Healdsburg, CA—July 3, 2020—The results of the 2020 Sunset International Wine Competition are in, and Gracianna Winery on the Miracle Mile of Westside Road in the Russian River Valley, is celebrating a Best of Show win for their 2018 Westside Reserve Pinot Noir. Standing tall above the over record 2700 entries in this year’s competition, this Pinot Noir wowed the judges with its brilliant bouquet and flawless balance.

The wine was also awarded Best of Show – Red Wine, Best in Class, and Double Gold and garnered 97 points. Other Gracianna winners:

  • 2016 Gracianna Estate Pinot Noir – Gold (93 points)
  • 2017 Gracianna Estate Pinot Noir – Silver
  • 2016 Gracianna Pinot Noir – Silver
  • 2016 Gracianna Zinfandel – Silver
  • 2016 Gracianna Chardonnay Suzanne’s Blend – Silver

To win Best of Show, the Gracianna Westside Reserve Pinot Noir first had to best a field of 12 other reds in the final Sweepstakes. It was a close call, with five other wines giving it a solid run, all of which scored 10 votes or more in acclimation voting. A faceoff between the Pinot and its primary competitor ensured it went to the final round.

Then it was on to the finals, where the Westside Reserve Pinot Noir faced off against the other Best Of Class winners for top honors. The Reserve Pinot Noir prevailed by 11 votes, which was more than twice as many votes for the next runner up.

This year’s competition saw a 10% increase in entries over last year, despite the pandemic, and was held in Santa Rosa the week of June 22. A record 12 judging panels were needed to accommodate the volume of entries, along with physical distancing requirements. Judging panels were comprised of 36 industry experts, including journalists, buyers and winemakers, who judged wines from all over the world over a three-day period.

While many wine competitions have been canceled this year, the 2020 Sunset International Wine Competition was determined to go on.

Debra Del Fiorentino, President of Wine Competitions Production & Management, who owns and operates the Sunset International Wine Competition, said, “This year’s entries garnered a record number of Golds and Double Golds, making for a very competitive Sweepstakes round. The judges had some very difficult decisions to make when faced with those final 30 wines!”

Lisa Amador, Gracianna Winery partner said, “We are so thankful to Sunset for conducting such a wonderful and competitive International competition. We are humbled at being lauded once again and are proud of our winemaking team for their care and our hospitality team members who have made Gracianna the #1 recommended winery in Sonoma County on TripAdvisor for the second year in a row. So proud.”

The 2018 Gracianna Westside Reserve Pinot Noir was also awarded Best of Class/Gold at the 2019 Dan Berger’s International Wine Competition and took Gold at both the 2020 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and the 2020 The Fifty Best California Pinot Noir Wine Competition.

(Davis, CA/Healdsburg, CA) Americans are optimistic about what the future holds for them despite living in a global pandemic and grappling with worrisome financial, relationship, health and leadership concerns.

According to a new study conducted by UC Davis and Gracianna Winery of Sonoma County, people in the United States predict they will emerge from the Coronavirus crisis with more to be grateful for. The study aimed to investigate respondent’s feelings, thoughts, and attitudes regarding gratitude, now and in the future.

Over 56% of respondents reported being very grateful in general, whereas only 39% of people reported being very hopeful (the second highest-rated positive emotion after gratitude). Indeed, almost 30% more people reported being very grateful than the average positive emotion such as happy, thankful, and hopeful.

In an adjacent finding, 69% expect to feel very grateful in the future. In fact, their feelings about the future are more positive than negative, signaling that they expect to be less stressed and worried in the future.

“As stressful as the pandemic has been on all facets of our ‘typical’ lives, people can still see a future where they feel more grateful for those elements in their lives that they yearn for now,” Dr. Robert Emmons, professor of psychology at University of California, Davis, said in a statement. “The pandemic has reminded us all that our mental and physical health is a top driver of what allows us to appreciate everything else we cherish, our loves, our exercise, even the food we eat and the wine we drink.”

Referencing prior studies conducted after significant catastrophes, Philip Watkins of Eastern Washington University, renowned gratitude researcher and study collaborator says that, “in the face of crises and during troubling times people rely on positive feelings to cope, and they seem to turn to gratitude more than any other positive emotion.”

Researchers found three significant gratitude-related areas of perceived changes in the self during this period: that we “are more grateful for the positive aspects of our lives;” “have a greater understanding each day that we are alive;” and “have a better sense of what is important to me.”  Of all the positive emotions, gratitude was the strongest predictor of these changes, e.g., the more grateful people were, the more they reported these positive self-changes. This is important because people can increase their levels of gratitude with simple practices such as journaling, and gratitude then opens the door to seeing other positive life changes and personal growth.

Nationwide, however, worries linger even after life begins the long road back to normalcy after prolonged shelter-in-place orders. The new study reveals that 62% felt their self-confidence had not grown significantly while only a mere 17% reported having significant increased trust in their public institutions, researchers said.

Yet respondents overwhelmingly embraced gratitude as their most salient emotional state, with feelings of at least moderate gratitude endorsed by 75% of the sample. Indeed, even though people said they felt quite thankful at present, over 51% of respondents who had potential for gratitude growth said they expect to feel more gratitude in the future.

“This does not surprise us,” said Trini Amador, Sr., partner at study co-sponsor Gracianna Winery in Sonoma County, “since our wine is for those with something to be grateful for. We wanted to better understand exactly what it is that people most appreciate during these times. And do they anticipate feeling more to be thankful for in the future? We found that the answer is a resounding ‘yes!’”

