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Finalists for the Sunset Western Wine Awards Announced Today-Winners to be Revealed at Sunset Western Wine Awards Gala, September 30


 Join Sunset Magazine Editors and Acclaimed Winemakers at
Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast for an Exclusive Gala Feting the Best of Western Wines

Menlo Park, CA - The finalists for the seventh annual Sunset Western Wine Awards were announced today and 32 of the West's best winemakers are now one step closer to receiving the highest honor in Western wine. The finalists will be celebrated and the winners revealed exclusively on September 30th at the Sunset Western Wine Awards Gala, one of the most highly anticipated events at Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast, an extraordinary food and wine event that will be held throughout San Luis Obispo County, September 29 - October 2, 2011.

At this festive dinner and awards ceremony, emceed by Emmy-winning TV and radio personality, Liam Mayclem, attendees will have the exclusive opportunity to be the first to discover the winners of the Western Wine Awards while sipping the West's best wines and rubbing shoulders with acclaimed winemakers and Sunset editors. Category winners will be announced throughout the evening as attendees enjoy locally grown fare paired with wines from the 32 finalists. Tickets to the Western Wine Awards Gala, which will be held on the historic Pismo Beach Pier in Pismo Beach, California, are $85 and are available at

"Sunset's awards program has become a one-of-a-kind vetting of Western wines," said Sara Schneider, Sunset wine editor. "We ask our judges to dig deep and think about all the wines they've tasted in the last year or so that represent the best in the West. We're so excited to be able to invite the public to join us at the Western Wine Awards Gala, so that they can taste these fantastic wines in such a grand setting."

The Western Wine Awards finalists are selected by Sunset's panel of professional judges, which includes Western wine writers, sommeliers, and wine instructors, who nominate wines they have tasted in the past year in a variety of categories. Categories include:

Steal ($15 and under)
Good Value ($16 to $25)
Connoisseur ($26 to $40)
Special Occasion ($41 to $60)
Deep Pocket (everything over $60)

The winners in each category are selected by the judges during a blind tasting at Sunset's headquarters in Menlo Park, California. This year, more than 500 nominated wines were tasted before narrowing the field to the 32 finalists, which represent wine regions that span the 13 Western states, from New Mexico to Oregon, Washington to California. A full list of the finalists and judges can be found here:

In addition to the wine categories, which are determined by the judging panel, Sunset editors will select the winners of Sommelier of the Year; Winemaker of the Year; Lifetime Achievement Award; Best New Wine Bar of the Year; and Winery Tasting Room of the Year.

The Western Wine Awards winners will be featured in the November issue of Sunset magazine, the premier guide to the West.

For tickets or more information on Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast 2011, please visit Tickets are also available at Farm Supply outlets.

Sunset magazine has partnered with the San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Conference Bureau to launch Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast 2011. For more event information and tickets, visit, or call 800.768.6653. Become a fan on Facebook:, or follow us on Twitter (@SavorCC). Ticket proceeds and sponsorships are considered donations to the San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Convention Bureau, a 501 c 6 non profit tourism organization promoting San Luis Obispo County.

About Sunset magazine
Sunset magazine is the premier guide to life in the West, covering the newest and best ideas in Western home design and landscaping, food and entertaining, and regional travel in 13 Western states. Sunset and are part of the lifestyle group of magazines and websites published by the Time Inc. Lifestyle Group.

About the San Luis Obispo Visitors & Conference Bureau
The San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Conference Bureau promotes San Luis Obispo County through advertising, marketing, public relations and group sales. Its membership base is comprised of over 500 tourism industry-related businesses including lodging properties, restaurants, wineries, golf courses and retail stores. For more information on the VCB, please visit or contact Molly Morrison Cano at 805-781-2531 or