San Francisco Chronicle: Competition winners highlight lesser known U.S. wine regions

By April 19, 2021May 15th, 2021All News, Inside the Winery, Press

We’re delighted to be included in this recent article published in the San Francisco Chronicle.

When you’re evaluating nearly 5,700 wines from more than 1,000 U.S. and Mexico wineries, it might be easy to think that most of the winning labels come from climate- and soil-blessed California. Washington State and Oregon, too. And certainly those well-known, top producing regions get their share of accolades.


But there are many other U.S. states producing stellar wines, and as shown in this year’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, they’re piling up the awards, too.

Cellardoor Winery of Lincolnville, Maine paraded home with two Best of Class honors, two Double Gold medals and eight Gold medals. Arrington Vineyards of Nashville, Tennessee marched away with one Best of Class designation, three Double Gold, three Gold and five Silver medals. And Leelanau Wine Cellars of Omena, Michigan triumphed with one Best of Class, one Double Gold and two gold medals.


Cellardoor Winery took home one of its Best of Class honors for its 2016 Iron Gate Cabernet Sauvignon Red Blend ($30).

“Our inspiration for Iron Gate stems from a famous 100-point Bordeaux wine that Bettina Doulton, the owner of Cellardoor, gave to us over a decade ago,” said Aaron Peet, winemaker for the Maine property. “While touring Bordeaux, one of our barrel coopers snapped a photo of my wife and assistant winemaker CC and I in front of the large imposing gates of a Chateau. Knowing we would need an elaborate appointment to see inside, we mused about the possibility of crafting a more obtainable premier Bordeaux blend — one that guests could enjoy without the locked iron gates.”

It’s one of his personal favorites to drink, he added.

“I love the wine because it gives you the feel of classic Left Bank Bordeaux elegance,” he said. “But it has an unmistakable boldness and New World flair.”

Read more: Competition Highlights Lesser Known U.S. Wine Regions or view article in PDF form here.

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