At least two El Dorado County wines travel well. After being shipped to Italy, they just won medals in the Third International Barbera Competition in Alessandria, a city in the northern province of Piedmont, the area most historically identified with barbera.
The wines are the Charles B. Mitchell Vineyards 2005 El Dorado Reserve Barbera ($28), which won a silver medal in the non-Italian class, and the Latcham Vineyards 2005 Sierra Foothills Barbera ($25), which won a bronze medal in the same category. They were the only California barberas to medal in the judging, which drew 313 entries, all of which had to be at least 50 percent barbera. The gold-medal wine in the non-Italian category was the Chalk Hill Wines 2006 McLaren Vale Barbera from Australia.
The El Dorado wines were two of 49 to receive the Diploma Monferrato Festival, awarded only to entries that receive at least 85 points out of a possible 100 on the competition's scoring sheet.
The sweepstakes winner was the Malabaila di Canale 2006 Mezzavilla Barbera D'Alba.