Ok, wineries of the Livermore Valley, it’s time to decide which wines to submit to this year’s TVC Uncorked Competition. Time is flying faster than ever. Deadline for submission is noon on March 6, 2019. All wines must be dropped off at the Tri-Valley Conservancy (TVC) offices on First Street in Livermore by that time.

Only wines made from grapes grown in the Livermore Valley American Viticultural Area are eligible for this competition. They must have the Livermore Valley Appellation on the wine label. At least 85% of the grapes must come from this appellation. Wine labels must be the actual final printed label: no laboratory, temporary, photocopied or altered labels are allowed. Necks must also be free of wax. Any bottles with wax on them will be immediately disqualified.

Wines submitted to the competition must be available for sale to the public, through tasting room, internet, retail, etc.: no barrel samples, please.

Thanks to local winemakers, this year is going to be the best Livermore Valley Uncorked yet, with many improvements made, based on direct feedback.

Important Dates:

• Entry Deadline: March 6, 2019, 12:00 pm

• Entrance Fee: NONE

The cost of judging each submission has been paid for by Tri-Valley Conservancy as part of its mission to promote locally grown agricultural products.

• Preliminary Screening: March 11 & 12, 2019,

10:00 am – 2:00 pm, Tri-Valley Conservancy Office

• Medal Round Judging: March 19, 2019,

9:30 am – 4:30 pm, Tri-Valley Conservancy Office

• Celebration: April 4, 2019, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm / Early access for VIP ticket holders at 5:00 pm, at the Palm Event Center, 1184 Vineyard Avenue, Pleasanton.

• Medal round winners will receive ONE (1) complimentary ticket to the Celebration. To reserve a ticket, please contact Georgie Saucedo at gsaucedo@trivalleyconservancy.org.

• Additional tickets may be purchased at: https://trivalleyconservancy.ejoinme.org/Uncorked2019.

Each winery is invited to submit a maximum of six (6) entries in thefollowng twelve categories:

• Rosé

• Sauvignon Blanc (includes blends) No less than 50% SB

• Dry White, including Chardonnay (excludes SB) 20% BF; RS less than TA

• Barrel-Fermented Chardonnay (50% or more BF)

• Cabernet Sauvignon ($40.00 or less)

• Cabernet Sauvignon (above $40.00)

• Cabernet Franc

• Merlot, Malbec, or Petit Verdot

• Red Blends

• Petite Sirah

• Other Red Varieties (at least 75%)

• Zinfandel

Note: BF refers to Barrel Fermented; RS Residual Sugar and TA Total Acidity

Two 750ml bottles must be submitted for each entry. Wineries with sub-brands, such as Woodbridge by Mondavi, wherein more than one brand name appears on the label, will be treated as a single brand and restricted to six (6) submissions total.

This year, as last, all entries will be pre-screened by panels of Livermore Valley winemakers to determine the top six entries in each category submitted. Only these wines will go on to the final Medal Round of judging.

If a wine is one of the top six in a category, the winery will be asked to submit an additional six (6) bottles for the Medal Round, two (2) for the judging and four (4) for the public event on April 4. Medals awarded will be bronze, silver, gold and double gold. Best in Class and Best of Show winners will be selected at the conclusion of the Medal Round judging on March 19, 2019.

This year, in a departure from last year’s process, none of the winemakers who are involved in the pre-screening will be judging in the final Medal Round. This is felt to be far more fair, as in the past, winemakers become familiar with the wines, and try to guess whose is what. That’s only natural, and can lead to potential bias. So, no winemakers will judge the final round. Only wine writers, wine educators and certified sommeliers with a great deal of judging experience will be evaluating the wines and awarding medals accordingly in the final Medal Round. None of them will have any prior knowledge of the identities of the wines. All wines will be tasted blind.

After working at this for 10 years now, the organizers believe this to be a very fair and unbiased way to carry out the judging.

It’s like the Pony Express – fresh palates to carry the precious mailbags to their final destination are wanted.

Once the final round of judging is completed, medal winners will be contacted and asked to showcase their wines at the Livermore Valley Uncorked Celebration on Thursday, April 4, 2019.

Medals To Be Awarded

Best in Show/Judges’ Choice

• A trophy will be awarded for “Best in Show/Judges’ Choice”.

• The trophy rotates and is held by the winner until the following year’s recipient is announced. The trophy must be returned to the competition organizers in time for it to be awarded to the next season’s champion.

Best in Class

• Medals will be awarded for the Best in each Class: Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Other Dry White (including stainless-fermented Chardonnay), Barrel-Fermented Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon under $40, Cabernet Sauvignon $40+, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, or Petite Verdot, Red Blends, Petite Sirah, Other Red Varieties (at least 75%), and Zinfandel.

Medals: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Double Gold (GG)

• Medals will be awarded to the top six (6) wines in each category, based on merit. Unanimous, or near unanimous Gold medal selection by all judges will result in a Double Gold medal being awarded.

Best of Class winners must agree to DONATE OR SELL two 12-bottle cases of that specific wine to TVC to be used for the Uncorked auction, the public event on April 4th, and for educational and promotional purposes at TVC’s sole discretion. If a winery chooses to donate rather than sell the cases to TVC, it will be at a cost of no more than $300 per case. TVC will contact the winery to arrange pick up/delivery of the TWO cases.

Please note: Best in Class/Show wines will be showcased at Tri-Valley Conservancy’s 25th Anniversary Jeans & Jewels Celebration on November 8, 2019.

Wineries can enter their submissions by downloading a pdf, filling it out and emailing it to Georgie at the TVC: http://trivalleyconservancy.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/EntryForm2019.pdf.

Wineries may also bring the completed hard copy forms to the TVC along with their wine submissions. The address to drop off or ship wines is: Tri-Valley Conservancy, 1457 First Street, Livermore, CA 94550.

If you have any questions, please contact Georgie Saucedo: (925) 449-8706 or GSaucedo@trivalleyconservancy.org