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Competitions Santé Wine & Spirit Competitions Vol. 26 No. 09

Results of the 2022 Santé Wine & Spirits Competition

The votes are in, congratulations are in order.



The 2022 Santé Wine and Spirits Competition received hundreds of high-quality wines and spirits. These are exciting times, with innovation abounding in the industry. This year we judged ready-to-drink spirits as well as wines and spirits.

While we target an on-premise readership, we also reach out to serious foodies and beverage enthusiasts. We hope these awards inspire you to try these products and for the producers to continue to produce high-quality beverages for a discerning readership.

In the Santé Wine and Spirits competition, the wines and spirits are not compared to each other. Rather, they are judged against a standard. Exceptional products receive gold awards. The next level receives silver awards, and the third level is rewarded with bronze. We had three main categories, wine, spirits, and RTD (Ready-to-Drink). Wines were subdivided into Red, White, Rosé, and Sparkling, and there is a Best-in-Show in each category. The differences between the awards are subtle – often the result of a small imperfection in the expression of the wine or spirit. This should be interpreted as room for improvement and definitely for you, the restaurateur, to add the products to your restaurant menu.

The Judging Process

Judging was conducted completely blind. All wine and spirit bottles were obscured in plain paper bags. An event manager poured, ensuring proper protocol was followed. The judges did not discuss their impressions with the other judges until all judging was complete, and the products they judged were not revealed until after they cast their votes.

Judges assigned a value to each wine or spirit based on its merits. Awards are assigned based on that absolute value rather than simply comparing it to other products.

And the Winners Are!

