2020 WineMaker Competition Results

2020 WineMaker Competition Judging is Now Complete! August 21-23 a total of 2,519 wines were judged in Manchester, Vermont.

619 wine flights

631 total judging hours

50 American states

5 Canadian provinces

6 Countries

From August 21 to 23, 2020, a total of 2,519 different wines were judged at the Lincoln Family Summer Estate at Hildene in Manchester, Vermont. This year’s judging was postponed three earlier times due to state pandemic mandates and was moved to this outdoor tented located in WineMaker Magazine’s hometown for safety reasons. Social distancing, mask-wearing when not evaluating wine, and dozens of other precautions were put into place to make sure your wine was judging safely and with the expert thoroughness of prior years.

This year’s competition was again the largest wine competition of its kind in the world. The 2,519 entries arrived from hobby winemakers living throughout North America in all 50 American states and 5 Canadian provinces and as far away as Australia. It continues to be the single largest and most diverse collection of hobby wines assembled annually under one roof. Over the course of three days, experienced judging panels worked through 619 flights, examining each wine using the UC-Davis 20-point wine scale evaluating appearance, aroma, taste, aftertaste, and overall impression. The wines were entered in 50 different categories and included an astonishing array of varietals and wine styles. Kit wines competed alongside fresh-grape entries in this blind tasting. Entries were awarded gold, silver, bronze, and best of show medals based on the average score given by the judging panel. The Gene Spaziani Grand Champion Wine award was the top overall scoring wine across all categories. The Club of the Year was given to the club whose members won the most medals and the Retailer of the Year and U-Vint of the Year awards were given to the winemaking supply stores whose customers outperformed other similar shops. Finally, the Winemaker of the Year award was given to the individual entrant who has the highest average score across their top 5 scoring wines in the competition.

Congratulations to everyone who won a medal, and a sincere thanks to our sponsors, Competition Director Ric Quental, Events Manager Jannell Kristiansen, our judges, competition volunteers, and of course everyone who took time to enter and showed great patience as we waited until we could safely hold this judging event. We are already busy planning for the 2021 edition of this competition so get your wines ready for the Monday, March 16, 2021 entry deadline! Cheers and thanks for entering your wines!

Best of Show winners are listed below and the full winner’s list can be found here:

2020 WineMaker Competition Results pdf

Special “Best of Show” awards will be presented thanks to our Award Sponsors:

Gene Spaziani Grand Champion Wine


Lee Moore • Atlantic Beach, NC  • 100% Vintner’s Best Peach  2019

WineMaker of the Year


Brian Cline • Monroe, Wisconsin

Best of Show Red


Donald St. Claire • Angels Camp, California • 100% Barbera 2017

Retailer of the Year


Valley Vintner • Livermore, California

Best of Show White



Mark Pausch • Rocky Hill, New Jersey • 100% Estate Riesling 2019

U-Vint of the Year



Curds & Wine • San Diego, California

Best of Show Dessert


Joe Pauline • Franklinville, New Jersey • 97% Winexpert Selection Port,
3% Ground Coffee and Coffee Beans 2015

Club of the Year


Contra Costa Wine Group • California

Best of Show Country Fruit



Brian Cline • Monroe, Wisconsin 100% • Winexpert Island Mist Strawberry Watermelon Shiraz 2019

Best of Show Mead


Anthony Scardaville • Jackson, New Jersey • 50% Wildflower Honey, 50% Bochet, Bourbon barrel-aged 2019

Best of Show Sparkling


Timothy M. Valdez • Colorado Springs, Colorado • 100% Willamette Valley Gewürztraminer 2018

Best of Show Estate Grown

Steve and Sylvia Kott • Auburn, NY • 100% Estate Marechal Foch 2018

Best of Show Kit/Concentrate


Lucie Doyon • Gatineau, Quebec • 100% RJS Craft Winemaking Cru Specialty Pomme Tatin 2011

Category medals (gold, silver, and bronze) have been awarded thanks to our category sponsors:

1. White Native American Varietal
Sponsor: LOGIC, Inc.
2. White Native American Blend
3. Red Native American Varietal
4. Red Native American Blend
5. Blush/Rosé Native American
6. Red or White Native American Late Harvest and Ice Wine
7. White French-American Hybrid Varietal
8.White French-American Hybrid Blend
9. Red French-American Hybrid Varietal
10. Red French-American Hybrid Blend
11. Blush/Rosé French-American Hybrid
12. Red or White French-American Late Harvest and Ice Wine
13. Chardonnay
14. Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris
Sponsor: Vinland Wine Racks
15. Gewürztraminer
16. Riesling
17. Sauvignon Blanc
18. Other White Vinifera Varietals
19. White Vinifera Bordeaux Style Blends
20. Other White Vinifera Blends
21. Cabernet Franc
Sponsor: Five Star Chemicals & Supply, Inc.
22. Cabernet Sauvignon
Sponsor: Grape Expectations – New Jersey
Sponsor: Vinmetrica
24. Shiraz/Syrah
Sponsor: Bader Beer and Wine Supply
25.Pinot Noir
Sponsor: Purple Toes, Inc.
26. Sangiovese
Sponsor:  The Beer Essentials
27. Zinfandel
Sponsor: The Beverage People
28. Other Red Vinifera Varietals
Sponsor: Metrick
29. Red Vinifera Bordeaux Style Blends
30. Other Red Vinifera Blends
Sponsor: Label Peelers Beer & Winemaking Supply
31. Blush/Rosé Red Vinifera
32. Red or White Vinifera Late Harvest and Ice Wine
33. White Table Wine Blend (Any Grape Varieties)
34. Red Table Wine Blend (Any Grape Varieties)
Sponsor: Gino Pinto Inc.
35. Blush Table Wine Blend (Any Grape Varieties)
36. Grape & Non-Grape Table Wine Blend
37. Apple or Pear Varietals or Blends
38. Hard Cider or Perry
39. Stone Fruit (Peach, Cherry, Blends, etc.)
40. Berry Fruit (Strawberry, Raspberry, Blends, etc.)
41. Other Fruits
42.Traditional Mead
43. Fruit Mead
Sponsor: Moonlight Meadery
44. Herb and Spice Mead
Sponsor: Ancient Fire Mead and Cider
45. Flower or Vegetable
46. Port Style
47. Sherry Style
48. Other Fortified
49. Sparkling Grape, Dry/Semi-Dry or Sweet
50. Sparkling Non-Grape

E-mail with any questions about the competition.