California winery gets top domestic honors

Delicato Family Vineyards (DFV Wines) of Manteca, CA, has been named "American Winery of the Year" in Wine Enthusiast magazine's 2007 Winestar Awards.

Over its 80-year existence, Delicato made the transition along with many other California entities from grape provider to winemaker, and currently offers nine different brands. Among them are Gnarly Head Zinfandel, Clay Station Viognier, Irony Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, 337 Cabernet Sauvignon, Delicato Shiraz and Joe Blow Red.

Symington Family Estates of Portugal was awarded the "European Winery of the Year" title. It is a leading producer of premium-quality Port with eight brands, including Dow’s, Warre’s, Quinta do Vesuvio and Smith Woodhouse. It also is the world's largest producer of Madeira and has a small range of table wines.

Other awards (details available on Wine Enthusiast's Web site):

Man of the Year: Ray Chadwick, president, Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines.
Lifetime Achievement: Dr. John F. Mariani Jr., Banfi Vintners.
Winemaker of the Year: Carlo Ferrini, Italy. He consults for approximately 40 estates.

Wine Region of the Year: Rioja, Spain.
New World Winery of the Year: Villa Maria, New Zealand.
Distiller of the Year: Casa Herradura of Tequila, Mexico.
Importer of the Year: E. & J. Gallo Winery.
Retailer of the Year: Whole Foods Market of Austin, TX.

The awards will be presented at the awards event Jan. 28 in New York.

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