TolosaChardonnayWhite WineBest in ShowExcellent mouth feel with a long fruit finish. It’s got a great nose, is complex, the palate is perfectly in balance, and the finish goes and goes and goes. Hurray!
DioraLa Splendeur du Soleil ChardonnayWhite WineGoldOaked beautifully. High on the alcohol spectrum. A little weird on the nose but it’ll blow off. Round, zippy with some great wheaty and grassy notes under yellow fruit. Great!
WhitehavenSauvignon BlancWhite WineGoldSmells like jalapenos and delivers spicy greenness on the palate. A plethora of peppers!
Winemaker’s SelectionChardonnayWhite WineGoldWow! Really beautiful. Everything it should be.
Director’s CutChardonnayWhite WineSilverAppealing and approachable. Soft with good acid and complex.
Diamond CollectionChardonnayWhite WineSilverLots of tropical notes, very good. It shows so much promise! A great, complex white with all of the layers of finessed oak.
JOLO Winery & Vineyards65% Traminette, 20% Vidal Blanc, 15% Sauvignon BlancWhite WineSilverSomething herbal on the palate, lovely! 
Black BoxPinot GrigioWhite WineBronze
CannonballChardonnayWhite WineBronze
MoiselleMoscatoWhite WineBronze
Le Chemin Du Roi Brut Rose40% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir, 45% Pinot MeunierSparklingGoldMuted red fruit and nice acid. Different. Very interesting and unique. 
Barefoot BubblyProseccoSparklingSilverGood stone fruit, nice acid, great finish. Round and fruity. Delightful finish. 
Crémant de Bourgogne Brut RoséPinot Noir, Chardonnay, GamaySparklingSilverVery good.
Angels & CowboysBrutSparklingBronze
Angels & CowboysBrut RoséSparklingBronze
Barefoot BubblyExtra DrySparklingBronze
Crémant de Bourgogne Brut RéserveChardonnay, Pinot NoirSparklingBronze
Barefoot CellarsRed MoscatoRosé WineGoldNice color and texture with bright red fruit and acid. It is zippy with a touch of residual sugar – a refreshing sip.
Tiny UmbrellasRipe PeachRosé WineGoldNice balance of acid and residual sugar. It is fun with spritz, good acid, and a kiss of sweet.
Barefoot CellarsPink MoscatoRosé WineSilverZippy and light with simple fruit. A crowd pleaser. 
Barefoot CellarsPink Pinot GrigioRosé WineSilverLots of red fruit and watermelon. This is what a rosé should be –  nose of rosé, a palate of rosé, and an excellent finish.
Angels & CowboysRoséRosé WineBronze
Barefoot CellarsWhite ZinfandelRosé WineBronze
Burlwood Pacific Fruit VineyardsSweet PeachRosé WineBronze
Tiny UmbrellasPink MoscatoRosé WineBronze
Barefoot CellarsCabernet SauvignonRed WineGoldReally nice, big but balanced. It has a really good finish. This wine is absolutely delicious right now, but will improve over 5 years. It is a balanced wine that is ready to drink. A crowd pleaser for wine drinkers
Zironda80% Corvina, 20% RondinellaRed WineSilverVery Good. Outstanding.
EHRETHillside Reserve Red Wine (74.89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.20% Merlot, 6.95% Cabernet Franc, 5.22% Petit Verdot, 3.74% MalbecRed WineSilverThis is really beautiful, complex and balanced wine. I wanted a longer finish. Amazing!!
Director’s CutCabernet SauvignonRed WineBronze
EHRETZinfandelRed WineBronze
J. Lohr Cuvée ST. ECabernet Franc 71%, Cabernet Sauvignon 27%, Merlot 2%Red WineBronze
J. Lohr Signature Cabernet SauvignonCabernet Sauvignon 92%, Saint-Macaire 7%, Malbec 1%Red WineBronze
Familia CamarenaReposadoBest in ShowA gem! Bright nose, peppery finish. Very nice. Complex aromas and flavors, peppery!
Highclere Castle GinGoldSlightly thin mouthfeel with bright florals.Very refreshing with natural aromas, not pinesol. Could use a little more oomph in the mouth, but great!
The Community Spirit Co.GoldSuper smooth. Clean, balanced.
FiorGoldNice nose, late smokey finish. Balanced, restrained and finessed.
Ugly MugGoldBalanced coffee flavor, very smooth. Well done. I love that the coffee is incorporated and not burnt.
Branson CognacSilverNotes of caramel, beautiful bouquet of nuts, caramel, and white blossoms. Wow.
E&J DistillersXOSilverVery nice with notes of maple!
E&J DistillersAppleSilverGood mouthfeel with bright flavors. The flavor is complex but not cloying. It has good mouthfeel and finish.
MillstoneSilverSolid across the board. Smooth and flavorful with some delightful warmth. Mouth is a little thin.
Royal Mash Vintage VodkaBronze
Keeper’s HeartIrish + BourbonBronze
Familia CamarenaAnejoBronze
Familia CamarenaSilver/PlatoBronze
New AmsterdamOriginalBronze
High Noon Sun SipsLemonVodka Based Hard SeltzerBest in ShowLemon shines in this category. This is an excellent hard seltzer. Very very good! Wow!
Knox & DobsonBourbon, Cane Sugar, BittersSilverA slightly non-traditional take on an old-fashioned but will delight.
High Noon Sun SipsPeachVodka Based Hard SeltzerSilverAn interesting, really ripe peach flavor.
High Noon Sun SipsGuavaVodka Based Hard SeltzerBronze
High Noon Sun SipsKiwiVodka Based Hard SeltzerBronze
LIQSMojitopremixed wine cocktailBronze
Ferme de Romilly cider dry brutCiderApple Cider – DrySpecial MentionYeasty, wild, open-top fermentation characteristic. Olives are heavy on the palate. Complex with a funky nose, olives (canned on the palate, kalamata on the finish), and some mint. Very interesting!

The Judges

Nancy Koziol

Nancy Koziol is a Bennington-based internationally-certified wine expert, author, and journalist. She is the founder and owner of couch + cork, a global brand providing in-person and virtual wine tastings, including corporate tastings for clients like Square, Amazon, DoorDash, and GoDaddy. Her goal is to make wine accessible and fun while highlighting historically marginalized groups. 

Koziol is active in her community, serving on The Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce boards and Better Bennington Corporation. She is the Business Community Representative to Alliance for Community Transformations. As couch + cork and an individual, she has donated to causes, fundraisers, galas, and benefits for Bennington Performing Arts Center/Home of Oldcastle Theater, Green Mountain Academy for Lifelong Learning, Bennington Museum, Billsville House Concerts, The Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce, Better Bennington Corporation, Project Against Violent Encounters and many others. Nancy is a proud Rotarian.

