Youth Competitions at the Alameda County Fair

Youth Competitions

Adult Competition at the Alameda County Fair

Adult Competitions

Wine Competitions at the Alameda County Fair

Wine Competitions

Youth Competitions

Adult Competitions

Alameda County Wine Competition

The Alameda County Wine Competition is produced by the Alameda County Fair.

Judging panels comprised of carefully selected wine industry professionals – such as restaurant Sommeliers, Winemakers, or seasoned Wine Competition Judges – will award Gold, Silver and Bronze medals to the top wines.

2020 Judges:

Brent Amos (Livermore, CA)
Brent grew up in El Dorado county, and some of his best memories are of running through vineyards as a kid while his parents were wine tasting. While studying Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona, these fond memories kept re-surfacing, and he quickly realized that wine is where his future lay. So it was that at the ripe old age of 20, he started his wine career as a harvest worker for Ferrari Carano Winery in 2000. He stayed on for a year as a cellar worker, then went to Fresno State to finish his degree. After graduating in 2003 with an Enology degree, he returned to Sonoma county to work as Enologist for Fritz Winery. In 2005, he made the move to Livermore to become Winemaker for Fenestra Winery. In 2013, Brent left Fenestra to become Winemaker for Las Positas Vineyards, just a few miles down the road from Fenestra.
Joel Green (Safe Harbor)
General Manager & Winemaker | www.safeharborwines.com
Safe Harbor’s General Manager and Winemaker graduated from UC Davis in 2002. He immediately went to work at Kenwood Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma, working his way up to Assistant Winemaker within three years of joining the winemaking staff. At Kenwood, Joel managed day-to-day winemaking operations for the winery’s 20,000-barrel facility. In 2007 Joel left Kenwood to manage Safe Harbor Wine Storage. A state of the art wine enhancement facility in Napa Valley. Joel has spent the past 12+ years helping improve the quality of the wine for Safe Harbors diverse clientele.
Barry Herbst (Santa Rosa, CA)
Wine Buyer, Bottle Barn 
Barry has more than three decades of experience in the wine industry, ranging from sommelier and wine shop owner to high-level retail and private cellar acquisitions. He was raised in Southern California, where he earned his stripes in some of LA’s most celebrated restaurants, among them Chinois on Main and Osteria Angelini. Most recently, Barry was General Manager of the Rare Wine Company in Sonoma, as well as working with Soutirage and Bounty Hunter Rare Wine & Spirits in Napa Valley. Currently, he is the wine buyer for Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa, CA, a 15,000 square foot superstore and arguably has the largest and finest selection of fine wines north of San Francisco. Barry blames a bottle of 1980 Jayer Vosne-Romanée Cros Parantoux for having sent him down the rabbit hole many years ago. Today, he lives in Petaluma, CA with his wife, two children, to whom he happily dedicates every spare moment outside of work.
Ellen Landis (Napa)
Wine Writer, Certified Sommelier, Certified Wine Specialist, Wine Educator, and Professional Judge | http://ellenonwine.com/

Ellen is a published Wine Writer, Certified Sommelier, Certified Wine Specialist, Wine Educator and Professional Wine Judge. She is the author of the blog EllenOnWine.com and writes for the SOMM Journal magazine, AWS Wine Journal magazine (AmericanWineSociety.org), Great Northwest Wine, (www.greatnorthwestwine.com), Wine Press Northwest (www.winepressnw.com), Michigan Uncorked, and Spirited magazine (www.spiritbiz.com) among other publications.

Ellen is a moderator for the highly acclaimed Vintners’ Holidays annual event at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, the American Wine Society annual conferences, and participates as a key speaker, moderator and panelist at various other wine events. For eighteen years, she and husband Ken built and co-owned award-winning Landis Shores Oceanfront Inn (Half Moon Bay, CA) where Ellen served as Wine Director and Sommelier. They sold their Inn to devote more time to the world of wine. Ellen was also a Ritz Carlton Sommelier for several years.

