2023 Chronicle Wine Competition: Your Chance to Sample Wines from Hundreds of Top American Producers

Note: There will be no public tasting event in 2023. This event will return in 2024.

The Public Tasting Event of the 2020 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition is on Saturday, February 15 at the Fort Mason Center. This is your chance to sample award-winning wines from more than 800 U.S. wineries.

It's the one wine tasting event that I make sure to attend every year. It's fun to sample the wines, but if you are like me and want to learn, it's also a great chance to meet some of the winemakers and discover current trends about about the exciting American wine industry.

Chronicle Wine Competition

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What is the Chronicle Wine Competition?

It is the largest American wine tasting competition in the world. It's conducted by professional wine tasting judges who sample and rate every wine submitted for consideration.

Once they announce the winners, these wineries, along with hundreds of others, share their creations during the public wine tasting event in San Francisco.

This year, there were a record number of entries. Over 1,500 wineries submitted more than 5,000 wines for consideration.

The judges present awards in more than 100 different categories. They also select a handful of "Sweepstakes" winners, those they feel are best in class.

Details on the Public Wine Tasting Event

During the event, you can sample these award-winning wines as well as talk to some of the winemakers. The 2020 event is from 1:30pm to 5pm on Saturday, February 15.

Several judges will also be on hand to answer questions and explain more about the competition.

The reason this event is so popular is that it's not just about tasting wines, it's more about the overall food and wine tasting experience. All throughout the event, you will find samples of savory meats, exotic oils, and hand crafted cheeses. Make sure you also try out some of the delicious desserts, amazing sauces, and other goodies.

I often ask for wine pairing advice for the wines and food samples offered at the event. Every year, I learn something new that I can't wait to share with my friends.

These are just some of the vendors offering food samples and products for sale at the Chronicle Wine Competition Public Tasting Event:

  • CC Made: Delectable caramels, sauces, and caramel corn
  • Cypress Grove: Award-winning cheeses, including their popular Humboldt Fog
  • Marlo's Bakeshop: Handcrafted cookies, including their specialty, soft-baked biscotti
  • Stella Cadente: Artisan olive oils, including unique flavors like rosemary and basil
  • Valley Lahvosh: Traditional, healthy flatbread that goes perfectly with cheese and wine
  • Wild Planet: 100% sustainable caught wild seafood including tuna, salmon, and shrimp

>> Learn more about some of the top local wine regions


Buy your tickets as early as you can. They go fast, so buy yours online as soon as you have your plans confirmed. Click here to buy them directly from the event organizers.

Best Places to Stay Nearby

Here are some recommendations on top places to stay nearby.

The pricing listed below is an average price per night for this weekend so far, although prices will increase as these hotels book more rooms (all room estimates do not include taxes and other fees).

  • Argonaut Hotel: 4-star hotel near the waterfront, ~$300 a night
  • Courtyard by Marriott: 3-star hotel, ~ $300 a night
  • Fairmont Heritage Place: 5-star hotel in Ghirardelli Square, ~$900 a night
  • Holiday Inn Express-Fisherman's Wharf: 3-star hotel, ~$190 a night
  • Travelodge San Francisco-Fisherman's Wharf: 2-star hotel, ~$125 a night

>> Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say about hotels in San Francisco.

How to Get to the Fort Mason Center

From almost any part of Fisherman's Wharf, you can walk over to The Fort Mason Center. It's only a few blocks away, but there are a few steep hills to conquer on your journey.

You can also take a taxi or a bus from your hotel. A cab will cost less than $10. If you choose to take the bus ($2.25 per person), look for the 30 or the 47. Both drop you just a few blocks away from the event.

To get here from Union Square, I recommend taking the Hyde/Powell cable car. This will drop you on the western side of Fisherman's Wharf, which is just a few blocks from the Fort Mason Center.

>> Click here for more detailed instructions on how to get from these two popular neighborhoods to the Fort Mason Center.

Other Things to Do This Weekend in SF

Every weekend, you will find dozens of fun activities and events throughout SF. Here is just a sample of the other things to do in SF this weekend.

President's Day Weekend

The Chronicle Wine Competition runs on President's Day Weekend. All weekend long, you will find other fun events and activities from festivals to tours.

>> Find additional fun things to do this President's Day Weekend

Red & White Bay Cruise on Saturday Morning

Before you head over to the wine tasting event, set off on a one-hour cruise around the bay. This popular tour offers you the chance to see some of SF's most famous attractions, including the Palace of Fine Arts, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge. During this weekend, you will also find tickets for this cruise at up to half-off on Goldstar.

>> Find tickets for this popular cruise

Champagne Cruise on Saturday Morning

Relax and enjoy your Saturday morning on this two-hour Champagne Cruise around the Bay. This cruise sails past Alcatraz Island, Sausalito and Angel Island. You also get the chance to make a champagne toast under the Golden Gate Bridge. It's a fun way to spend any Sunday morning in SF!

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?

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