5th Annual

Sunset International Wine Competition



SUNSET is the leading media brand of the Western lifestyle. Its International Wine Competition makes its winning wines part of the most influential wine program in the country. Its judges are some of the most experienced wine professionals in the West, including many Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine. The magazine is committed to promoting its winners in ways that no other competition can.

According to SUNSET, the competition is designed to attract all wineries interested in reaching the Western wine drinker and is juried by the best judges in the industry, who understand and appreciate the Western palate and lifestyle.

“This judging has been patiently waiting for someone to come along and take the reins.  With our management strategy and tight logistical operation, we will apply our business model which has proven results and overwhelming success,” according to Debra Del Fiorentino, founder and president of WSCM&P.

She adds, “We’ve got an extensive insider contact list and additional wine industry marketing resources, so we should see growth in the number of entries. Since the competition’s inception, my understanding is that SUNSET’s biggest selling and most anticipated issue features the announcement its winning wines. Add to that the consumer outreach provided by SUNSET and you’ve got a winning combination."

Reasons to Enter

  • The U.S. is the world’s largest wine market, and 2018 was the 25th consecutive year of growth in wine consumption, with an estimated retail value of $71 billion-with a 5.3% growth in retail value from 2017 to 2018.
  • The West is the top region for wine, with Westerners 35% above the average affluent adult for spending $3,000 or more on wine in the past year.
  • Westerners drink over 60 million glasses of wine each week!
  • Sunset is the dominant media brand of Western lifestyle, with 4.6 million print readers, 1.1 million monthly online visitors, and over 30,000 event attendees annually.
  • Almost all (96%) Sunset subscribers are wine drinkers, and more than 3 out of 4 subscribers drink wine every week. 92 percent agree that wine is one of the special pleasures in life.
  • Sunset readers appreciate Sunset‘s commitment to the wine industry and count on the magazine to expand their wine knowledge.
  • Sunset readers are 106% above average for being enthusiastic consumers of wine.
  • Sunset readers are 54% more likely to try new and different wines, and 96% say they enjoy exploring new wines.
  • With their passion and knowledge, Sunset readers have a wide sphere of influence. They are 81% above average for being super influential consumers of wine.
  • The 2012 Sunset International Wine Competition was the most successful launch of a wine competition in U.S. history and the competition has grown each year since. The 2020 Sunset International Wine Competition will be bigger and better than ever, with more promotion, more social media integration, and more buzz!

Sources: Forbes 2018 Wine Institute, March 2012; 2012 Ipsos Mendelsohn Affluent Survey, HHI $100k+; 2012 Doublebase GfK MRI

Entry Deadline and Product Shipments Due

June 17, 2020


June 23 and 24, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

When will the competition take place?

The judging will take place June 23 and 24 in Sonoma County, CA.

When is the deadline to enter?

The deadline for entry and shipment is June 17th, 2020.

How much does it cost to enter?

The registration fee is $99 per entry online, and $109 per entry submitted by paper. Entries received after the 2020 deadline will be charged $119 per entry online and $129 for entries not submitted online.

How do I submit my entry—by paper, fax, or email?

Please follow the instructions located on the paper entry form.

Where do I send my wines?

We will accept wine shipments from until June 11, 2020. Please ship wines directly to:

Sunset International Wine Competition
c/o Wine Country Shipping
7686 Bell Road
Windsor, CA 95492

Download a pre-printed shipping label

How many bottles need to be sent per entry?

An official entry shall consist of 4 bottles, each bottle no less than 750 ml in volume. For containers larger than 1 liter in volume, an official entry shall consist of 2 units. An official entry of wines, such as dessert wines, that are bottled only in 375ml bottles shall consist of 6 bottles, each no less than 375ml.

When will the winners be announced?

The winners will be announced in the September/October issue of Sunset Magazine. All winners will be notified in advance.

Who should I contact if I have more questions?

Please contact Debra Del Fiorentino at: debra@winecompetitions.com

(415) 640-6337.


Official Rules

2020 Judges

Honorary Chair

Mark Hanson

Founder & CEO Bricoleur Vineyards


  • Marta Kraftzek, Scheid
  • Stephanie Trotter, Trotter 1/16
  • Andria Shirk, Laelaps Wines
  • Carol Shelton, C Shelton Wines
  • Katie Madigan, St. Francis
  • Sara Fowler, Peju
  • Kristen Barnhisel, J. Lohr Vineyards
  • John Allbaugh, Director of Winemaking, Bronco
  • Diane Wilson, Director of Winemaking Wilson Artisan Wineries


  • Ziggy “The Wine Gal” Eschliman, Radio and TV Personality
  • Christopher Sawyer, Sommelier and Wine Consultant
  • Laura Ness, Wine Writer, Journalist, Columnist
  • Mike Dunne, Wine Columnist, Publisher
  • Ellen Landis, Wine Journalist, C.S., CSWd
  • Bob Foster, Asst. Editor California Grapevine


  • Kimberley Charles, Diploma in Wine and Spirits, Founder and Owner Charles Communications
  • Traci Dutton, Beverage Manager and Sommelier, Culinary Institute of America
  • Liz Thach, Ph.D., Master of Wine, Distinguished Professor of Wine & Management Sonoma State
  • Renata Franzia Price, Bronco
  • Larry Van Aalst, Sommelier, Host of Sonoma Wine Report
  • Barry Herbst, Wine Director, Bottle Barn Liquors
  • Elsie Wolfe, Sales Manager, Alcohol, Buyer, Safeway
  • Chris O’Gorman, Director of Communications, Rodney Strong Wine Estates
  • Kerrie Cook, Wine Educator, Sommelier
  • Melanie Mann, Wine Director, Buyer Northern Division Whole Foods
  • Todd Jolly, Buyer Sonoma’s Best
  • Curtis Mann, Director Wine, Beer & Spirits, Buyer Raley’s Fine Foods
  • Chris Richards, Director, Bricoleur Vineyards
  • David Sandri, WSET Certified-Advanced
  • Cathy Vicini, Proprietor Tricini Winery
  • Spreti Valente, Senior Buyer, Anne’s Boutique Wine Club
  • Ken Landis, Chef Consultant, Landis Shores
  • Mark Chandler, CSW, Owner Chandler & Company
  • Oliver Kohn, Buyer Draeger’s Market
  • Josh Kirchhoff, Buyer Bounty Hunter, Napa
  • Bill Hayes, Head Buyer, Beverages and More
  • Jasper Russo, Director of Wine Education, Sales & Marketing, Sigel’s Fine Wines, Twin Liquors
  • Wilfred Wong, Chief Storyteller, Wine.com

Bottoms Up!

Reach a perfect audience.

Wow an esteemed judging panel.

It's your time to shine!