In addition to an MBA, Ellen’s wine education includes UC Davis viticulture course work, CSW certification from the Society of Wine Educators program, and holds the credential of Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Ellen serves as a judge at numerous national and international wine competitions including the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition, Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, Mid-American Wine Competition, The Great American International Wine Competition, California State Fair Wine Competition, American Fine Wine Competition, North Coast Wine Challenge, Amador County Fair Wine Competition, Sonoma Harvest Fair Wine Competition, East Meets West Competition, Harvest Challenge International Wine Competition, The Cascadia Wine Competition, Savor Northwest Wine Competition, Dan Berger International Wine Competition, Michigan Wine & Spirits Competition, Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition, Alameda County Fair Wine Competition, Wine Press Northwest Platinum Judging, Selections Mondiales des Vins Canada, Pacific Rim Wine Competition, and the Central Coast Wine Competition.

Susan Reiner-Lyon (San Francisco, CA)
Teamwalk/Teamfit – Proprietor & Wine Selection Consultant 
In 1985, Susan’s VP position at Wine Distributors Inc.,
Wine Imports Inc. required her to participate in and pass the Wine Judge tests provided by the California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition through UC Davis.
For more than 35 years Susan has been considered among the elite of Wine Judges of Northern California and holds the distinction of being the first female Wine Judge and the first non-winemaker female Wine Judge for the California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition in 1985.
Susan also judges multiple prestigious county fair wine competitions (since 1994).
After representing Wine Distributors Inc., Susan became the Western and Southern regional rep for Torres Wines International. After that PEPSICO International recruited Susan to put Stolichnaya back on the top shelf in the Western States for Monsieur Henri Wines (Pepsico Int)
Her name is synonymous with founding a wine and spirits industry women’s educational organization, in 1981, called WWS (Women In Wines and Spirits).
In 1993, Susan remained in the wine business as a wine brokers’ sales representative while simultaneously working as a Certified Personal Trainer to put herself through the FastTrack Pre-Med & PT/OT program at SFSU. She completed her Master of Occupational Therapy at Samuel Merritt University in 1998.
She continues her work as an O.T. and provides private Aqua Therapy & Training in the San Francisco Bay Area.
For the past 8 years she has been growing experimental grapes at Potrero Hill Community Garden in San Francisco; thus far, Concord, Zinfandel and Flame Seedless are productive in this foggy and windy microclimate.
Susan is an avid skier, world adventure traveler, as a California wine ambassador loving to tasting wine for fun at her favorite wine shops in Whistler,BC; Eltville Am Rhein, DDR; Barcelona, Esp; Shanghai, China; Havana & Santa Clara, Cuba; Athens & the Greek Isles; San Francisco, Livermore & Truckee CA.
Meredith Sarboraria (Livermore, CA)
Winemaker, Owner/Consultant | www.barreldownwine.com
I’ve been working in various capacities in the Livermore Valley wine industry since 1997, and as a winemaker since 2013. I now consult through my business, Barrel Down Wine Services, as a winemaker, wine educator, judge, and event coordinator.
Jorge Tinoco (Wente Vineyards, Livermore, CA)
Sommelier and Wine Director | https://wentevineyards.com/

As Sommelier, Jorge Tinoco combines his passion for wine with his dedication to educating guests and staff alike on the myriad possibilities for pairing fine wine with gourmet cuisine. Tinoco works closely with the inspirations provided by Chef Josh Leidreiter to create a wine list that complements the seasonally changing menu. The wine list has won the prestigious Restaurant Hospitality Award in 2005 and 2006, and the Wine Spectator Best Award of Excellence “For an Outstanding Wine List” every year since opening in 1986 and is known as one of the most extensive wine menus in Northern California.

Tinoco joined Wente Vineyards as a bartender in 1996. He graduated from the San Francisco School of Bartending in 2005 and has studied winemaking at Napa Valley College. Tinoco has received the Level 3 Advanced Degree from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and the Advanced Degree from the US Sommelier Association. He has also achieved his Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) Degree from the Society of Wine Educators and the C.S. from the Court of Master Sommeliers. He has been featured in the Sommeliers’ Guide to Restaurants in America, most recently in its 5th edition.

