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.
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.
Winning producers will be featured in the October release of a Wine Special non-print, digital edition with supporting microsite. Promotions for the Wine Award Special Issue will be placed in sunset.com, Sunset eNewsletters and Sunset social sites. The edition will be promoted and available for 12 months or until the 2024 Wine Competition Awards winners are announced.
Reasons to Enter
Sources: 2018 MRI Doublebase. 2019 Sunset Digital Survey, Sunset Media Kit 2022
Frequently Asked Questions
The judging will take place May 23rd - 25th, 2023, in Sonoma County, CA.
The deadline for entry is May 8th, 2023.
Early bird pricing extended to Friday April 28th!
*Shipments must be received by 5pm on May 10th, 2023.
No, all submissions must go through our online system for better and more accurate tracking and communication.
We will accept wine shipments until 5pm on May 10th, 2023. Please ship wines directly to:
Sunset International Wine Competition
c/o Express Wine Delivery
7970 Cameron Dr.
Windsor, CA 95492
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.
Winning producers will be featured in the Fall release of a Wine Special non-print, digital edition with supporting microsite. Promotions for the Wine Award Special Issue will be placed in sunset.com, Sunset eNewsletters and Sunset social sites. The edition will be promoted and available for 12 months or until the 2024 Wine Competition Awards winners are announced.
Deadlines & Judging
Entry Deadline: May 8th, 2023
*Early Bird Pricing Extended to Friday April 28th!*
Delivery Deadline: May 10th, 2023
Judging: May 23rd - 25th, 2023
Regular: $119 per entry online
Early Bird Entry *extended* (by April 28th, 2023): $99 per entry online
Please review this document for a complete list of all categories.
Table, sparkling, fortified, fruit, and specialty wines produced in any wine-producing region of the world that meet the applicable federal legal requirements for sale in the United States are eligible for entry
Entries must be listed on the official entry form, directly online.
Advertising & Licensing Opportunities
Available a few months after completion of the competition, a special non-print, digital magazine edition with supporting microsite on sunset.com will launch. As part of the digital magazine there will be paid ad opportunities and paid listings in a microsite directory. These ad positions will allow for prominent placement and the larger ad units will allow for your ad to contain your label or logo image along with a link to your website and a “Buy Button” included on Awards page on Sunset.com. Also, if you are looking to leverage your award medal for commercial purposes there is a licensing program that is available upon request. This additional paid licensing program allows entrants to license, on an annual basis, the logo award for commercial purposes to boost sales using your Sunset award. As example, the licensing program will allow you to leverage the Sunset brand on your bottle label, neckers, case cards, shelf talkers and more. Please contact email@example.com for pricing details for advertising and licensing opportunities.
An official entry shall consist of four (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 two (2) units. An official entry of wines, such as dessert wines, that are bottled only in 375 ml bottles shall consist of six (6) bottles, each no less than 375 ml
Any wine that is delivered to the competition without a full and proper label will be disqualified from the judging. Please do not send wines with laboratory, temporary, photocopied, or altered labels. Please specify on the entry form how many gallons of wine were produced. A minimum of 100 gallons is required. This rule is to ensure that wines entered in the competition were produced for purchase by consumers.
Please note that only Best of Class winners will be receiving medals automatically. Gold medals will be made available upon request. Digital plaques will be available for all winners for use on websites, social media sites and/or email campaigns.
- Andre DuVigneaud, Owner / Winemaker - Bee Hunter
- Anna Marie Dos Remedios, Winemaker - Idle Hour Winery
- Carol Shelton, Owner / Winemaker - Carol Shelton Wines
- David Sundberg, Winemaker - Hans Fahden Vineyards
- David Vergari, Winemaker
- Kerry Damskey, Wine Consultant and Winemaker
- Luke Goldschmidt, Enologist - Dutton Goldfield
- Matt Reid, Winemaker - Benessere Vineyards & PWR Wines
- Miro Tcholakov *Chief Judge*, Winemaker - Miro & Trentdue
- Penny Gadd-Coster, Winemaker - Breathless Wines
- Rick Davis, Owner / Winemaker - Calstar Cellars
- Stephanie Trotter, Owner / Winemaker - Trotter 1/16, D.O.S. at Tedeschi Family Winery
Journalists / Media
- Christopher Sawyer, Wine Writer and “Sommelier to the Stars”
- Dan Berger, Wine Journalist
- Ellen Landis, Wine Writer, Certified Wine Specialist
- Larry Van Aalst, Radio Host of "The Sonoma Wine Report", CRN Digital Talk Radio
- Laura Ness, Food and Wine Writer
Trade / Education
- Ali DuVigneaud, Winery Owner - Bee Hunter
- Bekah Schloss, Wine Wall Supervisor - The Matheson
- Bridget Newcome, Wine Educator
- Cathy Vicini, Owner - Trecini
- Charles Mara, Winery Owner / Educator
- Corey Lester, Sommelier
- David Sandri, Educator
- Dawne Sacchetti, Consultant - River House Consulting
- Debbie Zachareas, Wine Expert, International Judge, and Lecturer
- Denise Gill, Educator / Consultant
- Emily Edeen, Sommelier
- Greg Richtarek, Wine & Spirits Manager
- Jai Wilson, Sommelier
- Jay Baili, Wine Judge / Educator
- Jessica Main, GM / Buyer / Sommelier
- Mary Beth Vierra, Wine & Spirits Educator, Consultant
- Rebecca Fletcher, VIP & Trade Coordinator - Raymond Vineyards
- Sunny Yang Liao, Co-founder and CEO - Vinusclub
- Traci Dutton, Educator, Sommelier, Wine & Beverage Judge - Public Wine and Beverage Studies, Culinary Institute of America
- Wilfred Wong, Chief Story Teller / Buyer / Educator