She was The Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce Member of the Year (2020). 

Nancy lives in downtown Bennington with her husband, Kris, their cat and dog, and more wine corks than they know what to do with. She enjoys live music, being outdoors, travel, beer, and reading. 

Philip Kampe

Philip S. Kampe is a writer and consultant for U.S.-based wine, travel, food, and spirits. At a very early age, he developed a discerning palate. He followed his path through his palate at a young age, later recommending to established food and ice cream shops to improve their products.

Philip spent four years in Europe in a VW camper, following the wine and cheese trails of France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Greece, and Spain. 

Upon returning to America, he opened an ice cream and candy shop with his recipes, credited as one of the cookie dough ice cream co-inventors. His Fabulous Phil’s shops achieved a top ten rating of all of the ice cream shops in the United States. 

Philip also holds several wine certificates from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, and France. He is a certified Armagnac teacher, as well. He was a jury member for numerous prestigious worldwide wine competitions, including Antiprima Amarone, Languedoc Millesime, The Bar Show, Star Chefs Sommelier Competition, Southwest Wines of America, Berkshire Tasting Panel, and TAP Airlines Business Class Wines, to name a few. He has also attended nearly fifty wine press trips around the world. Philip is a current member of the Wine Media Guild and a wine consultant for the two branches of Sparrow Wine & Liquor of New Jersey. Philip taught several wine classes, created wine lists for restaurants, was a brand ambassador for Domodimanti Wines of Italy at Vinitaly, set up the cheese and gourmet food section of the Wine Library, and renovated the cheese department at Sickles Market.

He has published hundreds of articles, and he authored a wine-by-the-glass column for restaurants. 

Philip lives in western Massachusetts and metro New York City with his wife, Maria, and Daisy Mae, their two-year-old Boston Terrier.

Kaiya Kirk

Kaiya Kirk is a Los Angeles native and graduate of Bennington College in Southern Vermont. She is many things, including a wine expert, and holds a Wine and Spirits Education Trust level 2 Certification with Distinction. She works with couch + cork as the Lead Tasting Educator and enjoys sharing and teaching about wines from emerging regions. She lives in North Bennington, VT, where she drinks wine and takes care of foster kittens in equal amounts. 

Sean Dunleavy

Sean Dunleavy is the owner, head brewer, and executive chef at Harvest Brewing in Bennington, Vermont.  Founded in 2016, Harvest Brewing has established itself as an eclectic centerpiece of downtown Bennington. It provides a destination for visitors and locals to enjoy in-house craft brews, high-quality food, and music. 

Dunleavy began working in the restaurant business at age 15. He has worked as a bartender, chef, and owner in bars and restaurants in Boston, Cape Cod, New York City, Portland (Oregon), Tampa, and beyond.  

Although best known as a founding member and lead guitarist of the early 2000’s alt-rock pop punk band Drugs In The Alley, he has become a staple in the craft beer, spirits, and cocktail scene throughout the northeastern United States.


Winners will receive an official email notification with their badge that can be used for promotion.

Feature photo by Carolyn on Unsplash

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Suggested roles: Restaurateur (e.g. manager, owner, cook, chef, sommelier, bartender, mixologist), PR (e.g. PR agency), Producer (e.g. winery, distillery), Marketer (e.g. ad buyer), Consultant, Journalist

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50 comments on “Results of the 2022 Santé Wine & Spirits Competition

  1. Pingback: High Noon Sun Sips Peach Wins Silver – Santé Magazine

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  5. Pingback: Knox & Dobson won the sliver award – Santé Magazine

  6. Pingback: LIQS Mojito Wins Bronze award – Santé Magazine

  7. Pingback:  Highclere Castle Gin won the Gold award – Santé Magazine

  8. Pingback: The Community Spirit Co. wins the Gold award – Santé Magazine

  9. Pingback: Fior wins the Gold award – Santé Magazine

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  11. Pingback: Familia Camarena Win The Best in Show Award – Santé Magazine