Of the respondents that the UC Davis/Gracianna Winery study surveyed, gratitude was the strongest predictor of positive changes in the self. “It means that gratitude is playing a unique role as a core emotional feeling versus happy, sad, angry, etc. —gratitude is not just helping people feel good—it has a unique potential allowing people to see positive changes in themselves,” said lead researcher Emmons, “Being happy, optimistic, or hopeful are secondary predictors of growth whereas being grateful is the primary driver of this positive change.”

Watkins added, “Overall there is optimism for the future, even though we could see very rough times ahead.” Researchers found respondents seeing positive emotions ahead such as joy, hope and calm and feeling that all negative emotions will diminish even though 56% felt stressed and worried, 28% irritable and 28% felt disconnected from others.

“Being grateful,” Amador continued, “was strongly linked to beliefs that ‘access to food and drink has reminded me of the infrastructure that I depend on for my existence;’ ‘I take more time to appreciate food and wine;’ and that ‘I am finding drinking wine enhances other experiences more than it did before.’ This finding tells us something deep down clicked, that not only were we were reminded of the larger network we are a part of but how we must savor the everyday moments of grace when we are able to host a meal with family or friends.”

The study team will repeat the survey in six to nine months to measure the longer-term effects of the crises on emotional health. Emmons was pleased with the results.

“Considering the stress of working from home, home-schooling, online meetings, food deliveries and all the trappings of getting through a worldwide pandemic knowing that we are feeling grateful today and see more coming in the future is hopeful,” he said. “The study shows us that despite the worst, resilience reigns.”

The ability to understand that one can be grateful for three to four months from now is helpful to employers, retailers, public policy makers and even personal relationships, Emmons reveals. “We know that gratitude has a powerful impact on how heathy we feel, and now we learn that the capacity to envision a grateful future—regardless of current circumstances—may be a major reason why gratitude heals and energizes lives.”

The poll was conducted from May 10 to May 17, 2020 with 532 adults in the U.S.

Trini Amador, Sr., of Gracianna Winery summed it up by saying, “We know that living gratefully in the moment allows us to transcend even the worst of times and finding that individual inner peace is what our wines stand for.”

Gracianna Winery cannot stand by and watch without pitching in for American Healthcare Heroes! Inspired by the heroics of committed healthcare workers we are compelled to act to show them we are grateful for their devotion. You can help!

SEND TWO OR FOUR BOTTLES TO A HERO.
WE’LL MATCH YOUR GIFT.
There are two ways to show your support:
  1. Random Act of Kindness: Don’t know a healthcare worker and want to do something kind? We will deliver your act of kindness to a random card-carrying doctor, nurse or front-line support staff in a hard-hit American hospital in New York, New Orleans, Washington, etc. and get it to them with your name (and contact information if you like) with all of our thanks.
  2. For a Healthcare Hero in your life. Honor a specific healthcare worker with your gift of gratitude. Simply give us their name, address, email address and phone number (for shipping) and we will handle the rest.

Three wine options:

2016 PINOT NOIR – Gold Medal Winner

  • Send 2 bottles $54 each and we match with 2 free ($108) $0 shipping plus tax.*
  • Send 4 bottles $54 each and we match with 4 free ($216) $0 shipping plus tax.*

Click HERE to order Pinot Noir (Use the Promotion Code GRATEFUL during checkout to match your gift.)

2016 ZINFANDEL – Guest Favorite Award Winner

  • Send 2 bottles $46 each and we match with 2 free ($92) $0 shipping plus tax.*
  • Send 4 bottles $46 each and we match with 4 free ($184) $0 shipping plus tax.*

Click HERE to order Zinfandel (Use the Promotion Code GRATEFUL during checkout to match your gift.)

2016 CHARDONNAY – Guest Favorite Award Winner

  • Send 2 bottles $36 each and we match with 2 free ($72) $0 shipping plus tax.*
  • Send 4 bottles $36 each and we match with 4 free ($144) $0 shipping plus tax.*

Click HERE to order Chardonnay (Use the Promotion Code GRATEFUL during checkout to match your gift.)

Gracianna wines have always been for those with something to grateful for.

* Limited time offer, while supplies last and we may substitute a vintage if necessary. Free shipping only in the continental US.

Harvest is close at hand, and our job these days is to study every detail and respond to the cues that Mother Nature delivers to us.

Review of the 2017 Reserve Pinot Noir: The PinotFile calls this wine—made in a limited run of 74 cases—“surprisingly forward for a 2017 release, displaying a deep spiced cherry-flavored core filled out with a bit of toasty oak in the background. Soothing in texture and easy to like. Score: 93.” 

WINE BLOGGER OF THE MONTH: We love our local wine bloggers here in California Wine Country, and we were so happy to have a visit from Ashley, aka @redswineadventure last month. Ashley has the lofty goal of visiting EVERY Winery in Sonoma County, and she’s well on her way with over 100 visits so far. We love following her on Instagram to get ideas for more places to visit in this beautiful part of the world. THANK YOU Ashley for your commitment to our winery and this wonderful business!

We make our wine at an offsite winery, and we spend a lot of time there checking on our wine in the barrels and keeping an eye on the bottling and labeling process. Once it a while we do a little barrel tasting to see how things are coming along.

Lately, we’ve been doing some leafing on our Mercedes Riverblock Pinot Noir vines- our team trims off the leaves and vines on the side that faces the morning sun, to let the light filter through. The leaves are left in place on the side that gets afternoon sun to protect the grapes from the intense heat. It’s all about growing the best possible fruit that requires minimal intervention to make brilliant wine!

We’ll be uncorking some magnums of our glorious 2017 Estate Pinot Noir for a Mother’s Day celebration this weekend. Have you chosen something special to do for your Mom on Mother’s Day?