SUNSET International Wine Competition 
 brought to you by Wine Competitions Management & Productions. 


Early Bird Deadline : April 27th, 2020!

Entry Deadline and Wine Shipments Due:  May 7th, 2020


Judging: May 12-13, 2019


Early Bird (ending April 27th):  $99 per entry online // $109 by paper entry form

Regular (April 28th-May7th):  $119 per entry online // $129 by paper entry form





About the 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 SUNSET International Wine Competition remains a tour de force with winners gaining top level exposure through its magazine.  According to SUNSET, the competition is designed to attract all wines interested in reaching the Western wine drinker and juried by best judges from the West, to judge for a Western palate and lifestyle.


“This judging has been patiently waiting for someone to come along and take the reins.  With our management strategy and tight logistical operation, we will apply our business model which has proven results and overwhelming success,” according to Debra Del Fiorentino, founder and president of WCM&P.


She adds, “We’ve got an extensive insider contact list and additional wine industry marketing resources, so we should see growth in the number of entries.  Since the competition’s inception, my understanding is that SUNSET’s biggest selling and most anticipated issue features the announcement its winning wines. Add to that the consumer outreach provided by SUNSET and you’ve got a winning combination."

10 Reasons Why You Should Enter

And if you need further encouragement as to why, here are 10 convincing reasons:

1. The U.S. is the world’s largest wine market, and 2018 was the 25th consecutive year of growth in wine consumption, with an estimated retail value of $71 billion-with a 5.3% growth in retail value from 2017 to 2018.

2. The West is the top region for wine, with Westerners 35% above the average affluent adult for spending $3,000 or more on wine in the past year.

3. Westerners drink over 60 million glasses of wine each week!

4. Sunset is the dominant media brand of Western lifestyle, with 4.6 million print readers, 1.1 million monthly online visitors, and over 30,000 event attendees annually.

5. Almost all (96%) Sunset subscribers are wine drinkers, and more than 3 out of 4 subscribers drink wine every week. 92 percent agree that wine is one of the special pleasures in life.

6. Sunset readers appreciate Sunset‘s commitment to the wine industry and count on the magazine to expand their wine knowledge. 

7. Sunset readers are 106% above average for being enthusiastic consumers of wine.

8. Sunset readers are 54% more likely to try new and different wines, and 96% say they enjoy exploring new wines.

9. 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.

10. 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 2019 Sunset International Wine Competition will be bigger and better than ever, with more promotion, more social media integration, and more buzz! 

Sources: Forbes 2018 Wine Institute, March 2012; 2012 Ipsos Mendelsohn Affluent Survey, HHI $100k+; 2012 Doublebase GfK MRI




2020 Judges


  • Jean-Charles Boisset


  • Greg La Follette

  • David Coventry, Talbott/Gallo

  • Joe Barton, Grey Wolf Paso Robles

  • Kristen Barnhisel, J.Lohr

  • Marta Kraftzek, Scheid

  • Katie Madigan, St Francis

  • Linda Trotta, Jamieson Ranch, Winemaker of the Year

  • Bob Swain, Mendocino Wine Company

  • Stephanie Trotter, Trotter 1/16

  • Erik Miller, Kokomo Winery

  • Joe Shebl, Director of Winemaking, Renwood

  • John Alba, Director of Winemaking, Bronco

  • Gary Eberle, Owner, Eberly Winery

  • Diane Wilson, Wilson Artisan Wines



  • Mike Dunne, Wine Columnist, Sacramento Bee; Publisher, A Year in Wine

  • Ziggy “The Wine Gal” Eschliman, Radio and TV Personality

  • Linda Murphy, Co-Author, American Wine: The Ultimate Companion to the Wines and Wineries of the United States; Wine Writer, Decanter, Sonoma, Spirited magazines

  • Laura Ness, Wine Writer, Spirited, Silicon Valley Modern Luxury, Wine Industry Advisor, Wine Business Monthly, Somm Journal

  • Mary Melton, Head Buyer P.F. Chang

  • Debra Parker-Wong, Global Wine Editor, Somm Journal, The Tasting Panel & Clever Root, Spirited

