Carol Shelton has been named Winemaker of the Year by the Women’s International Wine Competition 2021. She is the first woman to receive this honor, and the only woman winemaker ever so honored. In her single-malt whiskey-based award-winning ‘The Seascape’, she was named Best Single Malt in the U.S., Best Single Malt in Scotland, and Best Single Malt in Ireland. She also was awarded Best Single Malt in the UK.
With the growing interest in wine, Carol is more invited to the wine festivals around the world than ever before. In addition to wine tastings, Carol also participates in the winemaking process. She was the first woman to ever win a gold medal at the Women’s International Wine Competition in Tuscany. In this role, she travels the globe to teach wine classes. She was honored as Winemaker of the Year in her category. ~
Carol Shelton is a well-known actress. Wines “Coquille Rouge” was named Best of Show in 2019. Blended Rhone
5 July 2021, Santa Rosa, Calif. Carol Shelton, a winemaker, was awarded “Winemaker of the Year” by her peers at the 2021 Women’s International Wine Competition, which is judged only by women. Not only did she win Best of Show for her 2019 Coquille Rouge Rhone Style Blend, a seductive, energetic Rhone style blend made up of 34 percent Mourvèdre, 17 percent Carignane, 17 percent Petite Sirah, 15 percent Alicante Bouschet, and 17 percent Grenache Noir, but she also had the most Gold medal-winning wines in the competition.
This was Shelton’s first Best of Show victory in 2021, and she just added to her list of accolades by winning Best of Show White at the El Dorado Wine Competition for her 2019 Coquille Blanc Rhone Style Blend.
“I am ecstatic to be awarded Woman Winemaker of the Year!” Shelton exclaims. It’s my tenth winemaker of the year award, and I never get tired of it! Thank you to Debra Del Fiorentino and her team, as well as all of the judges, for making this happen.”
When entering a competition, Shelton says she constantly thinks about who the judges are on the panels. Her “Wild Thing” series (Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Rosé, Viognier) and her flagship Rocky Reserve Rockpile Zin are among the wines she regularly enters in all of them.
She understands there are some extremely delicate and discriminating palates in the Women’s Wine Competition, so she chooses wines that are even more nuanced, sophisticated, and subtle.
She has always considered contests to be a wonderful opportunity to compare her wines to those of her colleagues, dating back to her days as a winemaker at Windsor Vineyards in the 1980s and 1990s. “I’ve always like the feedback that wine contests provide—it was a game to see if I could beat out other vineyards like Geyser Peak and Fetzer, who were competing for the most prizes. For 15 of the 20 years I lived there, I was able to accomplish that!”
She remembers a book called “Varietal Fair” that included all of the judging results for a dozen or more contests, with points assigned to each medal. “Aside from the friendly competition, I enjoyed getting feedback on how my wines were perceived and received, especially since Windsor’s wines were all direct to consumer, and I did not get much exposure to those consumers myself because I did not go out on the road like most other wine brands do for wholesale sales. When I received a Best of Class award, particularly for Zin, which is my speciality, I knew I was on the right track, that the style I was creating was at least as excellent as my rivals’, that my clients would enjoy it, and that it would SELL! I mean, isn’t that what it’s all about…sales?”
Winemaking is a “difficult job,” according to Shelton, since you’re basically creating a consumable artform. “I put my neck out to develop a product that costs me a lot of money, so having some legitimacy in the eyes of both customers and the trade from the outcomes of these contests is very valuable. Sales are a positive outcome, as is the confidence it gives me to continue on my present path and in my current style.”
In the links below, you’ll find all of the results from the 2021 Women’s Wine Competition.
About Wine Competitions Management & Production (WCMP)
Sunset International Wine Competition, West Coast Wine Competition, International Eastern Wine Competition, East Meets West, International Women’s Wine Competition, Harvest Challenge, the Craft Distillers Spirits Competition, Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge, and Experience Rosé are among the competitions owned and operated by this organization. The California Cider Competition and the Mendocino Apple Show International Cider Competition are both managed by WCMP.
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