Las Positas Verdelho ties for Best White in SF Chronicle competition

Las Positas Verdelho ties for Best White in SF Chronicle competition

Ascending to the top of a heap of 5,500-plus wines is no easy feat, but Livermore winemaker Brent Amos has done it for an unprecedented second time. The 2023 Las Positas Estate Verdelho stood apart from 20 white wines in the final sweepstakes round of the 2024 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition earlier this month, which included entries from Michigan, Texas, Virginia, Ohio and New York.

The 2022 Annadel Chardonnay from Gap’s Grown shared Best White honors in close voting. Amos also won Double Gold for his Las Positas Albarino, Tempranillo Rosado, Cabernet Franc, Monastrell, Petit Verdot and Syrah.

Amos won Best Red at the same competition in 2019 for his 2016 Livermore Malbec. He began his career at Livermore’s Fenestra before moving to Las Positas, where he is now general manager and winemaker.

Another Bay Area winery in the Sweepstakes round was Soquel Vineyards with their 2022 Partners Reserve Pinot Noir and 2022 Lago Lomita Vineyard Nebbiolo, both of which won Best of Class. Lago Lomita, off Summit Road, is farmed by Robin and Mark Porter.

Kings Mountain Vineyards in Woodside scored Double Gold for the 2019 Bacchus and 2019 Clone 13 pinot noirs, Gold for the 2021 Bacchus and Silver for the 2021 Clone 13. Cooper Garrod in Saratoga scored Double Gold for their 2019 Estate Cabernet Franc, while La Honda scored Gold for their 2021 Sequence Pinot Noir.

Perrucci Family Vineyard in Los Gatos scored Gold for their 2019 Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon and Silver for their 2020 Sangiovese. Cupertino’s Pichetti scored Golds for their 2022 Leslie’s Estate Chardonnay, 2019 Cedar Lane Grenache and 2019 Vino di Vicino Santa Cruz Mountains red blend. Silver Mountain earned Golds for their 2020 chardonnay and 2021 pinot noir, while Storrs scored a Best of Class for their 2021 grenache and Double Golds for both their 2021 Christie Vineyard and Wildcat Ridge chardonnays.

Winner of Best Sparkling was the 2021 Chandon Blanc de Pinot Noir, a bargain at under $25 at Safeway. Best Dessert Wine was a tie between a port-style blend of touriga and tinto cao from Cinquain Cellars in Paso and a late harvest 2022 gewurztraminer from Arrington Vineyards in Tennessee. Best Red went to the excellent 2021 Cooper Vineyards Estate Barbera from Amador County, the first time a barbera took top honors.

Other outstanding whites were the 2022 CRU Albarino from San Luis Obispo (tasting room is in Soledad), 2022 Double Bond Grenache Blanc from Ballard Canyon, 2022 Kerner from Lemon Creek on Lake Michigan Shores (Silverado in Napa also makes a Kerner worth seeking out) and 2022 Roussanne from Meadowcraft Wines in Dry Creek Valley. The 2022 Weis Riesling (medium dry) from the Finger Lakes will interest Riesling lovers.

Related Articles

Restaurants, Food and Drink |

Bay Area sommelier pivoted from grapes to apples, then took Sincere Cider on the road

Restaurants, Food and Drink |

A wine bar in Antioch? It’s happening, thanks to these two sisters

Restaurants, Food and Drink |

25+ Bay Area beer and wine events to enjoy in early 2024

Restaurants, Food and Drink |

More than 100 Bay Area festivals and fairs are on deck for 2024

Restaurants, Food and Drink |

The year’s 50 best wines under $50, from an expert who tasted 3,243

The public tasting of all the gold medal-winning wines from the Chronicle competition will be held at Fort Mason on Saturday, Feb 17, 1:30-4:30 p.m. Tickets are $80 at

Proprietor Tim Slater of Sarah’s Vineyard in Gilroy recently released his first sparkling wine. Made via Methode Champenoise using estate pinot noir (65 percent) and chardonnay (35 percent), it’s called Ellie Mae. A lively raspberry-scented tribute to his young daughter, it scored a Gold at the SF Chronicle Competition.

Kick the new year off with beautiful views to the west at Izumi Point in Saratoga, accompanied by House Family Wines by the flight or glass. Order off their charcuterie menu, which includes cheeses like honey goat chevre, sage/port Derby, Edam Gouda, Spanish Manchego and smoked Gouda. Bring a blanket or borrow one for fire table seating (limited availability). 90-minute reservations, Thursday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m. at

Love aromatic whites? Book now for the upcoming Anderson Valley Winter White Wine Weekend, Feb 17-18.

Bacon lovers should not miss the 17th annual Pigs & Pinot in Healdsburg March 15-16, a lively tradition of all things pork and wine created by Chef Charlie Palmer. It benefits the Palmer Education Foundation in partnership with the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation. Tasting tickets are $275 at