SAN FRANCISCO—One of the most popular wine judging events is the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Each year experts come to judge the best wine in the country.

The competition took place last week in Sonoma County. It is the first of several key wine judging competitions. The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition is hailed as one of the largest competitions of American wines in the world.

While the majority of the participates are from California, close to 30 other states joined in the competition. Sixty-five experienced judges from various fields including media, retail, trade, education and hospitality traveled to the Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds.

The judging week started January 16 with final preparations by the volunteers and the organizing staff. Actual judging started on January 17.

In each event there are divisions and individual prizes. The entries are recognized as Bronze, Silver, Gold or “Double Gold.”

Only 7 entries were honored with the prestigious Sweepstake Award. Several locals took “Best of Class” in various categories. The biggest accomplishment came with local Jeff Runquist Wines, which like 2016 picked, up the most Double Gold and Gold medals

The public will have the chance to taste many of the winning wines at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition’s Public Tasting  on February 18.