6th 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.

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 2022 Wine Competition Awards winners are announced.

Reasons to Enter

  • Sunset is the definitive lifestyle brand of the modern American West and the single most trusted resource for a national audience aspiring to live the western lifestyle.
  • The Sunset audience is crazy about wine!
    • 93% drink wine at least once a week (and 28% drink wine 6–7 days a week)
    • 115% above average for drinking 4+ glasses of dinner wine in the last week
    • Favorite article on Sunset.com is Wine Awards
    • 7 out of 10 savor food & drink content
    • 1 in 4 report to be medium-to heavy wine drinkers
    • 83% above average for typically drinking wine with dinner
    • $110,645 Median HHI
    • $668,649 Median HH net worth
    • Visiting wineries 82%
  • Sunset has a circulation of 230K in print and digital with 1MM+ site visits per month.
  • Sunset’s social audience is 1.1M
    • Facebook: 522,000
    • Pinterest: 277,000
    • Instagram: 236,000
    • Twitter: 70,000
  • 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 2021 Sunset International Wine Competition will be bigger and better than ever, with more promotion, more social media integration, and more buzz!
  • Westerners drink over 60 million glasses of wine each week!

Sources: 2018 MRI Doublebase. 2019 Sunset Digital Survey

Entry Deadline and Product Shipments Due

May 28, 2021


June 8 - 10, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

When will the competition take place?

The judging will take place June 8 - 10 in Sonoma County, CA.

When is the deadline to enter?

The deadline for entry and shipment is May 28th, 2021.

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 2021 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 1, 2021. Please ship wines directly to:

Sunset International Wine Competition
c/o Express Wine Delivery
7970 Cameron Dr.
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?

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 2021 Wine Competition Awards winners are announced.

Who should I contact if I have more questions?

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

(415) 640-6337.


Official Rules

2021 Judges


  • 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
  • Giovanni Balistreri
  • Nick Goldschmidt
  • Erik Olsen  
  • Miro Tcholakov


  • 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
  • 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 
  • Denise Gill

Bottoms Up!

Reach a perfect audience.

Wow an esteemed judging panel.

It's your time to shine!