Raise A Glass To The Top Wineries Of 2018

Drinks

November 5, 2018 | BY AFP

Longevity matters: The first winery to open a tasting room in California and a Spanish winery with a 180-year-old sherry tradition have been named the American and European wineries of the year, respectively

The tastemakers at Wine Enthusiast magazine announced the winners of their annual Wine Star Awards, honoring the trailblazers and players who move the industry forward.

San Antonio Winery, the oldest winery in Downtown Los Angeles, was named American Winery of the Year for finding ways to stay "modern and relevant" over the last century.

Over the last decade, for example, the Riboli family opened an energy-efficient and sustainable winery and hospitality center that produces no wastewater, and has released new iterations of their flagship import brand Stella Rosa, a semi-sweet, semi-sparkling wine.

(Related: New Fizz On The Block: The Rise Of English Sparkling Wines)

Wine Enthusiast described the winery's estate brands like San Simeon, Maddalena and Opaque as quality wines at a fair price.

San Antonio Winery launched one of the first tasting rooms in California in 1948, and opened one of the country's first winery restaurants in 1974.

Sherry-maker Gonzalez Byass in Spain was named European Winery of the Year, for setting the gold standard in sherry with brands like Tio Pepe, the world's best-selling fino-style sherry (the driest and palest sherry style), the Finos Palmas Collection and Noe.

Wine Enthusiast said: "González Byass has few peers when it comes to sherry." 

Over the years, the winery has also acquired brands from Chile (Veramonte) and Mexico (Pedro Domecq). 

"For its enduring pursuit and championing of unique, authentic wines of the highest quality, Wine Enthusiast honors González Byass as its European Winery of the Year," said Wine Enthusiast. 

(Related: 8 Brilliant Biodynamic Wines Pundit James Suckling Loves)

Here are a few of the 2018 Wine Star Award winners:

Lifetime Achievement - Mel Dick, President Wine Division & Senior VP, Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits
American Wine Legend - Warren Winiarski, Founder, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars; Owner, Arcadia Vineyards 
Cocktail Legend - Dale DeGroff, Bartender; Author; President & Owner, Dale DeGroff Co., Inc. 
Winemaker of the Year - Adam Mettler, Winemaker, Mettler Family Vineyards; Director of Wine Operations, Michael David Winery 
Innovator of the Year - Terry Wheatley, President, Vintage Wine Estates 
American Winery of the Year - Riboli Family of San Antonio Winery 
European Winery of the Year - González Byass 
New World Winery of the Year - Bodega Garzón 
Wine Region of the Year - Champagne, France 
Sommelier / Wine Director of the Year - June Rodil, MS - Sommelier, McGuire Moorman Hospitality Group 
Spirit Brand /Distiller of the Year - Diplomático Rum
 

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