2024 Sommelier Judgement of PA Wines


The Pennsylvania Winery Association Hosts 2024 Sommelier Judgement Day of Pennsylvania Wines

Tasting with Sommelier Panel and a Celebration of PA Wines

Monday, May 13, 2024

Paradocx Vineyard, Landenberg, PA

The Pennsylvania Winery Association (PWA), which is an advocate for PA’s 400-plus wineries, invited wineries from across the state to submit locally grown and produced vinifera wines and select hybrids for blind judgment by a panel of 20  sommeliers, wine writers, educators and buyers in the region.

The criteria for wines entered required submissions to be at least 75% of the stated Vinifera variety or Hybrid variety (Vidal Blanc and/or Chambourcin), 100% Pennsylvania grown fruit, and wines with less than 1% Residual Sugar. 

The sommeliers tasted more than 80 wines submitted from 20 wineries over two rounds of tasting. The morning session included sparkling, white, rosé and red wines with the afternoon session focusing on the top 20 percent of wines that moved on from the first round. All wines were scored based on appearance, aroma & bouquet, taste & texture, after taste, and overall impression. Judges tasted wines blind, but were told of the varietal, vintage and grape varietals used for each wine. The winery name, bottle price and growing region were not disclosed to the judges. 

The panel judged more than 80 wines on May 13, 2024 at Paradocx Vineyard in Landenberg, PA. The panel included Noelle Allen, Arindam Basu, William Bright, Tonia Chahine-Lynn, March Cochard, William Eccleston, Russ Johnson, Christopher Marcus, Palmer Marinelli, Kevin Ostrowski, Bailey Place, Kimberly Raniela, Christopher Rose, Stephen Schmitz, Marissa Swailes, Carrie Lyn Strong, Bob Trimble, Phillip Thomas, Olivia Vaughn, Hamilton Weaver and Scott Zoccolillo.

Scott Zoccollilo, Director of Restaurants Method Co., has been an instrumental contributor to this event since its inception. Zoccolillo says, “The 2024 PA Somm Judgement was the best so far. Having so many new faces take part of the event, all excited to see what Pennsylvania producers are offering was very motivating. The quality of the wines being produced in Pennsylvania continues to increase, and their wines stand side by side with any growing region, both domestically and abroad.”

The winners included a “Best Sparkling”, “Best White”, “Best Hybrid”, and “Best Red” with the winners announced later that evening during the PA Wine Happy Hour at Paradocx Vineyard. Winners received a custom wine barrel top that was wood burned live by Maiden September during the celebration.

Congratulations to this year’s winners:

The Top 10 wines represent a diverse list of varietals from wineries across the entire state, including Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin, Merlot, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. The wineries who produced the Top 10 wines, located across the state, are Armstrong Valley Vineyard & Winery, Bella Terra Vineyards, Binah Winery, The Inn at Grace Winery, Karamoor Estate Vineyard & Winery, The Winery at Long Shot Farm, Mazza Wines, Mural City Cellars, Penns Woods Winery, and Waltz Vineyards. 

Please visit pennsylvaniawine.com or email [email protected] for more information about Pennsylvania wines.

About the Pennsylvania Winery Association

The Pennsylvania Winery Association is a trade association advocating on behalf of the state’s growing multibillion-dollar wine industry. With some of the most fertile grape-growing land on the east coast. To learn more about Pennsylvania wine or to plan a trip, visit pennsylvaniawine.com.