Sauvignon Summit & ZIN Challenge

2020 Award Winners - Coming Soon!
Divisions & Classes
Rules

The Sauvignon Summit & ZIN Challenge Competitions are OPEN TO ALL U.S. wineries producing Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc or Fume Blanc. They are special competitions held in conjunction with the Alameda County Wine Competition held at the Alameda County Fair.

Both competitions are produced by the Alameda County Fair. Three judging panels comprising of three judges that are carefully selected wine industry professionals – such as restaurant Sommeliers, Winemakers, or seasoned Wine Competition judges – will award Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals to the top wines by category. Additionally a Best of Show will be selected from the Gold Medal winners.

2020 Judges:

Brent Amos (Livermore, CA)
Brent grew up in El Dorado county, and some of his best memories are of running through vineyards as a kid while his parents were wine tasting. While studying Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona, these fond memories kept re-surfacing, and he quickly realized that wine is where his future lay. So it was that at the ripe old age of 20, he started his wine career as a harvest worker for Ferrari Carano Winery in 2000. He stayed on for a year as a cellar worker, then went to Fresno State to finish his degree. After graduating in 2003 with an Enology degree, he returned to Sonoma county to work as Enologist for Fritz Winery. In 2005, he made the move to Livermore to become Winemaker for Fenestra Winery. In 2013, Brent left Fenestra to become Winemaker for Las Positas Vineyards, just a few miles down the road from Fenestra.
Joel Green (Safe Harbor)
General Manager & Winemaker | www.safeharborwines.com
Safe Harbor’s General Manager and Winemaker graduated from UC Davis in 2002. He immediately went to work at Kenwood Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma, working his way up to Assistant Winemaker within three years of joining the winemaking staff. At Kenwood, Joel managed day-to-day winemaking operations for the winery’s 20,000-barrel facility. In 2007 Joel left Kenwood to manage Safe Harbor Wine Storage. A state of the art wine enhancement facility in Napa Valley. Joel has spent the past 12+ years helping improve the quality of the wine for Safe Harbors diverse clientele.
Barry Herbst (Santa Rosa, CA)
Wine Buyer, Bottle Barn 
Barry has more than three decades of experience in the wine industry, ranging from sommelier and wine shop owner to high-level retail and private cellar acquisitions. He was raised in Southern California, where he earned his stripes in some of LA’s most celebrated restaurants, among them Chinois on Main and Osteria Angelini. Most recently, Barry was General Manager of the Rare Wine Company in Sonoma, as well as working with Soutirage and Bounty Hunter Rare Wine & Spirits in Napa Valley. Currently, he is the wine buyer for Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa, CA, a 15,000 square foot superstore and arguably has the largest and finest selection of fine wines north of San Francisco. Barry blames a bottle of 1980 Jayer Vosne-Romanée Cros Parantoux for having sent him down the rabbit hole many years ago. Today, he lives in Petaluma, CA with his wife, two children, to whom he happily dedicates every spare moment outside of work.
Ellen Landis (Napa)
Wine Writer, Certified Sommelier, Certified Wine Specialist, Wine Educator, and Professional Judge | http://ellenonwine.com/

Ellen is a published Wine Writer, Certified Sommelier, Certified Wine Specialist, Wine Educator and Professional Wine Judge. She is the author of the blog EllenOnWine.com and writes for the SOMM Journal magazine, AWS Wine Journal magazine (AmericanWineSociety.org), Great Northwest Wine, (www.greatnorthwestwine.com), Wine Press Northwest (www.winepressnw.com), Michigan Uncorked, and Spirited magazine (www.spiritbiz.com) among other publications.

Ellen is a moderator for the highly acclaimed Vintners’ Holidays annual event at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, the American Wine Society annual conferences, and participates as a key speaker, moderator and panelist at various other wine events. For eighteen years, she and husband Ken built and co-owned award-winning Landis Shores Oceanfront Inn (Half Moon Bay, CA) where Ellen served as Wine Director and Sommelier. They sold their Inn to devote more time to the world of wine. Ellen was also a Ritz Carlton Sommelier for several years.

