Rex Johnston Winemaker of the Year Award – Selection Criteria

Sacramento Home Winemakers – Winemaker of the Year Selection Criteria

The purpose of the Rex Johnston Home Winemaker of the Year award is to encourage 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, amended on April 11, 2012 and amended again on May 2, 2021.

The annual winner of the Winemaker of the Year 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. 
  • 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 winegrowers license. 
  • Candidates must certify that the wines they submit for competition are 100% home made wines created by the candidate without any hands-on assistance from a commercial winemaking concern as described above.  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 Winemaker of the Year competition. 
  • Among the competitions entered, for 2021, the two required competitions are the SHW Jubilee and the Orange County Fair Home Wine Competition.
  • The “Award Year” extends from competitions entered January 2021 through November 2021.  Entries must be received by November 25, 2021.
  • 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.
  • Excluding wine scores in the case of multiple entries:  The following measures are intended to encourage club members to enter multiple wines in competition:
  • When four wines are entered in any competition, the score of one wine may be excluded from the Winemaker of the Year competition.            
  • When five or more wines are entered in any competition, the score of two wines may be excluded from the Winemaker of the Year competition.
  • When six or more wines are entered in any competition, the score of three wines may be excluded from the Winemaker of the Year competition.
  • Points will be 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 1:  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 2:  The fact that the award may be termed, “Best of Show, Red”, etc. does not qualify it for Best of Show points as outlined below).

  • Best of Show (for those competitions which award a SINGLE Best of Show medal) –  40 additional points

Points ÷ Number of Entries = Average Points

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

Total Points:  The sum total of all 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 forms to fill out which will guide the calculation of the Total Point score.  Find form below.
  • The Chief Judge will verify all competitive 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.