of integrity with a blind-tasting system performed by a highly experienced panel of internationally acclaimed wine experts. Last year, producers participated from 26 countries and 29 states with entries surpassing the previous year by 7%.

Director of Judging Tim McDonald, CSW, will return this year to lead an international group of wine experts, hailing from the U.S., Australia, Germany and New Zealand. Judges from all sectors of retail, restaurants, winemaking, media and consulting will participate. “If you only enter one wine competition in 2016, the San Francisco International Wine Competition is the ONE,” he says. Interested participants may enter online or download entry forms here:

“A SFIWC medal is not simply a huge feather in the cap of the winning winery; a well-promoted SFIWC award can also dramatically improve a wine’s sales and competitive edge,” says Executive Director Anthony Dias Blue. The SFIWC offers several tools to help winners promote their awards as part of their overall marketing strategies:

• All Gold, Double Gold, and Premium Award winners will be listed in The SOMM Journal’s August 2016 issue, reaching over 40,000 beverage-trade decision makers.
• Bottle stickers are available for purchase following the event, to help increase visibility and distinguish winning wines on store shelves.
• High-quality, high-resolution medallion imagery is available for licensed use in winners’ online, print, and POS promotions.
• Throughout the year, the Competition hosts numerous tasting events around the country, bringing top-winning entries to the attention of the media and beverage trade.

New, for 2016, SFIWC has developed a complimentary marketing tool kit to be sent to all 2016 medal winners. The kit provides ideas, tips, and strategies for promoting your award to increase visibility and maximize sales.

The Judging Process:
During the first round of tastings, each wine is judged on its own merits, within the context of its own class. Judging panels are provided with information on varietal and vintage, but otherwise receive no information that might bias their decisions. Judging is based on a consensual procedure whereby specialized judging panels confer to determine which entries are worthy of Bronze, Silver, or Gold medals. If all judges on a panel unanimously agree that a wine merits a Gold medal, it receives a Double Gold award.
On the final day of the Competition, select Double Gold wines advance to the Sweepstakes round. Here, all Competition judges deliberate to determine the winners of Premium Awards:

• Best of Class Awards are bestowed on the best example of each wine varietal.
• Best in Show Awards are the highest honors in the Competition. Chosen from among the Best of Class winners are four broadest wine categories: Best in Show White, Best in Show Red, Best in Show Sparkling, Best in Show Dessert Wine.
• Best of Nation awards give special recognition to the top wineries in their countries of origin.
• The Tasting Panel Magazine Winery of the Year Award.
• The André Tchelistcheff Winemaker of the Year Award: Named for the legendary winemaker, our Winemaker of the Year award is bestowed on the individual with the most impressive portfolio of wine entries.

A list of judges can be found at