In addition to an MBA, Ellen’s wine education includes UC Davis viticulture course work, CSW certification from the Society of Wine Educators program, and holds the credential of Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Ellen serves as a judge at numerous national and international wine competitions including the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition, Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, Mid-American Wine Competition, The Great American International Wine Competition, California State Fair Wine Competition, American Fine Wine Competition, North Coast Wine Challenge, Amador County Fair Wine Competition, Sonoma Harvest Fair Wine Competition, East Meets West Competition, Harvest Challenge International Wine Competition, The Cascadia Wine Competition, Savor Northwest Wine Competition, Dan Berger International Wine Competition, Michigan Wine & Spirits Competition, Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition, Alameda County Fair Wine Competition, Wine Press Northwest Platinum Judging, Selections Mondiales des Vins Canada, Pacific Rim Wine Competition, and the Central Coast Wine Competition.

Susan Reiner-Lyon (San Francisco, CA)
Teamwalk/Teamfit – Proprietor & Wine Selection Consultant 
In 1985, Susan’s VP position at Wine Distributors Inc.,
Wine Imports Inc. required her to participate in and pass the Wine Judge tests provided by the California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition through UC Davis.
For more than 35 years Susan has been considered among the elite of Wine Judges of Northern California and holds the distinction of being the first female Wine Judge and the first non-winemaker female Wine Judge for the California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition in 1985.
Susan also judges multiple prestigious county fair wine competitions (since 1994).
After representing Wine Distributors Inc., Susan became the Western and Southern regional rep for Torres Wines International. After that PEPSICO International recruited Susan to put Stolichnaya back on the top shelf in the Western States for Monsieur Henri Wines (Pepsico Int)
Her name is synonymous with founding a wine and spirits industry women’s educational organization, in 1981, called WWS (Women In Wines and Spirits).
In 1993, Susan remained in the wine business as a wine brokers’ sales representative while simultaneously working as a Certified Personal Trainer to put herself through the FastTrack Pre-Med & PT/OT program at SFSU. She completed her Master of Occupational Therapy at Samuel Merritt University in 1998.
She continues her work as an O.T. and provides private Aqua Therapy & Training in the San Francisco Bay Area.
For the past 8 years she has been growing experimental grapes at Potrero Hill Community Garden in San Francisco; thus far, Concord, Zinfandel and Flame Seedless are productive in this foggy and windy microclimate.
Susan is an avid skier, world adventure traveler, as a California wine ambassador loving to tasting wine for fun at her favorite wine shops in Whistler,BC; Eltville Am Rhein, DDR; Barcelona, Esp; Shanghai, China; Havana & Santa Clara, Cuba; Athens & the Greek Isles; San Francisco, Livermore & Truckee CA.
Meredith Sarboraria (Livermore, CA)
Winemaker, Owner/Consultant | www.barreldownwine.com
I’ve been working in various capacities in the Livermore Valley wine industry since 1997, and as a winemaker since 2013. I now consult through my business, Barrel Down Wine Services, as a winemaker, wine educator, judge, and event coordinator.
Jorge Tinoco (Wente Vineyards, Livermore, CA)
Sommelier and Wine Director | https://wentevineyards.com/

As Sommelier, Jorge Tinoco combines his passion for wine with his dedication to educating guests and staff alike on the myriad possibilities for pairing fine wine with gourmet cuisine. Tinoco works closely with the inspirations provided by Chef Josh Leidreiter to create a wine list that complements the seasonally changing menu. The wine list has won the prestigious Restaurant Hospitality Award in 2005 and 2006, and the Wine Spectator Best Award of Excellence “For an Outstanding Wine List” every year since opening in 1986 and is known as one of the most extensive wine menus in Northern California.

Tinoco joined Wente Vineyards as a bartender in 1996. He graduated from the San Francisco School of Bartending in 2005 and has studied winemaking at Napa Valley College. Tinoco has received the Level 3 Advanced Degree from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and the Advanced Degree from the US Sommelier Association. He has also achieved his Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) Degree from the Society of Wine Educators and the C.S. from the Court of Master Sommeliers. He has been featured in the Sommeliers’ Guide to Restaurants in America, most recently in its 5th edition.