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Seattle Wine Award Winners 2017

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Seattle Wine Awards

The results for the 2017 Seattle Wine Awards are in.
Click the button below to view a full list of award winners around Washington state.

Congratulations to all our local wineries!


Double Gold

37 Cellars
MV Quartet, Columbia Valley, Red Bordeaux ($20 – Over)

Ancestry Cellars
2015 Reminiscence Riesling, George, Riesling ($20 – Over)

Cairdeas Winery
2014 Cinsault, Yakima Valley, Cinsault Varietal ($20 - 35)

Cairdeas Winery
2014 Counoise, Yakima Valley, Counoise ($35 – Over)

Crayelle
MV Tempranilllo, Ancient Lakes, Tempranillo ($20 – $35)

Jones of Washington
2015 Riesling, Ancient Lakes, Riesling ($20 – Under)

Jones of Washington
2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Ancient Lakes, Sauvignon Blanc ($20 – Under)

Karma Vineyards
2013 Pink, Lake Chelan, Sparkling Wine

Karma Vineyards
2012 Brut, Columbia Valley, Sparkling Wine

Malaga Springs
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain, Cabernet ($20 – 35)

Mellisoni Vineyards
2016 Gewürztraminer, Naches Heights, Gewürztraminer ($35 – Over)

Rio Vista Wines
2016 Sunset on the River, Columbia Valley, Rosé – Blended

Rocky Pond Winery
2015 Double D Syrah, Columbia Valley, Syrah ($35 – Over)

Ryan Patrick Wines
2105 Redhead Red, Columbia Valley, Red Proprietary Blend ($20 – Under)

Ryan Patrick Wines
2106 Rosé Wine, Columbia Valley Rosé – Blended

Stemilt Creek Winery
2014 Ascent Syrah, Columbia Valley, Syrah ($35 – Over)

Tildio Winery
2013 Estate Tempranillo, Lake Chelan, Syrah ($35 – Over)

Tsillan Cellars
2016 Estate Dry Riesling, Lake Chelan, Riesling ($20 – Over)

Villa Monaco
2014 Corner Store Cab, Walla Walla, Cabernet ($20 – $35)

Wine Girl Wines
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Agate Fields, Cabernet $35 – Over)


Diamonds of the Decade

Seattle Wine Award’s “Diamonds of The Decade” award is an evaluation of red wines from the 2007 vintage recognizing class, elegance, balance and beauty. Much like great Burgundy and Bordeaux wines, the Diamond of The Decade is a salute to longevity and world-class Washington wines.

Chateau Fair Le Pont Winery
2007 Syrah, Wahluke Slope ($20 – $35)

Chateau Fair Le Pont Winery
2007 Confluence, Columbia Valley ($35 – Over)

Chateau Fair Le Pont Winery
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills ($35 – Over)

Chateau Fair Le Pont Winery
2007 Merlot, Wahluke Slope, Merlot ($35 – Over)

Chateau Fair Le Pont Winery
2007 Tre Amore, Columbia Valley, Proprietary ($35 – Over)

Chateau Fair Le Pont Winery
2007 Provence, Columbia Valley, Rhône Style ($35 – Over)

Kestrel Vintners
2007 Two Ton Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley

 

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Jones of Washington: Platinum Judging 2016

Jones of Washington has won 13 Platinum awards, making them one of twenty-five wineries to have won at least 10 platinums during the competition's first 17 years.

Double Gold:

  • 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Ancient Lakes of Columbia • $17
  • 2015 Roussanne, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley • $25
  • 2015 Rose of Syrah, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley • $14
  • 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2012 Jack's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2012 Sangiovese, Columbia Valley • $17

Gold:

  • 2014 Viognier, Wahluke Slope
  • 2014 Chardonnay, Wahluke Slope • $14
  • 2012 Merlot, Columbia Valley
  • 2012 Barrel Select Red Blend, Wahluke Slope $30

Wines made by Victor Palencia went on to win five Platinum awards, two for his eponymous brand in Walla Walla, two for Jones of Washington on the Wahluke Slope, and his gorgeous work for rosé led to a Platinum for his Vino La Monarcha label.

Best Buy!
Jones of Jones of Washington 2014 Pinot Gris, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley • $13
Victor Palencia, the usual suspect when Ancient Lakes fruit is involved in award-winning whites, has created another winner with this Pinot Gris. It combines nice acidity, white peach aromas and flavors, a touch of herbs and tropical fruit, producing a wine so charming that even the most devout fan of Oregon Pinot Gris will find easy to love. (2,030 cases, 13.4% alc.) Awards: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (double gold), Seattle Wine Awards (double gold), Denver Wine Competition (gold).

Best Buy!
Jones of Washington 2015 Riesling, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley • $10
The Ancient Lakes region, Jones of Washington winery and winemaker Victor Palencia combined to nab another Platinum Award with this Riesling, which sports 1.9% residual sugar, tropical fruit, melons, guava and a nice spice note that’s reminiscent of cardamom. For those who don’t appreciate the petrol common to many Rieslings, there’s none noticeable in this one at this stage. (1,787 cases, 12.7% alc.) Awards: Wenatchee Wine and Food Festival (best white/gold medal).

Article by Great Northwest Wine, Wine Press Northwest

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Wenatchee Wine & Food Festival: How the Judging Works

How the Judging Works

STORY BY: RICK STEIGMEYER


The sixth wine competition for the Wenatchee Wine & Food Festival (formerly called the North Central Washington Wine Awards) was held June 7. Nine qualified judges on three panels tasted, compared and reviewed 233 wines from 35 NCW wineries. Judges gave out 10 Double Gold, 28 Gold, 105 Silver and 57 Bronze medals. Those are good numbers for a serious competition and a confirmation of the high quality of wines in our region.

For the first time, this year's group of judges included three experts from Western Washington.

This was my third year as a judge. The first year, I thought my taste buds and brain cells were going to explode with so many wines and quick decisions to make through six relentless hours of tasting 100 or more wines. I have plenty of wine experience, but it pales compared to the other wine professionals on the panels. They've helped me learn the flaws that disqualify wines and the characteristics that define and well-made varietal or blend.

Judges are always looking – and sniffing and gargling – for that wine that stands out from the others, but awards are based on more than just what we like. Judges look for wines that are true to type and offer a satisfying, sometimes exceptional, drinking experience for all.

Wines are judged double blind. Judges don't know specifically which wineries are entered in the competition. Panel moderators tell the judges what type of varietal is in from of them but offer no wine specifics about the producer or source of the grapes.

A staff of backroom volunteers labels glasses, making sure the numbers on the glasses match the corresponding wine bottle as they pour a flight for judges.

Judges taste the wines in flights according to type. Judges inspect each wine's color and clarity and the clear layer at the top of the wine that offers information about its alcohol level. They swirl the wine to blend in oxygen and expose the delicate aromas. Finally they sip the wine and wash it over tastebuds in different parts of their mouth before spitting it into a cup. Notes are taken for each wine. Often, judges will revisit a wine a few times to see if it opens up given a few minutes more time.

Judges award each wine a Gold, Silver, Bronze or no medal. Once all the wines in a flight are scored, judges giving the score sheets to the moderator, who enters the scores in his computer that identifies each number with a specific wine. If all judges in a panel agree on a medal – say, Silver – That's what it is. If the three judges award Gold, the wine is elevated to Double Gold. If there are differences of opinion, the moderator calls for a discussion to reach a consensus. Judges can take another sip and argue their case up or down on the medal scale until they agree.

Washington, including NCW, is on the threshold of becoming known as one of the world's great wine-producing regions. It's a very young industry here. Wine grape growers are still experimenting with what grows best in the diverse central Washington climate and soil. So far, they're learning there aren't many grapes the state can't grow well.

Growers are taking the challenge and planting more unusual varieties that winemakers can experiment with and keep up with the growing number of educated wine drinkers who want something different from the standard Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Gris.

As judges, we got to taste more exotic reds including Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Malbec, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, Carmenere, Sangiovese, Grenache, Tempranillo and more, Whites included Viognier, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Semillon and others. Wine drinkers have more and more to choose from at our own local tasting rooms that offer wine education along with sips of their latest wines.


Pick up a copy of the September-October 2016 Foothills magazine to read the article and see event photos or subscribe on their website here.

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Wenatchee Wine & Food Festival Winners 2016

Wenatchee Wine & Food Festival

2016 Double Gold & Gold Winners

Congratulations to all our local wineries who took part in the Wenatchee Wine & Food Festival.