  • Barry Herbst, Wine Buyer, Bottle Barn

  • Doug Frost


  • Christopher Sawyer, Sommelier and Wine Consultant

  • Mark Chandler, CSW, Owner Chandler & Company

  • 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, WSET, French Wine Scholar Certificate

  • Wilfred Wong, Chief Storyteller,

  • Debbie Zachareas, Partner, Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant and Oxbow Wine and Cheese Merchant

  • Renata Franzia, Bronco

  • Larry Van Aalst, Sommelier, Host of the Sonoma Wine Report CRN Digital Talk Radio

  • Ellen Landis, Wine Journalist, C.S., CSW

  • Bob Foster, Assistant Editor, California Grapevine

  • Barry Herbst, Wine Director, Bottle Barn Liquors

  • Mary Melton, Director of Beverage, P.F.Changs

  • Elsie Wolf, Sales Manager, Alcohol, Safeway

  • Dan Schette, Director, H.E.B.

  • Chris O’Gorman, Director of Communications, Rodney Strong Wine Estates

  • Jasper Russo, Director of Wine Education, Sales & Marketing, Sigel’s Fine Wines and Great Spirits


The list of 2019 judges is subject to change.




Official Entry Rules, Fees, Shipping


  • The final deadline for entries and wine delivery is May 10, 2019.


  • Fees:  Early Bird (now by May 3):  $99 per entry online // $109 by paper entry form

  • Fees:  Regular (May 4-10):  $119 per entry online // $129 by paper entry form

  • Click the buttons below to enter or download forms:

  • Table, sparkling, fortified, fruit, and specialty wines produced in any wine producing region of the world that meet the applicable federal legal requirements for sale in the United States are eligible for entry.

  • Entries must be listed on the official entry form, either directly on line or downloaded from this web site. If downloading the paper form, please complete the entire form and sign at the bottom of the page to certify that the statements on the form are correct. Failure to complete the form properly may result in disqualification.

  • An official entry shall consist of four (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 two (2) units. An official entry of wines, such as dessert wines, that are bottled only in 375 ml bottles shall consist of six (6) bottles, each no less than 375 ml.

  • Any wine that is delivered to the competition without a full and proper label will be disqualified from the judging. Please do not send wines with laboratory, temporary, photocopied, or altered labels. Please specify on the entry form how many gallons of wine were produced. A minimum of 100 gallons is required. This rule is to ensure that wines entered in the competition were produced for purchase by consumers.

  • By entering the competition, a winery agrees to donate one case (12 bottles) of each gold medal-­winning wine for any trade or consumer event that Sunset may hold within 12 months after the judging event. If additional bottles are requested, Sunset will purchase these at 50% of retail value.

  • Please note that wines receiving a silver or bronze medal designation will have access to download a pdf certificate for Achievement in Winemaking in recognition of this award in lieu of an actual medal.  Pdfs will be available on the competition page at


Answers to common questions about our annual wine competition.

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 May 3, 2019 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.


When is the deadline to enter?

The final deadline for entries and wine delivery is May 10, 2019.


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 competition take place?

The judging will take place May 13-15 in Sonoma County, CA.


Who will the judges be?

Scroll down to see a current list of judges. Judges are subject to change.

When will the winners be announced?

The winners will be announced in our October 2019 issue.


Where do I send my wines?

We will accept wine shipments from January 4, 2019 through May 10, 2019. Please ship wines directly to:

Sunset International Wine Competition
c/o Wine Country Shipping
7686 Bell Road
Windsor, CA95492 


You may also download pre-addressed shipping labels here.


Who should I contact if I have more questions?

Please contact, (415) 640-6337.


To Enter



For more details, visit the Sunset website International Wine Competition Page


Debra Del Fiorentino

Founder, Wine & Spirit Competitions

Management & Productions


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c/o Wine Country Shipping

7686 Bell Road

Windsor, CA 95492

© 2019 by Wine & Spirit Competitions Management and Productions