Rex Johnston Winemaker of the Year Award – Selection Criteria for 2023

Sacramento Home Winemakers – Winemaker of the Year Selection Criteria

The Rex Johnston Home Winemaker of the Year award encourages excellence in wine making among all club members.  The best measure of excellence is the opinion of qualified judges in a structured competition environment.  Accordingly, the following criteria were adopted by the Executive Board on July 1, 2009, and amended on April 11, 2012, May 2, 2021, and October 10, 2022.

The annual winner of the Winemaker of the Year (WoY) award shall be the candidate who accrues the most Total Points in the Award Year as follows:

  • Candidates for this award must be members of SHW, Inc. in good standing who are not the owners, winemakers or employees of licensed commercial winemaking concerns, except as set forth below.
  • If entering the WoY competition as a team (two or more winemakers who have made the wines together) the team must enter all three qualifying competitions with the same team members and same team name. Every member of the team must be SHW members.
  • Candidates who are owners, winemakers or employees of commercial winemaking concerns, but who are otherwise qualified, may submit wines for competition provided that such wines were made and bottled prior to the effective date of their winemaker’s license. 
  • Candidates must certify that the wines they submit for competition are 100% homemade wines created by the candidate without any hands-on assistance from a commercial winemaking concern as described above.  However, consultation with commercial winemakers and educators is encouraged by the club. 
  • Candidates must compete in a minimum of three (3) recognized wine competitions during the Award Year.  Regardless of the number of competitions entered, the results of only three competitions may be entered in the WoY competition.  The same wines do not need to be entered in each competition.
  • Among the competitions entered for 2023, the two required competitions are the SHW Jubilee and the California State Fair Home Wine Competition.
  • The “Award Year” extends from competitions entered January 2024 through November 2024.  WoY entries must be received by November 30, 2024.
  • A competition is considered to have been in the Award Year if the actual judging is conducted and medals awarded during the Award Year.
  • Candidates must enter a minimum of two separate and distinct wines (i.e. different varietal or different vintage) of their choice in each competition.
  • A minimum total points of 100 is required to be eligible to compete for the WoY title.
  • Poorly performing/scoring wines in a competition could pull down the overall WoY point total. To offset this, the following encourages club members to enter multiple wines in competitions without the consequence of being penalized by poorly scoring wine entries:
    • When 4 wines are entered, can exclude 1 wine
    • When 5 are entered, can exclude 2 wines
    • When more than 5 entered, can exclude 3 wines
    • Exclusion changes are made on the entry form

Points are awarded as follows:

  • No award –- 0
  • Honorable Mention –- 10
  • Bronze Award –- 20
  • Silver Award –- 30
  • Gold Award –- 40
  • Double-Gold Award -– 50
  • Best Varietal, Best Red, Best White, Best Dessert, Best Fruit, Best Sparkling Wine, or Best Other –- 20 additional points
    • Note:  A wine may win in more than one category, i.e. Best Merlot and Best Red, in which case 40 points would be awarded.
    • Note:  The fact that the award may be termed “Best of Show, Red” does not qualify it for Best of Show points as outlined in the next bullet.
  • Best of Show (for those competitions which award a SINGLE Best of Show medal) – 40 additional points

Average Points = Points ÷ Number of Entries in that particular competition

Note: Wine(s) excluded from scoring do not count as an Entry

Total Points = The sum total of the Average Points from all three competitions entered

The Winemaker of the Year is the candidate who earns the most Total Points

  • Candidates will be provided the form to fill out which will guide the calculation of the Total Point score.  Find the form below.
  • The Chief Judge will verify all entries and submit the top scorer and all applications to the President for review and approval. 
  • The scores of the top five finishers will be publicized to all club members.

Entries must be received by the Chief Judge by 5 pm on November 30, 2024.

All questions can be directed to Chief Judge Gin Yang at

Winemaker of the Year entry form