Double Gold

Red Blend
Silvara Vineyards
2013 Meritage, Columbia Valley, $42 (187 cases)

Sauvignon Blanc
Jones of Washington
2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $17 (709 cases)

Syrah
Tsillan Cellars
2013 Estate Reserve Syrah, Lake Chelan, $35 (511 cases)

Syrah
Tunnel Hill Winery
2014 Syrah, Lake Chelan, $30 (151 cases)

Chardonnay
Jones of Washington
2014 Chardonnay, Wahluke Slope, $14 (1,942 cases)
BEST OF CLASS

Chardonnay
Lost River Winery
2014 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $18 (250 cases)

Gewürztraminer
Eagle Creek Winery
2014 Gewürztraminer, Columbia Valley, $19 (1,942 cases)
BEST OF CLASS

Merlot
Silvara Vineyards
2014 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $32 (120 cases)

Red Blend
Cairdeas Winery
2013 Tri, Yakima Valley $36 (250 cases)
BEST OF CLASS


Gold

Cabernet Franc
Beaumont Cellars
2014 Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley, $32 (60 cases)

Cabernet Franc
Ginko Forest Winery
2013 Cabernet Franc, Wahluke Slope, $30 (120 cases)

Cabernet Franc
Malaga Springs Winery
2016 Cabernet Franc, Columbia  Valley, $22 (75 cases)

Cabernet Franc
Plain Cellars
2013 Cabernet Franc, Yakima Valley, $28 (85 cases)
BEST OF CLASS

Cabernet Sauvignon
Cave B Estate Winery
2012 XXVII Cabernet Sauvignon, Colombia Valley, $48 (100 cases)
BEST OF CLASS

Cabernet Sauvignon
Chateau Fair Le Pont
2012 Elerding Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $46 (244 cases)

Cabernet Sauvignon
Martin-Scott Winery
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain, $28 (88 cases)

Chardonnay
Plain Cellars
2014 Chardonnay, Snipes Mountain, $26 (80 cases)

Chenin Blanc
Malaga Springs Winery
2015 Chenin Blanc, Columbia Valley, $16 (40 cases)

Merlot
Brender Canyon Vineyard
2012 Merlot, Washington, $28 (26 cases)

Merlot
Horan Estates Winery
2013 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $24 (100 cases)

Merlot
Lost River Winery
2012 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $25 (280 cases)
BEST OF CLASS

Pinot Noir
Chelan Estate Winery
2010 Pinot Noir, Lake Chelan, $25 (390 cases)
BEST OF CLASS

Pinot Noir
Rio Vista Wines
2014 Pinot Noir, Columbia Valley, $42 (60 cases)

Red Blend
Malaga Springs Winery
2014 AlyKat Red Blend, Columbia Valley, $24 (75 cases)

Red Blend
Ryan Patrick Wines
2013 Rock Island Red, Columbia Valley, $20 (500 cases)

Rosé
Rio Vista Wines
2015 Pinot Noir Rosé, Columbia Valley, $25 (112 cases)

Rosé
Ryan Patrick Wines
2015 Rosé, Columbia Valley, $12 (500 cases)

Roussanne
Cave B Estate Winery
2015 Roussanne, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $25 (175 cases)

Sauvignon Blanc
Crayelle Cellars
2015 Neve's Blanc Sauvignon Blanc, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $21 (40 cases)

Syrah
Malaga Springs Winery
2016 Syrah, Columbia Valley, $24 (50 cases)

Syrah
Milbrandt Vineyards
2013 Estates Northridge Syrah, Wahluke Slope, $42 (140 cases)

Syrah
Tsillan Cellars
2013 Estate Syrah, Lake Chelan, $30 (562 cases)
BEST OF CLASS

Syrah
MVP Vintners
2014 Vino Secreto Syrah, Columbia Valley, $55 (199 cases)

Viognier
Rio Vists Wines
2015 Viognier, Columbia Valley, $25 (96 cases)
BEST OF CLASS


Pick up a copy of the September-October 2016 Foothills magazine for a complete list of award winners or subscribe on their website here.

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Winners from the 2016 Wenatchee Wine & Food Festival

And the winners are...

31 wineries, 233 wines compete

by Rick Steigmeyer, Business World

 

Here are the medal winners from this year’s Wenatchee Wine & Food Festival wine competition. Nine judges swirled, sipped and spit out 233 wines from 31 regional wineries for the sixth annual competition.

About 15 percent won double gold or gold medals, 45 percent won silver medals durng the June judging. Best of varietal and best of show winners will be announced at the Wine & Food Festival Aug. 27 at Town Toyota Center.

All of the medal winners and stories about the top winning wineries will be in the Foothills magazine Wine Issue, which will be distributed statewide in late August.

Congratulations to all of our great local wineries!

37 Cellars — Bronze: 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015 Chardonnay 2013 Merlot

Baroness Cellars — Silver: 2012 Nebbiolo, Huntress, Sunshine Sangria; Bronze: 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

Beaumont Cellars — Gold: 2014 Cabernet Franc; Silver: 2013 Reserve Merlot, 2013 Reserve Petit Verdot, 2015 Tempranillo, 2013 Reserve Syrah; Bronze: 2014 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 Zinfandel, 2015 Riesling

Benson Vineyards — Silver: 2015 Chardonnay, 2015 Viognier; Bronze: 2015 Curiosity

Bergdorf Cellars — Silver: 2010 Mourvedre, 2013 Pinot Noir, 2012 Double Cabernet

Brender Canyon Vineyard — Gold: 2012 Merlot; Bronze: 2014 Brender Canyon Vineyard Clusterphobia

Cairdeas Winery — Gold: 2013 Tri; Silver: 2015 Grenache Blanc, 2013 Syrah; Bronze: 2013 Consonance, 2015 Nellie Mae, 2015 Northern White

Cave B Estate Winery — Gold: 2012 XXVII Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015 Roussanne; Silver: 2013 Cabernet Franc, 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Malbec, 2012 Merlot, 2012 XXVII Merlot, 2012 Tempranillo, 2015 Gewurztraminer, 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, 2013 Caveman Red, 2012 Cuvee du Soleil, 2015 Dry Rose, 2015 Viognier; Bronze: 2013 Barbera, 2013 Sangiovese, 2013 Syrah, 2015 Cuvee Blanc

Chateau Faire Le Pont — Gold: 2012 Elerding Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon; Silver: 2012 Confluence; Bronze: 2012 Malbec

Chelan Estate Winery — Gold: 2010 Pinot Noir; Silver: 2013 Merlot, 2013 Petit Verdot, 2013 Reserve Red

Crayelle Cellars — Gold: 2015 Neve’s Blanc Sauvignon Blanc; Silver: 2014 Bishop’s Block, 2014 Gabriel’s Horn (Red Blend), 2015 Rose

Eagle Creek Winery — Double Gold: 2014 Gewurztraminer; Silver: 2014 Cabernet Franc, 2014 Chenin Blanc, 2014 Montage Blend Merlot and Cabernet Franc, 2014 Alder Weiss; Bronze: 2014 D. LoVarco Super Tuscan Blend

Errant Cellars — Silver: 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 Sangiovese, 2014 8/05 Red, 2014 Henry’s Red, 2014 Raven’s Red, 2013 Syrah, 2015 Patio White; Bronze; 2014 Cabernet Franc, 2014 Malbec, 2013 Merlot, 2014 Syrah, 2015 Wanderer’s White

Esther Briques Winery — Silver: 2014 Pinot Noir, 2015 Syrah Rose

Ginkgo Forest Winery — Gold: 2013 Cabernet Franc; Silver: 2012 Raspberry Sensation (Lot 2), 2012 Carmenere, 2013 Intrigue; Bronze: 2012 Malbec, 2012 Merlot, 2013 Barbera, 2015 Gewurztraminer

Horan Estates Winery — Gold: 2013 Merlot; Silver: 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 HVH, 2012 Reserve Syrah, 2013 CWM Syrah; Bronze: 2014 Viognier

Icicle Ridge Winery — Bronze: 2015 The Blondes Gewurztraminer, 2015 Syrah

Jones of Washington — Double Gold: 2014 Chardonnay, 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, 2015 Riesling;Gold: 2015 Rose of Syrah; Silver: 2012 Jack’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 Reiman Simmons House Red Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015 Chardonnay, 2015 Pinot Gris, 2012 Barrel Select Red, 2013 Syrah, 2015 Viognier; Bronze: 2012 Pybus Market Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 Merlot, 2013 Carmenere, 2012 Sangiovese

Leony’s Cellars — Bronze: 2014 Ascendance Cabernet Franc, 2014 Gewurztraminer

Lost River Winery — Double Gold: 2014 Chardonnay; Gold: 2012 Merlot; Bronze: 2012 Syrah

Malaga Springs Winery — Gold: 2013 Cabernet Franc, 2015 Chenin Blanc, 2014 Al y Kat Red Blend, 2013 Syrah; Silver: 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 Zin’s Best Port Style Desert Wine, 2015 Blanc de Noir, 2015 Viognier; Bronze: 2014 Zinfandel

