Halter Ranch 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon wins big at California State Fair

2018 California Commercial Wine Competition Results

The California State Fair’s Commercial Wine competition is a coveted award that has been a key part of the state’s robust wine industry. The CA State Fair is also the oldest wine competition in the country. This year, 2,705 California wines from 691 wine companies were judged over three days. For Halter Ranch our big winner this year was the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon. See the results below.

2015 Cabernet Sauvignon – 99 points
Double Gold, Best of Region – Red, Best of California, Best of Class of Varietal
Cabernet Sauvignon is our most widely planted varietal at Halter Ranch with over one-hundred acres under vine. The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon possesses a classic profile with aromas of red and black currants and graphite. Bright and fresh on the palate, this wine has flavors of red fruits and black cherries. A balanced mid-palate and well-integrated tannins lead to a long seamless finish. Delicious now, this wine will continue to develop for years to come. Pair with wood-fired pizza, braised game and roasted or grilled meats.

2015 CDP – 95 points
Gold, Best of Class of Varietal
CDP (Côtes de Paso) is our Rhône-style blend that is a combination of four varietals from our estate vineyard. Grenache provides a bright fruit-forward entry, Mourvèdre adds spice notes, while Syrah brings some weight to the mid-palate, and Tannat ties everything together with color, tannin and acidity. Loaded with aromas of dried strawberry and rose petals, with a hint of garrigue, this delicious wine has an elegant palate that leads to a long smooth finish.

2015 Ancestor – 88 points
Our flagship wine, Ancestor, is our Bordeaux-style reserve blend, and an homage to the Ancestor Tree, the largest Coast Live Oak tree on record. Carefully selected barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Petit Verdot were blended for this cuvée which offers aromas of olallieberries and cassis. Rich and powerful, this wine offers dark fruit flavors and has a silky, round mouthfeel that leads to a well-structured finish. The 2015 Ancestor is an excellent food wine and pairs well with beef, lamb, and game. Enjoy now, or set aside for a special occasion, as this wine will develop beautifully for years to come.

2015 Syrah – 88 points
Syrah is a perennial favorite at Halter Ranch, and our unique soil expresses a beautiful side of the grape varietal. Our 2015 Syrah opens with aromas of blueberries and baking spices. The bright entry provides complex flavors of dried flowers, berry compote and a hint of earthiness, that leads to a long layered finish. This elegant wine will pair well with charcuterie and braised and grilled meats.

2016 Grenache Blanc – 88 points
We chose Grenache Blanc to be the dominant white grape varietal at Halter Ranch because of its unique and delicate fruit profile, elegance and freshness. Reminiscent of wines of Southern France, this Grenache Blanc has aromas and flavors of white flowers, melons and pear. Delicious on its own, this wine also pairs beautifully with lighter meats, summer salads and anything from the sea.

Two Awards For Two Sides of Halter Ranch

Over the last 6 weeks Halter Ranch has won two prestigious awards for different sides of our business.  On July 21st General Manager Skylar Stuck took the stage at the Mid State Fair to accept the Central Coast Wine Competition’s Winery of the Year Award and last Thursday Tasting Room Manager Tony Quealy and Noah Parker traveled to Santa Barbara to accept the Pacific Coast Business Times Small Business Award in the Green Business category.


A great turnout of staff for the award ceremony!


Results like the Winery of the Year award from the Central Coast Wine Competition are especially thrilling. All wines are sourced only from within the Central Coast AVA and are tasted blind of price point, blend percentages, and producer by a mix of 19 journalists, wine buyers, and sommeliers.  The judging panel must agree unanimously that each wine is worthy of a Gold Medal.   This blind evaluation by varied groups within the industry truly speaks to the broad appeal of our 9 Gold Medal and 4 ‘Best Of’ winners.


Halter Staff with former Congresswoman Lois Capps


Sustainability has always been important to our company and for almost 10 years Halter Ranch has been SIP Certified; in fact we were one of the program’s pilot vineyards.  Awards like the 2016 California Green Medal for Environment and the new Green Business award are recognizing what we have always strived to do. As Kevin said in our Green Business Award video, when it comes to green practices and sustainability, it is our guys in the field who make these awards possible.

“Those guys don’t get a lot of recognition for what they do and they’re the ones who have to implement the extra tractor passes, the hand hoeing, all the really difficult things in 95°F weather to get it done…they don’t get the recognition that the winemaker or senior management gets, so really this [award] is for them.”

-Kevin Sass, Winemaker

Green Business Award Video


A month’s worth of accolades!



While these honors are impressive individually, together they show a more holistic view of the company.  We are able to not only make wines that appeal broadly to industry professionals and the public but we can do it using sustainable practices, not just for the future of our soils and environment but also the long term cultivation of our human resources.

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