F&W’s 12th annual American Wine Awards honor a shrewd importer, several terrific winemakers and great bottles that are also great values.

This year, the nominations from our 33-member panel of top sommeliers and retailers read like a Who’s Who of American wineries and winemaking talent. By the end of our final blind tasting, Food & Wine’s 12th annual American Wine Awards included winners in 20 categories (new this year: Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio and Rhône-Style White). The value wines were particularly strong and diverse—and the average price of our above-$20 winners was substantially lower than last year’s, too. Sheer chance? Sea change? You decide.

Winners:

Most Promising New Winery

Importer of the Year

Best Wines $20 and Under

Best Wines Over $20

Winemaker of the Year

Many thanks to this year’s American Wine Awards judges: Annette Alvarez-Peters, Gillian Ballance, Trey Beffa, Chris Blanchard, Andy Chabot, Bill Floyd, Shannon Fristoe, Darryl Joannides, Michael Jordan, Michael Kaminski, Peter Kasperski, John Lancaster, Kerrin Laz, Laura Maniec, Dan McCarthy, Kevin Mohalley, Jay Murrie, Jeremy Noye, Rajat Parr, Jesse Rodriguez, Jim Rollston, Lisa Rongren, Jesse Salazar, Margaux Singleton, David Stevens, Bernard Sun, Todd Thrasher, Gerald Weisl, Karen Williams, Jeffrey Wolfe, Wilfred Wong, J. Jeffrey Wooddy and Sebastian Zutant

More Wine Coverage:

American Wine Awards 2008

Top California Wines for Under $15

F&W’s Pairing of the Day