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THE DAILY MEAL WINERY AWARDS

John Tilson • 3/28/16        Print This Post Print This PostComment Bookmark and Share

THE DAILY MEAL WINERY AWARDS

the daily mealThe Daily Meal is a website http://www.thedailymeal.com/ with a wide range of articles including food, wine, cooking, recipes, drink, travel, entertainment, and restaurants. It was launched in January 2011. The Daily Meal is under the editorial direction of Colman Andrews. I have known Colman for many years. And, we have a lot of things in common when it comes to wine and food. Colman has had a distinguished career in the wine and food industry. He is a co-founder and former editor-in-chief of Saveur magazine and also has received eight James Beard Awards and authored numerous cookbooks.

The Daily Meal articles are produced by editors, industry insiders, and the user community. The Daily Meal also produces annual reports featuring many best in category lists. Included in the annual best in category lists are two wine awards: Winery of the Year and 101 Best Wineries in America. These lists were launched in 2014. The Winery of the Year award cites only a single winery with two runners-up and looks at a number of factors beyond wine quality including influence in the industry, environmental activism, and championing of underrated varietals. The 101 Best Wineries in America looks at the quality of the wines produced. Mostly this is quality over a long period of time with the exception of some wineries that make a stunning debut.

The awards are compiled based on recommendations from experts in the field — sommeliers, wine writers, chefs, and restaurateurs, along with wine-savvy editors at The Daily Meal. Here is a list of respondents (with the notation that some respondents prefer to remain anonymous) as described by The Daily Meal: regular wine writers for The Daily Meal like Roger Morris, Gabe Sasso, and Andrew Chalk; John Tilson of The Underground Wine Letter; wine writer and wine bar proprietor Keith Beavers; chef–restaurateur Daniel Boulud and Daniel Johannes, corporate wine director for Boulud’s Dinex Group; chef–restaurateur and Daily Meal contributor Norman Van Aken; sommelier, wine educator, and wine blogger Elizabeth SchneiderCathy Mantuano, wine director at the Chicago Art Institute’s Terzo Piano; and Julian Mayor, head sommelier at Bourbon Steak in the Washington, D.C., Four Seasons Hotel.

Here are the wine awards to date (click on the title to view the entire article):

WINERY OF THE YEAR 2014 

Smith Madrone  Napa, California

Honorable Mention:
Domaine de La Romanée Conti  Vosne Romanée, France
Tablas Creek Vineyard  Paso Robles, California

 

WINERY OF THE YEAR 2015 

Tablas Creek Vineyard  Paso Robles, California

Honorable Mention:
Ridge Vineyards  Cupertino, California
Craggy Range Vineyards  Havelock North, New Zealand

 

101 BEST WINERIES IN AMERICA 2014 

#1 Ridge Vineyards  Cupertino, California
#2 Au Bon Climat Winery  Santa Maria, California
#3 Calera Wine Company  Mt. Harlan, California
#4 Littorai Wines  Sebastapol, California
#5 Woodward Canyon Winery  Lowden, Washington

 

101 BEST WINERIES IN AMERICA 2015 

#1 Tablas Creek Vineyard  Paso Robles, California
#2 Ridge Vineyards  Cupertino, California
#3 Au Bon Climat Winery  Santa Maria, California
#4 Calera Wine Company  Mt. Harlan, California

#5 Woodward Canyon Winery  Lowden, Washington

These wineries represent some of the very best wineries in America and the world. The lists include many that are long time favorites of The Underground and many are located in California’s Central Coast area (to read about these wines click here).

Tablas Creek Vineyard located in Paso Robles has been Winery of the Year 2015, #1 of the 101 Best Wineries in America 2015, and Honorable Mention Winery of the Year 2014.

Tablas Creek Vineyard winery sign

(To read more about Tablas Creek click here)

Ridge Vineyards located in Cupertino has been #1 of the 101 Best Wineries in America 2014, #2 of the 101 Best Wineries in America 2015, and Honorable Mention Winery of the Year 2015.

