The online home of Mark “The Cork Head” Stuart, Certified Wine Professional, speaker/educator, judge, and columnist.

Click here for more info

December 2017
« Nov    

SDIWCcolorlogo  The 2010 San Diego International Wine Competition was held over the weekend where over 30 judges from around the United States tasted through nearly 2,000 total entries and awarded medals to hundreds of wines.

North San Diego County’s Fallbrook Winery showed up prominently in the final tally.

Lead by owner Ira Gourvitz and winemaker Duncan Williams the winery has gone from a fledgling estate 15 years ago to to the forefront of the major wine competition circuit.

Sunday afternoon at the SDIWC has the best of the best come out for one final shot at the best red, white, rose, sparkling, and dessert wines.  The little underdog from Fallbrook had 2 wines that made it through to the finals, or “Sweepstakes” round. 

Considering only 60 wines out of the nearly 2000 (roughly 3%)  entered made it this far is stastically significant in itself.  Further consider that each had votes for best overall red and best overall white, with the sauvignon blanc missing Best in Show White by a singular vote speaks volumes to the effort and vision of their team.

(On a personal side, as a judge at this and other competitions, I’ve never seen so many medal worthy wines poured at a single competiton.  Picking and choosing the best was more difficult than any other competition in which I’ve participated making the  accomplishment even more impressive.)

When the judges raised their hands in a final vote for “Best in Show Red”, Fallbrook’s 2007 33 Degrees North Bordeaux Blend came up a few hands short, but showed these locally estate grown grapes can compete against some of the best in the business.  This flagship red outlasted high profile names such as Robert Mondavi, St. Supery, and Franciscan to come out the only Platinum award winner in it’s category.

Fallbrook Winery wasn’t done there.  In fact, it’s 2009 Fallbrook Sauvignon Blanc Reserve won Best Sauvignon Blanc and found itself in the “Best of Show White” category shortly thereafter, where it fell one single vote short of being the overall white wine champion.

Just a few votes from winning in the two most important categories in one of the most respected competitions in the United States.  Congratulations to everyone at Fallbrook Winery for their ongoing success. 

Not too bad for a little guy from San Diego.


  1. Posted 03/22/10 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Glad you enjoyed the competition, Mark. It was great to have you there. Considering we had wine from all over the world, Ira, Duncan and Vernon of Fallbrook Winery can be rightfully proud of their awards.

    The full results will be posted soon on the competition website,, and links to the results will also appear on

    Now on to our next international wine competition, Critics Challenge in May! (

    Assistant to Competition Director Robert Whitley

  2. Posted 03/23/10 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Congratulations to Ira, Duncan and Vernon. I’ve been a fan of their wines for some time now and am happy to see them garner the recognition they deserve.

3 Trackbacks

  1. By uberVU - social comments on 03/22/10 at 3:39 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by getyourwinenews: TheCorkHead: Fallbrook Winery Shines at Wine Competition Full

  2. […] Fallbrook Winery Shines at Wine Competition – […]

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Wine Lovernews, K.D., Tom Plant, WINEormous, Critics Challenge and others. Critics Challenge said: RT @thecorkhead: San Diego's Fallbrook Winery shined over the weekend at The San Diego International Wine Competition. […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *