NCW Wineries Continue to Shine

Washington's original wine country is proving to be on quite the comeback.

The wines of North Central Wash­ington are growing in quality and quantity, as this year's North Central Washington Wine Awards show.

Washington's first two win­eries opened in this region: in 1874 in East Wenatchee and 1875 in Wenatchee. The area was mostly dormant af­ter Prohibition, but in the past 15 years, we have seen much activity, with more than 60 wineries opening in such communities as Quincy, Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Lake Chelan, Cashmere and Peshastin.

In August, the North Cen­tral Washington Wine Awards, put on by Foothills Magazine (owned by the Wenatchee World) and Great Northwest Wine, drew about 225 entries. Here is a sampling of gold medal winners from this year's competition.

Jones of Washington 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Val­ley, $15:
Winemaker Victor Palencia has crafted a stun­ning white with aromas of fig, grapefruit, white peach and lime, followed by flavors of bright, balanced orchard and tropical fruit. It's all backed by refreshing acidity. (12% ale.)

Beaumont Cellars 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvi­gnon, Red Mountain, $36:
Using grapes from vaunted. Red Mountain, Pete Beau­mont has crafted a luscious Cab with aromas and flavors of black cherry, spice, black­berry and dark chocolate, all leading to a long, luscious fin­ish. (14.2% ale.)

Ginkgo Forest Win­ery 2011 Estate Cabernet Franc, Wahluke Slope, $30:
This Cab Franc is one of Mike Thiede's finest efforts to date. It shows off aromas and fla­vors of cranberry, pomegran­ate, black currant and dried herbs, all backed with a bright, youthful and expressive struc­ture. (14.5% ale.)

Ryan Patrick Vineyards 2013 Ryan's Riesling, Co­lumbia Valley, $12:
This Leavenworth winery has long crafted delicious and afford­able wines, and this Riesling is one of the best in the North­west vintage after vintage. It's an easy-drinking white with aromas and flavors of Bartlett pear drizzled with honey, all balanced with bright acidity. (12% ale.)

Cave B Estate Winery 2012 Cave B Vineyards Sangiovese, Columbia Val­ley, $33:
Talented winemaker Freddy Arredondo produces superb wines from this winery atop cliffs towering above the Columbia River near George. This beautiful Sangiovese shows off aromas and flavors of strawberry, pomegranate, blueberry and a whisper of smokiness, all wrapped with­in firm tannins. (13.7% ale.)

By Eric Degerman & Andy Perdue
September 10, 2015
The Quincy Valley Post-Register



NCW Wine Country wineries rock the NCW Wine awards

We have amazing, affordable wines being produced in North Central Washington!  WinePressNW magazine teamed with Foothills Magazine for the NCW Wine Competition, and Wenatchee Wine Country wines earned 3 double Gold medals, 2 Best of Show awards, 11 Gold medals, 20 silver medals, and 16 Bronze medals.   Cheers to the wineries and their outstanding winemakers!  Here are the results of Wenatchee Wine Country wines:

BEAUMONT CELLARS:  Best in Show, Best Red, Gold for 2009 Syrah; Gold: 2009 Sangiovese; Bronze: 2008 Pinot Grigio

MARTIN-SCOTT WINERY: Double Gold:  2010 Viognier; Gold: 2008 Raven Ridge Red; Silver: 2008 Malbec, Bronze: 2006 Syrah

SAINT LAURENT WINERY:  Gold:  2006 Cabernet Sauvignon; Silver: 2005 Reserve Syrah, 2006 Syrah, 2007 Syrah, 2007 Wahluke Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005 La Boheme Red Blend, 2007 Lucky Red Blend, Rose of Syrah; Bronze:  2009 Riesling, 2007 Chardonnay

CHATEAU FAIRE LE PONT WINERY:  Gold Medals:  2008 Pinot Noir, 2007 Syrah, 2007 Tre Amore', 2007 Reserve Syrah, 2007, Malbec; Silver:  2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007 Confluence; Bronze:  2007 Merlot

JONES OF WA:  Best of Show (white wines), Gold:  2010 Sauvignon Blanc;  Double Gold:  2006 Barrel Select; Silver: 2010 Pinot Gris, 2010 Chardonnay, 2010 Viognier, 2006 Jack's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007 Barrel Select Red, 2010 Rose of Syrah; Bronze:  2008 Merlot, 2008 Syrah, 2007 Sangiovese, 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

HORAN ESTATES WINERY:  Gold: 2006 CWM Syrah; Silver: 2006 HVH Red Blend; Bronze: 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon

SILVARA VINEYARDS:  Gold:  2008 Syrah; Silver: 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

ESTHER BRICQUES WINERY:  Gold: 2005 Ice Riesling

STEMILT CREEK:  Silver: 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon; Bronze: Adelaide AJ Mathison Boss Lady White Blend, Thomas Syle Mathison A Day's Work Red Blend

CRAYELLE CELLARS:  Silver:  2008 Syrah; Bronze:  2009 Dry Riesling

MALAGA SPRINGS:  Silver:  Zinfandel; Bronze: 2009 Sangiovese

FRENCHMAN HILLS:  Bronze:  2005 Syrah

WATERVILLE WINERY:  Bronze:  2009 Viognier, 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

BELLA TERRAZZA:  Bronze: Bella Rosso Red Blend, Lemberger







Red Wine and Chocolate Weekend - 2015

Written by Becky Driscoll – Certified Sommelier

 Local boutique wineries of the North Central WA Wine Country open their doors for amazing treats that are also light on the pocket book.  The secret to saving money and giving your sweetheart a remarkable Valentines’ Day experience is to visit any one of our local boutique wineries of the North Central WA Wine Country during Red Wine and Chocolate Weekend February 13-February 16th.

 The affinity for red wine and chocolate is no secret.  Some would argue that those two flavors do indeed NOT pair perfectly but who am I to judge what you palate prefers?  I can however guide you to some remarkable bites and treats available this Valentines’ Day weekend during our Red Wine and Chocolate weekend. Surprise and delight your loved one with one of these or combine options for an extended treat.      

WHITE HERON CELLARS – ( On Valentines Day at the winery we will have a repeat visit from Alpine Lakes cheese serving up melted cheese and potatoes, very Swiss but with all American ingredients.  We will also be pairing three wines with chocolates as always.  Finally Eric Link, songwriter and guitar player for Passing Liberty will entertain us musically with his latest compositions.  $10 at the door goes to the musician, cheese, potatoes and chocolate available for purchase.  It all starts at 5 PM February 14.  Also on the 14th we'll be at the Proctor Farmers Market where we will be pairing samples with chocolates from fellow market vendor Tease Chocolates.  Be ready for that chocolate feeling.

 MALAGA SPRINGS WINERY – ( Back by popular demand! Our opening for the 2015 season will be this upcoming weekend. Regular hours....Fri, Sat, Sun, noon to 5pm. Bobette will be pouring Saturday, and Cori will be pouring Sunday, as we will be bottling 2014 white wines both days. The following weekend is Valentines Day with Red Wine and Chocolate taking center stage. We will be offering two different tasting experiences. First, our normal, no fee tasting with nice commercial chocolates and treats. Secondly, we will be offering a Sweetheart tasting with custom chocolates made by Ann Goblet, Master Chocolatier, from East Wenatchee. An assortment of her to-die-for chocolates will be offered, paired with our wines for a modest fee. These will be offered on a first come first serve basis. We will be featuring her chocolates for sale the rest of the year in the winery, whether for tasting or to take home. Happy Valentines Day from Kathy and me.

 STEMILT CREEK WINERY – ( Join Us For Red Wine & Chocolate – Devils Dark food Chocolate made with Days Work Cabernet from Cup Cake Blues and also serving up Dark Chocolate Truffle with Boss Lady Syrah with Baums Chocolate, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, February 13,14,&15,Wenatchee Tasting room and Leavenworth- Saturday -Monday, Feb,13-16th! Open hours noon to 6pm, Friday and Saturday Noon- 7pm and Sunday 11-5pm – Pairing Pricing $8/person

VIOLA WINERY – ( Special Chocolates available in the tasting room for Red and Chocolate weekend.   Saturday Noon to 6:30pm and Sunday from Noon-5pm

BEAUMONT CELLARS ( – Unique chance to taste Anne Goblet - Coeur À Coeur Chocolat , local chocolatier hand making the finest chocolate to pair with our wines.   Quincy Locations Saturday 12:00 - 5:00 p.m

HORAN ESTATES WINERY – ( Open Friday through Sunday from Noon-5pm

MARTIN SCOTT WINERY – ( For the LOVE OF CHOCOLATE!!!   Anne Goblet - Coeur À Coeur Chocolat , local chocolatier hand making the finest chocolate to pair with our wines including a Red Malbec Truffle!  We will be open Friday & Saturday 12-5 PM, and Sunday 12-4 PM

CRAYELLE CELLARS – ( – Opening weekend!!  We will be pouring some library wines!

BARONESS CELLARS – ( – Open from 11-7pm daily for wine tasting

CHATEAU FAIRE LE PONT – ( –Open from 11-6pm Sunday and Monday and from 11am to 9pm Tuesday through Saturday.

BELLA TERRAZZA VINEYARDS – ( Open in Leavenworth Location for chocolates paired with red wines from Friday 5pm to Close and Saturday 1pm to Close

GOOSE RIDGE ESTATE WINERY AND VINEYARDS ( – Seattle Chocolates Truffles paired with our estate grown red wines.  February special - Rose 2 bottles $25 .

THE CHAMBER TASTING ROOM – ( Open for regular wine tasting

 Want to bump up the experiences this Valentines day?  Want to offer limo rides and special dinners?  Here is a list of opportunities that our associate members are offering up for sweethearts over Valentines’ Day weekend:

STICKS HOUSE OF CIGARS – ( You are invited to join us for a fun Valentines Day Wine Tour and Dinner. We'll meet at Sticks at 11am on February 14. Limousine service will be provided to the wineries and return to Sticks for a delicious catered meal from Tastebuds.  Cost per couple is $275. Space is limited. Sign up & pre-pay by Friday, 2/6 to reserve a spot for you and your sweetheart! 509.881.1722

CHATEAU FAIRE LE PONT – ( Valentines Day Dinner - Have you made plans for that special night yet?  Contact Chateau Faire Le Pont at 509-667-9463 to make a reservation today!

HIDEAWAY IN CASHMERE - Come Join The Hideaway In Cashmere, WA. For Valentine's Day!!!  Call For Reservations and to Reserve Your Live Maine Lobster ! (509)782-HIDE
Looking for something more casual? Join us in the Hurricane Cantina from 8PM -10PM for Live Music on Valentines Day Weekend!

 TASTEBUDS – (  Valentines cannot get any better than giving your loved one the options of Filet Mignon or Steak Lobster….maybe a Chicken Cordon Blue?  All these fabulous selections brought to you by the team at Tastebuds coupled with the amazing music by Pat-Rio and Glenn Isaacson trio.  By Reservation ONLY call the 509-888-2783

 LULU’S KITCHEN – (!facilities/c66t) – open for Lovers’ Specials all day Saturday February 14th.  Then a special 50 Shades of Sunday Brunch the following day.  With tasty dessert specials scratch-made from Balsamroot Bakery (including Gluten Free options!)

SHAKTI’S FINE DINING – ( Open for Valentine’s Day Dinner!

THE LOVELY GRAPE – ( Enjoy delicious wines this Valentines and enter to win $250.00!!!



Tasting Etiquette, from Becky Driscoll

Survival Guide to Wine Touring & tasting 101

The image of hunkering over a small fire comes to mind when I think of using the survival lessons I learned as a Girl Scout.  Now that my profession has moved to the wine industry, I can still use many of those principles while touring wine country.  If you are a novice or expert at wine tasting, please review these tips on how to be a good steward of our wine environment.  Way back in my days of cookie slinging and pigtails, I learned the 7 “Leave No Trace” principles to adhere to when visiting our gorgeous outdoors.  When you venture out to tour wineries you can apply most of these tips too.

1. Know before you go – Please plan appropriately.  

HOURS OF OPERATION - Many wineries, especially our smaller producers, have varying hours.  If you would like to visit a winery check their website for their hours.  Better yet, phone or email the winery.  Many folks might be around on hours not posted on their website.  

GROUPS - If you are bringing a group over 8 people, make a reservation.  Parking can also be a difficult so you might want to inquire on that too.  

TOUR of FACILITIES - If you want something extra special such as a tour, you should ask before going and make reservation for that.  

TRAVEL TIME – Amazing how wine flies when you are having fun….I mean, time flies when you are having fun!  When planning your trip make sure you have plenty of time at each spot and account for the distance you will have to travel to the next winery especially if you have reservations at multiple locations.

KIDS & PETS – Not to lump the too together but check with the winery if you are traveling with either of these family members. There are a lot of wineries that accommodate Kids and pets but showing up and asking for forgiveness can lead to awkwardness on both sides of the counter.

PERSONAL ATTIRE – If you are planning a long day of wine tours, dress appropriately.  Comfortable shoes.  Think about the weather.  It will matter at the end of the day. 

BUDGET - Fees to taste are standard operating procedure at most wineries, though some still offer complimentary or very low-cost tastes. Many will waive tasting fees with a wine purchase (which takes some of the sting out of higher fees), so be sure to inquire about such incentives. Make sure you’re aware of shipping laws applying to your state if you need to ship wine back home.

Hydrate - Drink plenty of water to stave off dehydration and always plan on having a designated driver. 

2. Choose the right path – TASTING ORDER –  Folks seem to think that you go whites to reds.  That is only true to a point.  Not “white” but “light”.  Meaning you want to taste the wines with lighter body before more robust reds or you could lose the delicate nuances in the lighter wines due to tannins or flavors of the more bold wines.  And ALWAYS serve sweet wines at the end of your line up.  Otherwise you run the risk of the sweetness interfering with the flavors of more robust wines.  

3. Pack your trash – SPIT/DUMP – I know it is odd that as pretentious as wine can be it is perfectly acceptable to swish wine around in your mouth then spit it out.  I, for one, ALWAYS spit when I have multiple wines lined up to taste.  However, I bring along a red solo cup to spit into and a disposable napkin.  I am totally grossed out by the dump bucket.  Anyone see Sideways?  The wine tasting attendants will not be offended by you passing on a wine, dumping a wine, or spitting.  They will however, if you trash-talk their wines.  If you do not care for the wine simply dump it and move on.  

4. Leave what you find – UNLESS OTHERWISE OFFERED – Unbelievable as it sounds, I have to write this: taking what is not yours is stealing.  The tasting glasses are usually not given to you to take home. Likewise, the gorgeous flowers in the winery’s garden or on the tables are not usually free for the taking.  Weird that I have to mention this but you would be amazed at how people act when on wine tours.  

5. Be careful with fire –  IN THIS CASE WINE -  There are some techniques that will bring wine to its optimal condition before tasting.  This portion of this article is for those of you who want to really dive in and learn more about the sensory aspects of wine tasting.  Industry refers to these as the tasting technique – Swirl, see, smell, sip, savor, select.

Swirl– to keep the wine in its glass while swirling, have the bottom of the glass keep n contact with the tabletop.  Otherwise, you could be wearing it!  This technique also allows the wine to cling to the glass and opens some of the phenol content (that’s a fancy word for smells and flavors) of the wine. 

See – Hold wine glasses by the stem rather than the bowl; holding them by the bowl coats glasses with fingerprints.  You are looking for a few things when you “see” the wine.  Look for clarity, color, and streaming wine otherwise called the “legs” of the wine.  All are clues to the wines content.

Smell - Inhale deeply through your nose before taking a sip; wine’s aromas tell a big part of the story.  What varietal it is, where it came from, how old or young the wine is.  This is a good time to ask the attendant questions about the craftsmanship of the wine.  

Sip - Upon drinking, swirl the wine around in your mouth.  Think about  textures like heavy, thick, light, and viscosity.  Think about the flavors; are they savory, sweet, fruit, earth, leather.  Think about the sensations such as heat, refreshing, cold.  Be thoughtful as how the wine changes on your palate.  I love using the Wine Wheel for dialing in the exact flavors.

Savor (or Spit) – If you swallow the wine think about how it feels going down your throat.  Whether you swallow or spit you will have a chance to reflect on the length of the finish which is the amount of time the wine’s flavors stick around after the wine is gone.  Count how many seconds you can still taste and feel the wine. 

Select – If you like the wine and find it reasonably priced, take some home.  Ask the attendant if there are any offers that will allow you to save money.  Many wineries offer quantity discounts and many have loyalty programs.  

6. Respect wildlife – RESPECT THE WINE ATTENDANT – On some occasions the person pouring the wine is also the owner or winemaker for the winery.  These are great opportunities to dig in deep to the history of the wines or geek out on the craftsmanship of the wine.  Other times you will be chatting with a tasting room attendant.  If a winery has trained their staff you will still get the story and some of the winemaking but generally these folks are not experts in winemaking BUT they are experts in customer service.  If they don’t have an answer for you ask for the contact person for the winery.  

Questions  - Ask away.  Most folks in tasting rooms love to share their passion for wine.  

Comments – Folks pouring wines in tasting rooms are there primarily because they love the wine they are pouring.  If you like the wines let them know.  If not, dump it and move on.  Wine tasting is subjective.  Your personal preference might not line up to a winemaking style.  Simply dump it and move on.  This is not to say you should not point out a flaw but there is some tact in doing so.  Being critical of a wine is comparable to coming into a persons home and criticizing there taste in décor.  

Dumping and spitting – Totally acceptable as referred to in “Pack Your Trash”.

Splitting a tasting with a companion is acceptable.  It even sends the message that you are tasting responsibly.

Consumption - Keep tabs on how much you’re consuming. Typically, wineries offer one-ounce pours. As a reference point, there are four to six ounces of wine in a typical glass; know your limit and spit or stop when you’ve reached it or the attendant pouring can and should no longer pour wine to you.  It is their license at risk if you push the matter.  

Purchase wine – If you like what you have tasted buy some.  Having wines at home to share with your friends and family is a great way to relive your touring memories.  Many wineries have special offerings throughout the year and loyalty programs including quantity discounts.

7. Be kind to other visitors – With wine touring becoming mainstream there all folks from all walks of life enjoying wine.  Be aware of your comrades in wineries.  Visit with them.  That is what wine is about; sharing and exploring the greatness of the vine!

Perfume - Don't wear perfume or heavily scented cologne to tasting rooms; the scents can overwhelm the subtle aromas in wine – and interfere with your own and others’ experience. 

Conduct - Wineries are wineries, not bars or nightclubs. Although alcohol is being served, it’s a relaxed and conversational environment. Save loud banter and raucous activities for later!

There you have it; a broad view on how to survive wine touring and tasting!  There are so many ways to learn about wines from our region.  I would suggest going to the front lines; go to the tasting rooms.  The folks there love what they are doing!  .  Cheers! 

From Becky Driscoll, Certified Sommelier, Wine Veteran, more blog posts can be found at



Wenatchee Wine Country wineries celebrate First Fridays!

First Fridays are art gallery walks in downtown Wenatchee on the First Friday of each month!  Two Rivers Gallery, 102 N. Columbia St., features wine from Wenatchee Wine Country on at this non-profit art cooperative gallery. The Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce Tasting Room, 1 S. Wenatchee Ave., also participates in the First Friday walks, with art and food  to enjoy.  Cheers to the first Friday of each month in downtown Wenatchee with Wenatchee Wine Country wine in your glass!

Sample North Central WA Wine Country wines at the new tasting room at the Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce

Located at 1 S. Wenatchee Ave., the Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce is THE place to learn about fun things to do in Wenatchee!  Now they've added a wine tasting bar to let you sample local wines before going to the wineries' tasting rooms for more!  A great place to visit, with a friendly staff to welcome you to our town! Open 11-5 p.m. daily. You can visit their website at  Cheers!

Tasting Room Hours:



BELLA TERRAZZA: 1260 Lower Sunnyslope Rd. (509)741-9534 Open Friday-Sunday


Tasting Room Hours:  Sundays and Mondays:  11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Tuesdays-Saturdays:  11 a.m.-9 p.m.;  Restaurant Tuesday-Saturday:  11-2 p.m. for lunch, 5-9 p.m. for dinner.   Ladies Night:  Wednesdays.  Jazz Nights:  Thursdays, 6-9 pm. Music by Charlie Solbrig, Fridays and Saturdays 6-9 pm. Cooking lessons 1st Saturday of the month.


Tasting room hours:  Friday-Sunday 12-5 p.m.  679-0152.  3450 Cathedral Rock Rd.


Tasting room hours: Fridays-Sundays, 12-5 pm 886-4596  3400 10th St. SE, East Wenatchee. 


Tasting Room Hours: Friday & Saturday 11-5 p.m. or by appointment.  630-3507  277 Ward St., East Wenatchee.


Tasting Room hours:  Open daily 12-6 p.m.  665-3485.  110 N. Wenatchee Ave.



 Tasting Room Hours:  Open Saturday and Sunday 12-5 p.m. or by appointment (509-393-1996) 207 Mission Ave., Cashmere


Tasting Room Hours:  Open Friday-Saturday 12-5 p.m. or by appointment (509)860-0662, or (509)679-8705  

207 Mission Ave., Cashmere


Tasting room hours: Open 12-5 pm Thursday-Saturday. 6359 Kimber Rd., Cashmere (509) 679-7559


37 CELLARS: Located at the top of Dempsey Rd. in Leavenworth. (509) 548-8663. Open by appointment.

Elevage Wine Co.: 837 Front Street, Leavenworth (509)820-9639. Open Sunday-Tuesday and Thursday 11:30-5 pm; Closed Wednesday; Friday & Saturday 11:30-9 pm.


downstairs at 837 Front Street. Friday-Sunday 12-9 p.m.


Tasting Room Hours:  Sunday 11-7 p.m.; Monday-Thursday: 11a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday:  11:30-8:00 p.m.  (509)548-7600.  upstairs at 939 Front St., Leavenworth


Tasting room hours: Sunday-Thursday 12-6 pm, Friday 11-7 pm, Saturday 11-9 pm. 636 Front St. Leavenworth. (509)888-2236


Tasting Room Hours:  Sundays: 11-5 pm, Monday 12-6 pm, closed Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday 12-6 pm, Friday and Saturday 12-7 pm. 617 Front St., Leavenworth



Tasting Room Hours:  11-6 p.m. Thursday-Monday   (509) 787-9463.  10035 Stuhlmiller Rd.


Tasting Room Hours:Friday 3-6 pm. Saturday 12-6 pm   8634 Rd. U NW (509)787-5586.  White Trail Rd.


ESTHER BRICQUES WINERY:  Tasting room hours: Thursday evenings, Saturday & Sunday 12-5 pm 509-476-2861.  38 Swanson Mill Rd.








San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Winners

We are proud of the following wineries and the awards they earned at the San Francisco Wine Competition in January 2011:

Martin-Scott Winery:  Silver medals on 2008 Malbec and 2006 Merlot

Saint Laurent Estate Winery:  Gold Medals on 2007 Merlot and 2007 Estate Syrah; Silver Medals on 2009 Estate Riesling and 2008 Chardonnay

Horan Estates Winery:   Double Gold medal on 2006 HVH Red Blend and Bronze medal on 2006 CWM Syrah

Milbrandt Vineyards:  Gold Medal on 2009 Pinot Gris and Silver Medal on 2006 Syrah

Congratulations on these awards!