Ridge Vineyards logo

(To read more about Ridge click here)

Au Bon Climat located in Santa Maria has been #2 of the 101 Best Wineries in America 2014 and #3 of the 101 Best Wineries in America 2015.

Au bon climat

(To read more about Au Bon Climat click here)

Calera Wine Company located in Mt. Harlan has been #3 of the 101 Best Wineries in America 2014 and #4 of the 101 Best Wineries in America 2015.

Calera logo 1

(To read more about Calera click here)

This is a simply amazing showing for an area that is still relatively unknown to a lot of wine consumers. For those in the know it is a real opportunity. And, there are many other great wines on these lists that also deserve your attention. Take some time and go through the lists. I think you will be well rewarded. And also spend some time on The Daily Meal website http://www.thedailymeal.com/ where you will find a wealth of information on all aspects of wine, drink, and food.

In Vino Veritas,Sig

John Tilson

    

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2 comments for “THE DAILY MEAL WINERY AWARDS”

  1. John,

    I am a fairly recent fan of your newsletter, and certainly share your preference for pre-1980 new world wine styles. I used to write a weekly column for the Bakersfield Californian and was the first President and one of the founders of the Bakersfield Wine Society in the mid-1970’s. As an aside, I think I may have been the first to write about Ken Burnap’s SCMV ’75 Pinot Noir following a gathering of the SCM Winemakers where he unveiled the wine. You may have been there, but it’s been so long that I do not recall.

    I write following a review of The Daily Meal’s list and your article, and am curious about your take on a specific question. Do you think that wineries like Carlisle, Turley, and Bedrock deserve inclusion in a best wineries list?

    Respectfully, Ken Perkins

    Posted by Ken Perkins | March 29, 2016, 6:48 am
  2. Hi Ken,
    It is nice to hear from you. Yes my preference is traditional balanced wines that are not overly manipulated. Back in the early days in California, most premium small production wines were made that way. That all changed somewhere in the late 80s and early 90s when the new big style became all the rage and people began to come up with ways to make wines bigger. These types of wines I do not think match well with most foods and mostly are wines I do not enjoy. What I do enjoy are my old Caifornia red wines. Recently, I have enjoyed 1960 Inglenook, 1959 Inglenook, and 1995 and 1997 Ridge Monte Bello all of which were absolutely great. I also like the new California wines made in a traditional style that I write about. These are wines that I buy, drink, and cellar. Then there is Champagne, Red and White Burgundy, Old Bordeaux, Rosé, Sancerre, Cru Beaujolais, etc. etc. Balance and harmony are the key for me as I always match my wines with my food.
    With reference to your question about some of the newer wineries I only know just a little about Bedrock and have been impressed with their approach and the few wines I have had from them. But, I do not make it a point to spend to much time investigating “new” things. I have a cellar of wines accumulated over 40 years which keeps me going quite nicely along with the “new California discoveries” (Tyler, Chanin, Tablas Creek, Quinta Cruz and the “new” Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, etc.) Then there are great wines from Ridge, Mount Eden, and Calera which I have been buying, cellaring, and drinking from the very beginning.
    That leaves your question about Ken Burnap’s 1975 SCMV Pinot Noir. I have been friends with Ken for many years having first met him when he opened the Hobbit Restaurant in Orange County in the early 70s. Around the same time he chose Santa Cruz as an area to plant Pinot Noir and make wine. His first vintage was the 1975 and I first tasted it from barrel before it was bottled. After it was bottled I wrote it up in the first issue of The Underground Wineletter along with the 1976 and 1977 SCMV Pinot Noirs (you can find the first issue and other early Underground issues on the website). A few years ago I tasted the 2 different bottlings of the 1975 with Ken. One was in French oak, the other in American oak. The wines were both stunning and virtually identical. It was impossible for any of us to distinguish a difference between the 2 wines!
    Thanks again for discovering the new Underground. Please pass it along to your friends.
    In Vino Veritas,
    John

    Posted by John Tilson | April 10, 2016, 12:21 pm

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