Cabernet Franc Wine Stroll at 4th Annual International Cabernet Franc Wine Competition & Celebration

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The second event of three this year at the Annual International Cabernet Franc Celebration and Wine Competition was held Saturday April 15th, at the Grandview Room at The Golf Club at Copper Valley, Copperopolis, California. A warm sunny and beautiful day in the Sierra foothills hosted all the 92 guests and 16 personnel from the wineries from all over California.

Only the past winners from the previous year event are invited to pour. Thus only the Best of the Best participate. Eleven wineries participated pouring their Cabernet Franc’s (current vintage) which had previously won Gold or Double Gold Medals, Best of Class or Best of Show. Each winery had on their table a display with the left side describing their Cabernet Franc and the right side providing information on their winery, offering, club membership, etc. Each winery were allowed to pour their others wine varietals. AVAs represented included Paso Robles, Arroyo Seco, Livermore Valley, Sonoma, Calaveras County and Napa Valley. This allowed guests to taste excellent Cabernet Franc wines from various and entirely different terroirs to find their ideal wine and experience different regions all at the same venue.

Verona18 restaurant provided an epic spread of delicious appetizers for the guests to enjoy. The appetizers were hand selected to go with the Cabernet Franc wines. The constant replenishing of appetizers kept up with the guests enjoying with the wines.

They could grab a few appetizers and wine and then sit outside overlooking the beautiful grounds. Here were the wineries that had previously won and some of their other wines they were pouring.

At the first table was Michael Budd of Dracaena Wines from Paso Robles, California. Michael was pouring their award winning wines of Cabernet Franc, a Cabernet Franc Blend called Phoenix, Chenin Blanc and a Rose.

Next up was Larry Dino, winemaker/owner of Cuda Ridge Wines from Livermore, California. Larry and his wife Margie were pouring their Best of Show & Class 2019 Blend called  Melange d’Amis as well as their 2018 Melange d’ Amis and their 2020 Cabernet Franc.

Elliot Stern of Oakville East located in Napa Valley poured four of his award winning wines. The first was the 2018 “Franc n’ Stern” Cabernet Franc followed with Oakville East Core Stone Blend, Oakville East Harter Family, Double H Ranch 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and one of my personal favorites Oakville East Exposure Cabernet Sauvignon.

Up next was Keith Prather from Shale Canyon making his wines from Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey County. Keith and his wife Kimberley were celebrating their anniversary and made it a two day event in the Sierra foothills.  He poured various wines including his 2017 Cabernet Franc, Amalgamation Reserve a blend of Zinfandel, Tempranillo and Petite Sirah, ZSM blend of Zinfandel, Syrah and Mourvedre, Contemplation blend and a few others.

Chris Hayes from Quintessential Wines representing Kautz & Kramer of Lodi was pouring their award winning wine Cabernet Franc Sheldon Ranch, Block 72.  Kautz & Kramer is one of the  premier brand of Ironstone.

A regular and always award winning Wood Family Vineyards from Livermore, California was next up. Rhonda Wood, owner and winemaker, with her son Harrison Wood, poured their 2020 Cabernet Franc as well as 2019 Zinfandel, 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon and their every popular 2021 Chardonnay.

As guests continued throughout the room, they came to Steven Kent Mirassou’s newest label, L’Autre Côte Cabernet Franc from Livermore, California. This is the third year of production of this wine/label, showcasing only Cabernet Franc. Shown with his assistant winemaker Beth Refsnider. A most interesting L’Autre Côte Blanc was showcased.

(This was last year’s picture)

Robert Rex and his wife PJ poured their 2013 and 2017 Cabernet Franc from Kenwood, California. They also poured many of  their award winning wines including 2014 Zinfandel, 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Fox Run, 2020 Sangiovese, 2018 Chardonnay and a 2019 Syrah Rose.  Lots of positive comments on the Cabernet Sauvignon from the attendees!

Cornerstone Cellars from Napa Valley poured their award winning 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon. Lynne Prescott and her husband held a busy table with folks enjoying their wine.

Middle Oak Wines of Texas was present pouring their Best of Show their 2018 “Middle C” Cabernet Franc. The winery is located in Texas but uses grapes from Napa Valley. Pouring was Chris Klein as Christina Skinner owner could not attend.

Villa Vallecito Vineyards from the community of Vallecito in Calaveras County had owner Ghee  Hagedorn pouring several wines. Her award winning 2020 Cabernet Franc, the 2019 Cabernet Franc blend “EL Rey” and a few others.

Each of these winemaker’s and owners spend a lot of time & effort getting to the event and it was greatly appreciated by attendees.

If you want to read more about each these wineries, I have provided a link to just one of the many stories written on these excellent wineries and their wines. Click on the link below the name to find out more.

Dracaena Wines

Cuda Ridge Wines

Oakville East

Shale Canyon

Kautz & Kramer

Wood Family Vineyards

L’Autre Cote

Cornerstone Cellars Cellars

Villa Vallecito Vineyards

Two wineries I have not yet written stories on but will be doing soon are Deerfield Ranch Wines and Middle Oak Wines.

Special Thanks:  Verona18 Food & Beverage Manager Edwarda Alderete and her staff did an amazing job setting up the room and providing wonderful appetizers. Cindy Acre and Patty Powers did a wonderful job warmly greeting and registering the guests.




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