Jun 05, 2020

Three Fresno State wines win Best of Class at state fair

The Fresno State Winery won 10 awards in the recent California State Fair commercial wine judging, including three Best of Class in Region and a gold medal, capping a year that netted 32 medals in six prestigious competitions throughout the country.

At 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4, enology students from Enology 164 – Wine Analysis and Production class and winemaster Kenneth Fugelsang will present the 2007-08 awards to Dr. Jeronima Echeverria, the university provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, and Dr. Charles Boyer, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.

The presentation will take place during the Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market’s weekly wine tasting. The market is at Chestnut and Barstow avenues.

Immediately following the awards presentation, the Fresno State Winery will release new vintages of some of its most popular wine, including the 2004 San Joaquin County Petite Sirah, which won a gold medal at the 2008 Warm Weather Wine Competition. The new release follows in the footsteps of the 2003 vintage, which won numerous awards but no longer is available.

Also released and tasted today will be the 2006 California Tempranillo, 2006 San Joaquin County Viognier and 2006 San Joaquin County Merlot.

Student-produced wines that won Best of Class at the State Fair were Fresno State’s 2005 San Joaquin County Sangiovese, 2006 San Joaquin County Viognier and 2006 San Joaquin County Merlot, all from partner Duarte Vineyards, just north of Modesto, The three wines also each won silver medals.

The 2003 San Joaquin County Petite Sirah won gold medals at the State Fair as well as at the Orange County Fair Commercial Wine Competition in May and a Tri-Medal (bronze, bronze, silver) at the 2008 Lodi International Wine Awards in March. Those came after silver medals at the Florida State Fair Wine Competition in January and San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition in December. In the past two years, this wine has won six gold medals, six silver and three bronze.

Fresno State winemaster Kenneth Fugelsang expects the gold-medal winning 2004 Petite Sirah to be just as popular with wine lovers as the 2003. And he has great hopes for the 2005 Tempranillo, which succeeds the 2004 vintage, which won five silver medals in 2007 and is sold out.

Other California State Fair medal winners were the 2007 Fresno State Muscat Canelli (silver) and the 2005 California Syrah (bronze). The complete award list is on the winery Web site.

Since 1997, when it became the first university commercial winery, the Fresno State Winery has entered five to 10 internationally acclaimed wine competitions each year, earning more than 200 medals and helping launch students into award-winning winemaking careers after graduation.

Fresno State’s award winners are available for purchase in the Gibson Farm Market on campus, where they will be featured at the market’s weekly wine tastings in September. Tastings are held 4-7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays.

The cost for tasting is $5 per person, which includes a commemorative Fresno State Winery glass and three samples of the featured wines. Customers also may bring their previously purchased Fresno State wine glass for a $1 discount at Farm Market wine tastings.

Proceeds from student-produced products benefit agriculture programs at Fresno State.

For more information on wine tastings call 559.278.4511.

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