Wine: Temecula takes top honor at State Fair event
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It took some 32,000 glasses of wine and three days of judging before top honors were announced last week for the California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition.

South Coast Winery of Temecula was honored as Golden State Winery of the Year, an award that notes the best overall performance at the competition.

South Coast Winery nabbed 39 awards, including five gold medals, to win the honor for the second consecutive year.

Jeff Runquist Wines bested the competition to earn Best of Show Red for its 2007 Amador County barbera. The wine scored a whopping 98 points (out of 100) and earned a double-gold medal.

Runquist Wines also won a double-gold medal and scored 98 points for its 2007 Lodi carignane.

Jeff Runquiest also picked up gold and Best of Other California Red for his 2007 petite sirah, tying another one of his wines, the McManis 2007 petite sirah. McManis Family Vineyards of Ripon also got a gold for its 2007 viognier. Runquist is the winemaker at the Ripon winery.

Other top winners included Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, which won Best of Show White for its 2005 Sonoma County Rose Brut.

Best of Show Dessert went to Quady Winery's 2007 California Elysium Black Muscat, while Best Value honors were won by ForestVille Vineyard's 2006 California Zinfandel.

Monte Bello, located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, was noted as Vineyard of the Year.

Two E.&J. Gallo brands also placed: Carlo Rossi won Best of California White Zinfandel and a double-gold for its white zinfandel. Barefoot Cellars won Best of California Muscat.

The California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition is recognized as North America's oldest wine competition.

More than 600 wineries entered this year's event, with 60 judges evaluating the wines over three days in early June.