7th 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 2024 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
    • $229,619 Average HHI
    • $959,263 Average HH net worth
    • Visiting wineries 82%
  • Sunset has a circulation of 230K in print and digital with 1.2MM+ site visits per month. Average page views are 1.57MM.
  • Sunset’s social audience is 1.1M
    • Facebook: 536,000
    • Pinterest: 298,000
    • Instagram: 242,000
    • Twitter: 70,300
    • YouTube: 8,900
    • 4MM+ Total Cross-Platform Reach
    • 2.5% - 3.5% Industry-Leading Social Engagement
    • 103% YOY - Total Social Audience Growth
    • 120% YOY - @SunsetMag Instagram Community Growth
    • 80% of Sunset readers make decisions on brands and product choices based on ads seen in Sunset
  • 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 2023 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, 2022 & 2023 Sunset Media Kit, 2022 VinePair article, Mordor Intelligence, Gallup, Statista, and Park Street

Entry Deadline and Product Shipments Due

Entry Deadline: May 8th, 2023

Product Delivery Deadline: May 10th, 2023

*2023 Competition is Complete*

2024 Dates Coming Soon!


May 23rd - 25th, 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

When will the competition take place?

The judging will take place May 23rd - 25th, 2023, in Sonoma County, CA.

When is the deadline to enter?

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.

How much does it cost to enter?

Early Bird Deadline: April 24th, 2023 *$99 per entry online

Regular Deadline: May 8th, 2023 *$119 per entry online 

Is there a paper entry form?

No, all submissions must go through our online system for better and more accurate tracking and communication.

Where do I send my wines?

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

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 2024 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

2023 Judges

Miro Tcholakov Named Honorary Chief Judge for 2023 Sunset International Wine Competition


  • 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

Bottoms Up!

Reach a perfect audience.

Wow an esteemed judging panel.

It's your time to shine!