  12. Pingback: Royal Mash Vintage Vodka Wins The Bronze Award – Santé Magazine

  13. Pingback: Keeper’s Heart Irish + Bourbon Wins The Bronze Award – Santé Magazine

  14. Pingback: Familia Camarena Anejo Wins The Bronze Award – Santé Magazine

  15. Pingback: Familia Camarena Silver/Plato Wins The Bronze Award – Santé Magazine

  16. Pingback: New Amsterdam Original Won The Bronze Award – Santé Magazine

  17. Pingback: Branson Cognac Wins The Bronze Award – Santé Magazine

  18. Pingback: E&J Distillers XO Wins The Silver Award – Santé Magazine

  19. Pingback: Millstone wins The Sliver Award – Santé Magazine

  20. Pingback: E&J Distillers Apple Wins The Silver Award – Santé Magazine

  21. Pingback: Tolosa Chardonnay Wins The Best in Show Award – Santé Magazine

  22. Pingback: Director’s Cut Cabernet Sauvignon Wins The Bronze Award – Santé Magazine

  23. Pingback: EHRET Zinfandel Wins The Bronze Award – Santé Magazine

  24. Pingback: J. Lohr Cuvée ST. E Wins The Bronze Award – Santé Magazine

  25. Pingback: J. Lohr Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Wins The Bronze Award – Santé Magazine

  26. Pingback: Angels & Cowboys Rosé Wins The Bronze Award – Santé Magazine

  27. Pingback: Barefoot Cellars White Zinfandel Wins The Bronze Award – Santé Magazine

  28. Pingback: Burlwood Pacific Fruit Vineyards Sweet Peach Wins The Bronze Award – Santé Magazine

  29. Pingback: Angels & Cowboys Brut Wins The Bronze Award – Santé Magazine

  30. Pingback: Tiny Umbrellas Pink Moscato Wins The Bronze Award – Santé Magazine

  31. Pingback: Angels & Cowboys Brut Rose Wins The Bronze Award – Santé Magazine

  32. Pingback: Barefoot Bubbly Extra Dry Wins The Bronze Award – Santé Magazine

  33. Pingback: CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE BRUT RÉSERVE Chardonnay, Pinot Noir Wins The Bronze Award – Santé Magazine

  34. Pingback: Cannonball Chardonnay Wins The Bronze Award – Santé Magazine

  35. Pingback: Black Box Pinot Grigio Wins The Silver Award – Santé Magazine

  36. Pingback: Moiselle Moscato Wins The Bronze Award – Santé Magazine

  37. Pingback: Barefoot Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Wins The Gold Award – Santé Magazine

  38. Pingback: Barefoot Cellars Red Moscato Wins The Gold Award – Santé Magazine

  39. Pingback: Tiny Umbrellas Ripe Peach Wins The Gold Award – Santé Magazine

  40. Pingback: Le Chemin Du Roi Brut Rose 40% Chardonnay Wins The Gold Award – Santé Magazine

  41. Pingback: Diora La Splendeur du Soleil Chardonnay Wins The Gold Award – Santé Magazine

  42. Pingback: Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc Wins The Gold Award – Santé Magazine

  43. Pingback: EHRET Hillside Reserve Red Wine (74.89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.20% Merlot, 6.95% Cabernet Franc, 5.22% Petit Verdot, 3.74% Malbec Wins The Silver Award – Santé Magazine

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  45. Pingback: Barefoot Bubbly Prosecco Wins The Silver Award – Santé Magazine

  46. Pingback: CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE BRUT ROSÉ Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gamay Wins The Silver Award – Santé Magazine

  47. Pingback: Diamond Collection Chardonnay Wins The Silver Award – Santé Magazine

  48. Pingback: Director’s Cut Chardonnay Wins The Silver Award – Santé Magazine

  49. Pingback: JOLO Winery & Vineyards 65% Traminette, 20% Vidal Blanc, 15% Sauvignon Blanc Wins The Silver Award – Santé Magazine

  50. Pingback: Zironda 80% Corvina, 20% Rondinella Wins The Silver Award – Santé Magazine

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