From our silky Santa Barbara County Syrah to our easy-drinking Sauvignon Blanc, we’re celebrating 16 award winning wines in 2019. These wines were submitted for review across three competitions, including San Francisco International Wine Competition, Finger Lakes International Wine and Spirits Competition, and World Wine Championships at the Beverage Testing Institute.

“Winning an award represents recognition for all of our hard work,” says Traveling Vineyard’s Nicole McNamara, Director of Operations. “We spend the whole year searching for the best wines from around the world and, in some cases, creating high-quality wines from grapes ourselves. Of course, we think our wines are amazing but receiving these awards is validating and gives our Wine Guides a product they can be very proud to share.”

Here are the wines that won in 2019!


Finger Lakes International Wine and Spirits Competition

Since 2000, the Annual Finger Lakes International Wine and Spirits Competition has taken place in Greater New York. This annual competition compares wine and spirits from all over the world.

For the 2019 competition, more than 2,800 wines were entered to be judged by 54 prestigious judges. We’re pleased to announce that four Traveling Vineyard wines were awarded Gold and Bronze medals.

tria medal graphic

Our California red, 2016 Tria Reserve, California Mourvèdre/Syrah, was awarded Gold under the class ‘domestic vinifera red blend’. This classically styled red blend is modeled after the deliciously rich and fruity wines of France’s Southern Rhone region. We used abundant California sunshine to ripen our grapes, creating a combination of rich, fruity layers.

In addition to our Gold medal honor, we also earned three Bronze medals: *2017 Bentgate, Lodi Cabernet Franc, under the class ‘domestic Cabernet Franc’, 2015 Armatura, Marche Rosso IGT, Italy, under the class ‘Italian vinifera red blend’, and 2016 Activist Private Reserve, Santa Barbara County Syrah, under the class ‘domestic Syrah’. These reds are rich, complex, and perfect for a special occasion (or just Friday pizza night!).

World Wine Championship

The World Wine Championship is America’s oldest annual international wine competition. Ratings are based on a 100-point scale, judged in a blind tasting by top wine industry professionals. For the 2019 competition, we were awarded 10 awards ranging from Gold to Bronze.

Two of our popular white wines received a Gold medal honor, meaning these wines earned 90+ points, and are considered “exceptional” selections.

zeffer hills graphic

Judges called our 2018 Zeffer Hills, California Chardonnay “a tantalizing Chardonnay with stately oak, bright tropical fruit, and an unrelenting finish.” This dry, rich white hails from Paso Robles and Lodi, California, blended to create a fuller-bodied, flair-style Chardonnay.

Our Bright Eyed Bird, white blend from Paso Robles, California, also took home a gold medal. This “plush, luscious white blend with a great flavor, structure and nuance” wowed the judges. Bright Eyed Bird is part Viognier, part Chardonnay resulting in a blend that is fruity, honeyed, and slightly buttery.

Five wines earned Silver, meaning these wines received a rating of 85-89 points, making them “highly recommended” wines.

pendeloque award

Judges described our Silver winner 2018 Pendeloque, Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon as “a big and chewy red for substantial meals.” With aromas of fig jam, balsamic reduction, fruit cake, and chocolate ganache, it’s no surprise that this seamless red was a judges’ favorite.

Aromas and flavors of dried orange, cantaloupe, white clover flowers, and lemon balm, marked our *2017 Fil Dore, Pinot Gris, pays d’Oc IGP, France, which was awarded Silver. The judges called this bright white a “friendly and warming Pinot Gris.”

The judges also awarded Silver to our *2017 Zapatazo, Famatina Valley Torrontes, Argentina. This crisp, dry-yet-fruity light bodied white has fruity aromas and a buttery finish and the judges comments noted it as a “soft Torrontés with notes of juicy melon and creamy butter.”

Another Silver sipper was our *2017 Rayado, Central Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, “a smoky, toasty Cab of darkness.” This cherried red wears the Rayado charity label, benefitting Living Beyond Breast Cancer. For every bottle purchased, $1 was donated for breast cancer research and awareness.

Our 2018 Jitterbug, California Sauvignon Blanc, took home a Silver medal for its “fruit-forward, friendly, and easy-drinking” style. This herbaceous wine is perfect for food pairings, matching well with everything from fried fish to goat cheese.

jitterbug award

Three of our wines earned Bronze by the World Wine Championships competitions, meaning they received a rating of 80-84, “recommended” wines.

“A light and fruity Chardonnay with a clean-finishing palate” is how judges described our *2016 Steeple Street, California Chardonnay. With aromas and flavors of key lime pie, pineapple, and lemon curd, this white wine was the perfect dry, light bodied white.

*2017 Giovina, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo was also awarded Bronze as the perfect “meaty-savory wine for stews.”

Finally, with aromas of raspberry, peppercorns, and cherry, our 2017 LUXX, Monterey County Merlot was awarded Bronze recognition. Judges called this lightly tannic red “a soft and supple Merlot sipper.” The perfect luxurious red wine for every special occasion.

2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition

With over three decades of competitions, the San Francisco International Wine Competition (SFIWC) is a wine competition that blends both passion and professionalism. Throughout the blind tasting process, each judge assesses each wine with impartiality. To earn a medal through SFIWC indicates a high caliber of quality in each wine.

Two of our 2018 vintages won Bronze awards at this year’s competition.

bella mente

2018 Bella Mente, Pinot Grigio delle Venezie DOC, Italy, was awarded Bronze for its fruity, crisp style. This vintage is a charity wine benefitting the American Brain Tumor Association. For every bottle sold, $1 is donated to the ABTA.

Our 2018 5 String Partner’s Reserve, Paso Robles Petite Sirah, received a Bronze award, and is also one of our house favorites. This red wine has tastes of blackberry, plum, tobacco, and black pepper—the perfect complement to aged cheeses and chocolate desserts.

We’re excited to see what awards are in store for our wines in 2020! To get your lips on a sip of one of these highly rated wines, reach out to your Wine Guide or go shopping in our cellar now. Cheers to another year of shiny medals and sensational sippers.

*Indicates the vintage is sold out.

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