RayLen Vineyards Takes Home 3 Medals at the Great American International Wine Competition

RayLen Vineyards is excited to announce that they have taken home 3 medals at the Great American International Wine Competition. Learn more about the Great American International Wine Competition, the judges involved in tasting the wines, judging criteria, and the RayLen wines that won big below!

What is the Great American International Wine Competition?

The Great American International Wine Competition is an annual three-day international wine competition. This year it took place from July 9 through July 11 2021. Over 900 entries were submitted from over 155 wineries around the world this year.

The Best Judges in the Wine Industry

The 2021 competition involved some of the most influential people in the wine industry, including Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers, sommeliers, educators, enologists, winemakers, retailers, importers, and wine industry writers and consultants.

Master of Wine

Master of Wine is a qualification issued by The Institute of Masters of Wine in the United Kingdom. The MW qualification is generally regarded in the wine industry as one of the highest standards of professional knowledge.

Master Sommelier

The three-year master sommelier examination for the Court of Master Sommelier is famously demanding. The pass rate is less than 10%. Since 1969, there have been less than 300 people who have attained master sommeliers status across the world.


A sommelier, or wine steward, is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, normally working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine service as well as wine and food pairing.

How Wines Are Judged

Within the competition, all wines are blind judged meaning that each glass is identified only by a number. Judges are given the classification prior to each flight. They do not know the producer or region.

Each wine is then judged on its own merit, its presence, balance, and character – not how it compares to others in the flight.


RayLen Vineyards is so happy to announce that we have won three Great American International Wine Competition medals this year. This is a big accomplishment, and it’s something that we’re very proud of!

2019 Petit Verdot – Gold Medal

This is the first offering from our newest planting of Petit Verdot. This French Entav clone, which was developed over 10 years ago, was acquired by RayLen through special nursery connections. In the 3rd leaf, this clone is outperforming previous plantings and will become a superstar that’s poised for the Reserve program.

Toasted American oak barrels knit this elegant offering into a focused mix of black cherry, currant, and ripe plum with a hint of smoked brisket. The tannins are sleek and polished which accumulate on the palette throughout the experience. We’re very excited about the promise and future of this wine.

Shop our 2019 Petit Verdot

2019 Reserve Barrel Chardonnay – Silver Medal

We strive to make all of the RayLen wines the best they can be. Once in a “Harvest Moon” we harvest an incredible lot of fruit that just is far superior to our norm and we treat the grapes like royalty. Our winemaker, Steve Shepard, has been touting the 2019 vintage for over a year now, and we are proud to release two special Reserve RayLen wines.

This wine is bodacious and powerfully structured with intense, juicy flavors of baked apple, orange zest, toasted almond, vanillin, and butter. The creamy textures glide smoothly through the palate leading to a delectable silky finish.

Shop our 2019 Reserve Barrel Chardonnay

2019 Riesling – Silver Medal

RayLen’s 2019 Riesling is fruit-forward with beautiful white peach and honeydew flavors. The firm acidity balances gracefully with the slight residual sugar. The finish is medium-dry, juicy, and refreshing.

Shop our 2019 Riesling

Try Our Award-Winning Wines

Did your favorite RayLen wine take home an award? Stop by and try our 2019 Petit Verdot, 2019 Reserve Barrel Chardonnay, and 2019 Riesling or shop our wines online! You’re sure to find a new favorite!