GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.-
Winemakers from across the state are anticipating this year’s Mesa County Fair Commercial Winemakers Competition. They're preparing to go head-to-head in the coming days to compete for the grand prize of the blind wine tasting contest.
The judging will take place at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel on Horizon Drive on June 30. However, since fair officials want to keep the winning wine a secret until they’re ready to announce the victors, the judging will be closed to the public.
"We should be celebrating our wine industries because it's an amazing part of the Grand Valley," said Jo Carole Haxel, the fairgrounds manger.
It’s the third year fair officials are hosting the competition, and with almost 90 wineries in the state and 80 percent of all grapes grown right in Mesa County, the competition grows each year.
"We are really hoping that the wine competition will help put Mesa County on the map for wine growers," said Donna Page, Mesa County Fair coordinator.
Fair officials say it's important to promote our wine industry.
“When our winemakers are doing well selling their products, then the whole county benefits from that," said Haxel.
Last year, there were 78 entries competing for the grand prize. Fair officials add that one of the keys to the success of this blind competition is having high quality judges.
"They all bring kind of a different resume and different perspective on the wine industry, and that makes our competition have lots of respect," said Haxel.
All wine submissions must consist of at least 75 percent or more ingredients that have been grown in Mesa County. The winning wine will be announced the week of July 9 and proudly displayed at this year's Mesa County Fair, which will begin July 17.
For more information on the competition and how you can get involved, click here.