This year for the first time, I’ve entered several of my current release wines into several wine competitions. I chose the wine competitions primarily because of the quality of the judges, regions of interest for sales, and the price to enter. I entered wine in Riverside, Central Coast wine competition, and Ultimate Beverage Challenge in New York. I’ve also submitted wines to Wine Enthusiast, Wine & Spirits, and Wine Spectator. I’ve already received some offers from the magazines to purchase advertising; so I’m still somewhat suspicious about the magazine critics.

Thus far, I’ve had pretty good results. The 2011 Martellotto Pinot Noir was awarded 91pts and was a finalist in the category at the Ultimate Beverage Challenge, which had the most rigorous judging panel that included more than a dozen Masters of Wine and MS and other people who have tasted a lot of wines. 

The 2012 Piro Piro Piccolo was awarded a Gold medal and 92pts in it’s category. Surprisingly, the Pinot Noir took a Bronze medal.

In any event, part of the necessary evil that is marketing entails submitting the wines for review through these competitions and magazine reviews. Now, I hope some of the retailers and others who base their business on points will step up and order more of my wine!

In speaking to Mike Roth, we discussed the possibility of setting up a peer review magazine wherein winemakers evaluate other wines. I believe a true expert panel would be well received an have at least as much importance in the marketplace as a former lawyer in Maryland or a publisher in New York.