Staff Report

Four wine varietals produced by Hancock College Winery won medals at the 42nd annual Orange County Fair Commercial Wine Competition on June 2-3.

The 2016 albariño won bronze, the 2016 torrontes took silver with 85 points, and both the 2016 malbec and 2016 syrah placed gold with 90 and 92 points, respectively.

“I am proud of all the students and professors that were involved in the production process,” said Agribusiness Program Director and Professor Alfredo Koch. “I personally enjoy these wines very much and am excited that they are being recognized for their greatness.”

The Orange County Fair’s competition is the largest and most comprehensive judging of California wines in the world. The competition attempts to judge every grape wine made in California that is commercially available in Orange County. All wines were judged by professional wine makers or wine principals.

Hancock’s albariño, syrah and torrontes grapes are grown on the college campus vineyard, which is behind the baseball and softball complex. The malbec grapes are grown in Paso Robles. The wines are professionally made by Hancock faculty and are bottled on the Santa Maria campus through the Hancock Viticulture and Enology Foundation. Students learn every phase of wine production under the instruction of agribusiness faculty.

“We have an educational winery with a small but fine production, and our aim is to collaborate with all wineries in the community that support us,” Koch said. “We hope to continue to train students to succeed in the wine industry.”

“The quality of our wine is a great calling card to bring more students into our program and to attract the community, wine-buying consumers, restaurants and retailers,” said Hancock Winery Operations Manager David Corey.

“By participating in the community and improving the relationship between our industry and our community, we hope to inspire more people to get involved with our local wine industry,” Koch added. “With our increased visibility in the community, my vision is to build a wine center in Santa Maria in order to provide more educational and promotional activities.”

The college winery is open for tastings every Friday from 2-6 p.m. in building O, Room 211, on the Santa Maria campus. It offers 11 different wines for sale and four for tasting, including all four award-winning wines. Tasting flights may also include chardonnay, pinot noir rosé, pinot noir and syrah.

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