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American AgCredit Sweepstake Winemaker Award Winners
The American AgCredit Sweepstake Winemaker Award is awarded to the winemaker that
produces a sweepstake wine award at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.


click images to enlarge.

Sparkling Sweepstake

Bob Iantosca
Executive Winemaker
Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, Sonoma, CA
2006 Carneros, CA
Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Wine

Bob Iantosca is devoted to capturing the distinctive Carneros terroir in wines, richly expressive of their birthplace, and handcrafted to pair perfectly with food. In 1984, Iantosca joined Gloria Ferrer’s Sonoma Carneros vineyards, which has been a constant source of inspiration. Over the years, he has created more award-winning California sparkling wines than any other single winemaker. He has collaborated on the cultivation of the estate vineyards from 20 to 335 acres, experimented with some 20 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir selections and led the winery to expand its repertoire to include intensely flavorful cool-climate estate varietal wines.

Bob Iantosca

White Sweepstake

Mark Veraguth
Winemaker
Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars, Finger Lakes, NY
2010 Finger Lakes, NY
Gewürztraminer Reserve

Mark Veraguth, a Calistoga, CA native and UC Davis graduate, has been with Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars since 1989. Prior to arriving in Upstate New York, he was the assistant winemaker at S. Anderson Vineyards in Yountville, CA, which specializes in sparkling wine and Chardonnay. Veraguth heads an international team of winemakers that brings expertise from various terroirs and cultures, resulting in Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars being named “Best in the East” for multiple years. In addition, Veraguth operates a private grafting business from root stock and cuttings from his home vineyard in Hammondsport, NY on the west side of Keuka Lake.

Mark Veraguth

Pink Sweepstake

Rob Griffin
Winemaker
Barnard Griffin, Columbia Valley, WA
2011 Columbia Valley, WA
Rosé of Sangiovese

Barnard Griffin is a family-owned winery in Richland, WA and the 10th largest in the state by volume. Co-owners Rob Griffin and Deborah Barnard have been gaining international acclaim under the Barnard Griffin label since 1983 and Griffin has been making exceptional wines in Washington since 1977. Barnard Griffin produces more than 70,000 cases per year, including Barbera, Cabernet-Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Ciel du Cheval Merlot, Fume Blanc, Late Harvest Muscat Canelli, Malbec, Merlot, Orange Muscat, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Rosé of Sangiovese, Semillon, Syrah, Syrah Port, Viognier and Zinfandel.

Rob Griffin

Red Sweepstake

Mark Clarin
Winemaker
McGrail Vineyards & Winery, Livermore Valley, CA
2008 Livermore Valley, CA
Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

Mark Clarin began his winemaking career in 1979 working for the Wente family in Livermore, CA and later joined Tamas Estates, Bonny Doon Vineyards and PICAZO. To fully understand the many elements in winemaking, he enrolled in enology courses at UC Davis, joined the American Society of Enology and Viticulture and traveled to France to learn firsthand about Bordeaux and Burgundy wines. Given his experience and ability to produce world class wines, Clarin was hired by McGrail Vineyards & Winery as the winemaker in 2008. McGrail Vineyards, specializing in Cabernet Sauvignon, is a family-owned winery that is managed with sustainability and quality in mind.

Mark Clarin

Dessert / Specialty Sweepstake

Brooks Painter
Director of Winemaking
Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, CA
2010 Anderson Valley, CA
Late Harvest Gewürztraminer

Brooks Painter has been a winemaker for over 30 years with experience in making ultra-premium varietal wines from throughout the many different grape-growing regions of California. Born and raised in Northern California, he discovered his interest and passion about wine during the time he received his Bachelors of Arts in chemistry and biology from UC Santa Cruz in 1980. His work has been published in The American Journal of Viticulture and Enology, Biochemistry, Patrical Winery and Wines & Vines. Painter is currently the director of winemaking for Castello di Amorosa. Previously, he worked at Robert Mondavi Winery, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Leeward Winery and Felton-Empire Vineyards.

Brooks Painter

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