Students at Allan Hancock College can now say they created award-winning wines. The college brought home three bronze medals from the 40th Annual Orange County Wine Society Commercial Wine Competition, considered the largest and most comprehensive judging of California wines in the world. The college received bronze medals for its 2014 Syrah, 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2014 Red/Bordeaux blend.
“We are extremely proud,” said Alfredo Koch, Hancock’s viticulture and enology program coordinator. “The medals will raise awareness about the high quality of our wines, our program and the college.”
This year at the competition, nearly 2,500 wines were judged by 75 professional winemakers and winery owners. Wines were grouped based on their price, level of residual sugar, variety and style. The competition was conducted double blind, meaning that neither the judge nor the stewards knew what each wine was. The award-winning wines will be featured at the 23-day Orange County Fair.
“The cabernet sauvignon and syrah are great representations of their grape varietals. The red blend was created as part of a student exercise on blending,” said Michael Sandoval, who was among the students who created the award-winning wines.
Last fall, Allan Hancock College became one of three community colleges in California bonded to sell wine. Students can experience the entire winemaking experience at Hancock, from growing grapes and fermentation to labeling bottles and marketing.
“The program already has a proven track record of producing top-notch students who are landing quality jobs in the wine industry,” said Sandoval. “The award also proves we are making top-notch wine at the college.”
The college’s label is called Captain’s Reserve, a tribute to Captain G. Allan Hancock, who donated the land where the college now stands in Santa Maria. Hancock students created 11 varietals, from pinot noir rosé to chardonnay to cabernet sauvignon to terrontes. The college entered three wines in the competition.
Hancock wines are available to purchase at the campus winery, located in building O on the Santa Maria campus. They are also available to buy at select retail outlets, including El Rancho Market in Solvang, Liquor Emporium in Lompoc, Old Town Market in Orcutt, and Lucci’s Gourmet Foods in Huntington Beach.
For more information on Hancock wines or the college’s enology and viticulture program, visit www.hancockcollege.edu/agribusiness or call (805) 922-6866 ext. 3760.