Ledson Winery – 2019 Cabernet Franc Grand Sweepstakes Winner, 4th Annual International Cabernet Franc Wine Competition

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The Winery

Photo from Ledson Winery Website

The story begins in England in 1896 and is detailed on the website https://ledson.com/discover-ledson/history/ . It is a tale of hard work, family ties and a desire to do more for the community. Steve Ledson’s history is both unique and common—unique with background and successful venture and common with family ties. His demeanor and casual manner speaks volumes.

The Castle is the official tasting room of Ledson Winery and the architecture and construction alone are worth the visit! Ledson Winery offers the largest premium wine portfolio of any family owned winery in the United States. Today their offering numbers more than 70 wines annually! More information on Ledson Winery can be found at:


The Wine – “Wine is bottled poetry” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Photo from Sonoma County Visit Widget LLC

The wine comes from one of the smaller AVA’s in Sonoma County, Moon Mountain. Here is a map showing the area which has elevations from 200 feet to 2200 feet. From this vineyard you can see San Francisco some 50 miles away!

Photo ©Michael Kelly

Photo ©Michael Kelly

This wine, the 2019 Ledson Cabernet Franc, Moon Mountain District, won the 2023 International Cabernet Franc Wine Competition Grand Sweepstakes by the People’s Choice Judges. This was their first time entering the event and did they do it in style. They also won Double Gold Medals and Best of Best of Show/Division and Best of Class/Division!!

Photo ©Michael Kelly

This wine on eyes was a deep and royal purple with a bright red rim and medium heavy viscosity. The aromas were intensely vivid with strawberry and mocha. On the palate, this wine simply “broke out from the herd” with flavors so distinct and desirous of blackberry and raspberry. The wine was so well balanced with fresh dark fruits and counterbalanced with pyrazines (bell pepper) and vanilla. As a wine connoisseur of Cabernet Franc for over 40 years, this is the highest rated Cabernet Franc I have experienced! If you want to understand the enormity and essence of Cabernet Franc, this is one of the best!

It was aged 30 months in French oak barrels, with 35% being new. Only 206 cases were produced and it sells for $98/bottle. A truly special bottle of wine from Ledson Winery & Vineyards.

The Food and Wine Pairing – “Food without wine is a corpse; wine without food is a ghost. United and well matched, they are as body and soul: living partners” – Andre Simon

Photo ©Michael Kelly

Dinner with this wine was a special Carne Asada. The ingredients included, fresh chopped Serrano peppers (3 with seeds) rather than Jalapeño peppers , olive oil, soy sauce, fresh squeezed orange and lime juice, minced garlic cloves, ground cumin, Kosher salt, ground black pepper marinated for 24 hours with a flank steak. The steak was seared on the BBQ with an infrared ceramic burner at between 1200 to 1400 degrees for about 3-4 minutes a side along with Serranto peppers roasting on top of the steak. Topped off with fresh minced cilantro, fresh marinade sauce and a modicum of fresh squeezed lime juice. Accompanying the meal was a corn salad with fresh minced onions, quartered cherry tomatoes and feta cheese.  The Carne Asada was flavorful and spicy with a little more punch than using Jalapeño peppers. This is now one of our go to summer food pairings! Obviously this just made my “Best Wines Tasted This Year” (comes out each December).

This Cabernet Franc with its fruit surrounded the spicy meat and cooled it off to be absolutely a wonderful pairing.






One thought on “Ledson Winery – 2019 Cabernet Franc Grand Sweepstakes Winner, 4th Annual International Cabernet Franc Wine Competition

    Balance Thy Life said:
    May 15, 2023 at 8:14 am

    This is a great article about Ledson Winery showcasing their rich history and remarkable collection of wines. The detailed description of the 2019 Ledson Cabernet Franc, Moon Mountain District, is particularly impressive and enticing.
    founder of balance thy life https://balancethylife.com


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