This year I had the pleasure of judging the Mendocino Wine Competition. This was it’s 44th year and what an honor being invited to join in the fun of tasting various wines from this region and getting more familiar with the region and their wines. I’ve been to Mendocino County a LOT over the years, written about wineries in Anderson Valley as well as where to stay and eat in Mendocino County. Read more of those guides below!
Follow along below to learn more about the 2023 Mendocino Wine Competition which took place in Hopland CA, literally one of the cutest towns in CA. Check out Hopland and more of the Cutest Towns in California here.
Hopland is a charming town in the Mendocino County with a hidden gem of a hotel. The Thatcher Hotel is one of a kind with rich history, gorgeous victorian charm and a small boutique like feel that you’ll adore. This was the perfect place to stay in preparation for the competition since it has so much charm! 13401 US-101, Hopland, CA 95449
A glimpse of the lobby and bar area can give you a taste of the charm the Thatcher Hotel has. Check in takes place at the bar (below) which just adds to the boutique hotel feel and small hotel vibe.
I enjoyed an afternoon dip in this gorgeous pool before the judges dinner that evening. I’ve always driven by the Thatcher Hotel as I head to Mendocino and always dreampt of staying here. So you can imagine my excitement when not only was I invited to be a JUDGE but also get to stay at the Thatcher Hotel. Read more about The Thatcher Hotel and my stay on the blog here.
It was such a thrill to be a part of the judge’s dinner this year. I love attending any wine country event I can, and this one was extra special….
Cheers to the upcoming 44th Annual Mendocino Wine Competition. This was the night before at the judges welcoming dinner!
The delicious dinner was by The Golden Pig a great local restaurant in Hopland. The meat lasagne was perfect as we tasted through various Mendocino County Wines including some of these fun older ones below. You can imagine my excitement to get to enjoy a Handley 2015 GSM. Handley is one of my all time favorite Mendocino County Wineries.
Read more about Handley and some other Anderson Valley Wineries I adore here.
It’s not every day you get to enjoy a 1979 Zinfandel. So much fun!
Me and the Visit Mendocino Team including Travis and Ramon and another fellow Wine Judge.
2023 Mendocino Wine Competition
This year’s 2023 Mendocino Wine Competition was held at Brutocao Family Vineyards. They have a great oversized room similar to a banquet room which had 3 tables of judges.
I am so excited to be judging the 2023 Mendocino Wine Competition. What an honor!
Our table including judges:
Monique Soltani of Wine Oh Tv! This was her first time judging the Mendocino Wine Competition as well so it was fun to learn the ropes together!
Moderator Rusty Eddy (on the right)
Greg Richtarek, a Wine Buyer for Safeway (on the left).
Me and Allen Green who founded the Mendocino Wine Competition. What a legend!
The team hard at work in between rounds replacing the wines with the freshly poured next line up.
For each of the categories we received a score sheet with the ID which is also on the wine. We didn’t see any bottles until the END after all the scoring was completed so it was totally blind. It was fun to try to get some of the brands and the years which I did pretty well with the Sparkling Wines.