I would encourage all of you to visit your local, regional, or state fair this summer. Fairs are a slice of Americana, a part of our American culture. School is out, and the summer lifestyle has switched into gear. If you have a passion for something, like our wine-making, enter it in the fair, you might be surprised.
There is judging on flowers, garden displays, woodworking, artwork, chickens, cows, pigs, sheep, baked goods, jams, you name it. It is a great way to connect with others in your community with the same passion, and also to stay in touch with what others are doing in your particular area in the community.
Our local fair is the San Diego County Fair, always mid-June through the Fourth of July. There are rides, outrageous fair food, exhibits, judging of all kinds of categories, concerts, in other words something for everyone.
The wine judging contest at the San Diego County Fair is popular, and has a wide range of categories from Cabernet Sauvignon to Fruit Wines. There is also judging on wine labels, and the coveted "Best of Show".
This year we entered three wines in three different categories. We won a "Blue Ribbon" First Prize, for our "Le Vin de Garage" Syrah 2007, in the "Syrah Category", on Sunday, June 21, 2009, Father's Day. It was a total surprise, and a little surreal when our names were announced. Needless to say, it was a special treat for our dads.
These grapes are not from our own syrah vineyard quite yet, but grapes that we purchased from the pristine Guadalupe Valley in Baja, Mexico to practice making wine, until our vineyard was three years old. Many thanks to our friends and family who helped us bottle this wine last fall, and for your ongoing enthusiasm.
Do you have a wonderful summer fair near you? Do you have a "Blue Ribbon" story to share? What are you passionate about that you could enter in the fair next year?