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The Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa Hosts "First Blush" Wine Competition and Tasting

Public Invited to Taste California's Top Rosé Wines on Saturday, June 8
May 16, 2013

The Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa invited all California wineries to participate in its inaugural First Blush California Rosé Wine Competition and now everyone is invited to taste the winning wines on Saturday, June 8, 2013. 89 wines were submitted for this competition from Appellations throughout California and the judging took place on Monday, May 6, 2013.

With judging complete the public is invited to taste many of the award winning wines, while enjoying live music and small bites on June 8, 2013, at the First Blush Tasting, being held in Napa at The Meritage Resort and Spa from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

89 shades of California rosé were entered into two categories: “Dry” and “On the Sweeter Side.” The professional judges blindly evaluated and judged all submitted wines based upon factors including: wine clarity, aroma, color and overall appearance, balance, acidity, structure, fruitiness and varietal typicity. Plus whether or not the entered wines would be well received by consumers. When judging was complete there were 79 entries in the “Dry” category, with three winning double gold and six were given gold medals. 31 received silver medals and 19 bronze medals were given. There were 10 entries in the “On the Sweeter Side” category, one received a double gold, while six were awarded silver medals.

The competition director was Bob Ecker, noted wine/travel journalist and wine judge, and each wine was judged by five judges with extensive experience in the wine industry. Judges included:

· Michael Dellar has been involved with wine for over 40 years, serving as a panel member for Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine, as a judge for the San Francisco Fair Fine Wine Competition and as an award - winning restaurateur and co-owner of the Lark Creek Restaurant Group.

· Lamar Engel is a Canadian born wine enthusiast who now resides in Napa, California. Once a touring musician, he is now an Advanced Certified Sommelier through the Court of Masters

· Denise Gill has a broad wine industry background spanning over 20 years and currently at Ancient Oak Cellars as Director of Sales and Hospitality. She has judged professional wine competitions including California State Fair, El Dorado and San Francisco Chronicle.

· Jeffrey Miller is a winemaker for Artisan Family of Wines, located in Suisun Valley. Miller is also an attorney living in Napa.

· Christopher Sawyer is an internationally-renowned sommelier, wine journalist, consultant and public speaker. Sawyer travels the world following trends in wine and participating as a judge in international wine competitions.

The top winner in the Dry Rosé category was Jelly Jar Wines, while the top award for “On the Sweeter Side” was given to Ménage à Trois by Trinchero Family Estates. Many of the award winning California rosé wines, including all that were awarded Double Gold and Gold will be served at the June 8, 2013 public tasting.

Tickets are available from Cellar Pass for $25, a portion of each ticket sale will be donated to Napa’s Cope Family Center, a nonprofit that provides a full range of parent education and family support services, giving parents get the skills necessary to nurture a healthy and happy family. Each ticket includes wine tasting from approximately 30 wineries, small bites from the chefs at The Meritage Resort and Spa, Fish Story, Silverado Cooking School and more, plus live music. Special rates are available for event attendees the night of June 8 at The Meritage Resort and Spa. Reservations can be made by calling (866) 370-NAPA. For complete information and tickets please visit

Inaugural First Blush Award Winners:



DOUBLE GOLD AWARD - Handley Cellars


GOLD MEDAL - Epiphany Cellars

GOLD MEDAL - Lucia Vineyards

GOLD MEDAL - Peterson Winery

GOLD MEDAL - Soban Estate

GOLD MEDAL - Proulx "Willow Creek Farm"

GOLD MEDAL - Pomar Junction


DOUBLE GOLD AWARD - Ménage à Trois

About The Meritage Resort and Spa

The Meritage Resort and Spa is an extraordinary Napa Valley luxury resort set among the vineyards. A destination unto itself, it features 322 Tuscan-inspired guestrooms and luxury suites, seasonal farm-to-table cuisine at the Siena Restaurant and wine tasting in the Estate Cave featuring Trinitas Cellars. Regain a healthful balance with curative treatments at Spa Terra—a lavish underground spa with steam grottoes, soaking pools, treatment alcoves and tranquil walls of water. The resort boasts the most comprehensive event and meeting space in the wine country, including the two largest ballrooms in the Napa Valley, the Estate Cave and three covered terraces. Crush Ultra Lounge offers guests a chance to relax with a full bar, sports entertainment and six bowling lanes. Far more than a place for relaxation, our unique property is an Old World escape from the ordinary. The Meritage Resort and Spa experience is the perfect blend of gracious hospitality, unrivaled amenities and peerless personal care. For more information, visit

About Meritage Collection

The Meritage Collection is a new life and style collection from Pacific Hospitality Group, which includes independent hotels, resorts, wineries and golf courses. The Meritage Collection offers exceptional travel and one-of-a-kind experiences in four of California's most spectacular locations—La Jolla, Napa Valley, Newport Beach and Santa Barbara. These design-focused properties are stylish yet welcoming, with creative restaurants, relaxed lounges and inviting social spaces. Experience hospitality in a whole new light. For more information about the Meritage Collection, visit

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