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"Here Come the Judges!"
By Bob Fraser

airplanePatrick “Chip” Cassidy (Crown Wine & Spirits) will take the “Farthest Away” prize at the 2006 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition hosted in Cloverdale (Sonoma County), California on January 9-13, 2006.

Chip will be packing his chocolate chip cookies as he travels 3,198 miles from Miami, Florida. Trailing Chip by a mere 46 miles will be Boston Globe wine columnist Michael Apstein traveling 3,162 miles from Boston, MA. Jerry Shriver will be packing his laptop to write those columns for USA TODAY as he will be traveling 2,968 miles from New York City. We hope Bill and Hope Moffett (Vineyard & Winery Management) will be walking through downtown to the judging site from their West Coast home in Cloverdale; otherwise, they will be traveling close to 2,900 miles from their “East Coast Digs” in Watkins Glen, New York. Carl Brandhorst of Fairfax, Virginia will catch up on his reading of the Virginia American Wine Society while flying 2,859 miles. Dick Vine and Jill Ditmire flying from Indianapolis, Indiana will rack up 2,318 miles. If they wanted to “catch up” they could opt to drive for 33 hours and 33 minutes. Katrina survivor Tim McNally (Host, The Wine Show) hopefully, will rest up on his flight of 2,284 miles from New Orleans, Louisiana. Patrick Fegan (Chicago Wine School) of the Windy City will be traveling 2,177 miles while Plaza III Steakhouse Duane Daniels better fill up on a T-Bone before flying 1,840 miles from Kansas City, Missouri. Diane Teitelbaum, Wine Writer, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas will be traveling a mere 1,797 miles. Sommelier Dan McCoog (Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch, Tucson, Arizona) will take some advice from his patrons as he embarks 835 miles for the week long judging while all his judging colleagues from the Pacific Northwest will be traveling 781 miles from Seattle, Washington. Don’t count all the California judges out of the running for long mileage; the Southern California judges will be traveling close to 500 miles to the Northern California judging site. How about San Francisco Chronicle Wine Editor Linda Murphy? Well. Linda will have some time to have breakfast in her kitchen before the first flight of wines hit the judging table as she is a mere nine miles away in Healdsburg, CA. Maybe she can skip the breakfast to sleep in and hope that Chip Cassidy will save one of those chocolate chip cookies from his Florida flight for her to snack! See complete list of judges…

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