San Francisco, Calif.—
Cooper Niswonger evaluates a Chenin Blanc wine during the competition.
Sonoma State University wine business student Cooper Niswonger placed first in the final round of a wine-tasting competition in San Francisco and won a fully paid trip to Beaune, France. Niswonger competed in the student wine-tasting competition at La Soiree, an annual fundraising event hosted by the French American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco. She was announced as the winner after correctly identifying a 2012 Chenin Blanc from California and a 2011 Syrah from France. “I’m incredibly excited. I’ve never really been to Europe before,” Niswonger said. She thanked Sonoma State and the competition’s sponsors, including the French American Chamber of Commerce and Wines & Vines
, for the opportunity. Garrett Hanks won second place in the competition, and Lauryn Mitrovich received third place.