Martin Scott Winery — Gold: 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon; Silver: 2013 Cabernet Franc, 2013 Montepulciano, 2013 Gewurztraminer, 2015 Pinot Gris, 2015 Rose of Sangiovese; Bronze:Tempranillo, 2014 Muscat Canelli, 2011 Coles Collage, 2014 Viognier, 2014 Peddler’s White

Milbrandt Vineyards — Gold: 2013 Estates Northridge Syrah; Silver: 2014 Traditions Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 The Estates Evergreen Vineyard Chardonnay, 2014 Traditions Riesling; Bronze:2013 Estates Malbec

MVP Vintners — Gold: 2014 Vino Secreto Syrah; Silver: 2014 Vino Secreto Malbec; Bronze: 2013 Chateau Picard ‘Kokomo’ Viognier

Plain Cellars — Gold: 2013 Cabernet Franc, 2014 Chardonnay; Silver: 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Malbec, 2013 Tempranillo, 2013 Eclipse Red Blend, 2013 Just Plain Red, 2013 Summer Solstice Red; Bronze: 2013 Petite Syrah

Rio Vista Wines — Gold: 2014 Pinot Noir, 2015 Pinot Noir Rose, 2015 Viognier; Silver: 2013 Cabin Cabernet Franc, 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Merlot, 2013 Tempranillo, 2014 River View Red, 2014 Sunset on the River, 2015 Wacky White; Bronze: 2013 Malbec, 2012 Loony Red

Rocky Pond Winery — Gold: 2013 Late Harvest Riesling; Silver: 2014 VSPN Late Harvest, 2014 Stratastone, 2013 Glacial Treasure; Bronze: 2014 Viognier

Ryan Patrick Wines — Gold: 2013 Rock Island Red, 2015 Rose; Silver: 2013 Reserve Grenache, 2013 Reserve Syrah; Bronze: 2015 Riesling

Silvara Vineyards — Double Gold: 2014 Merlot, 2013 Meritage; Gold: 2014 Malbec

Snowgrass Winery — Silver: 2014 Silver Falls Syrah

Stemilt Creek Winery — Silver: 2011 A Day’s Work Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011 Caring Passion Merlot, Sweet Adelaide, Nettie Rose; Bronze: 2011 Boss Lady Red Blend

Tsillan Cellars — Double Gold: 2013 Estate Reserve Syrah; Gold: 2013 Estate Syrah; Silver:2013 Estate Malbec, 2015 Estate Dry Riesling, 2015 Estate Riesling; Bronze: 2015 Estate Nudo Chardonnay

Tunnel Hill Winery — Double Gold: 2014 Syrah; Silver: 2014 Malbec, 2014 Estate Pinot Noir, Sacrilege; Bronze: 2015 Estate Riesling, 2015 Estate Pinot Noir Rose, 2015 Estate Viognier

Villa Monaco Winery — Silver: 2013 Corner Store Cab, 2013 Merlot, 2013 Ruthie’s Reserve

Wedge Mountain Winery — Silver: 2014 Cabernet Franc, 2014 Chardonnay; Bronze:2014 Lemberger

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NCW Wine through History

Wine has caught fire over the last two decades in North Central Washington. Locally produced wines and grapes contribute to a state industry that conservatively supports some 30,000 jobs, pays $543 million in state and federal taxes and contributes some $9 billion annually to the state economy, according to an April 2012 study prepared for the Washington State Wine Commission.

Here’s a look at a history of industry milestones in NCW, based on The Wenatchee World’s archive, the recollections longtime area winemakers, and local researchers. World reporter, wine blogger and wine maker Rick Steigmeyer contributed ample guidance.

 

Wine industry milestones

1860s

German hunter and trapper, “Dutch John” Galler, is thought to have been the first to plant a vineyard in the Wenatchee area. At age 105, Galler told The Wenatchee Daily World in a two-part interview Aug, 15-16, 1918, that he raised grapes and made wine. In later accounts, his children and family friends said he’d sell the wine from his Malaga farm to railroad workers and travelers over Colockum Pass.

1900s

North Central Washington residents are thought to have been making wine in small batches to enjoy and share but not necessarily with locally grown grapes. By now, the region’s cold winters and frosty springs were thought too severe to support wine grapes.

1980

Champs de Brionne Winery, owned by Vince and Carol Bryan, becomes the first to plant grapes north of I-90. They harvested their first grapes in 1984. The Bryans later sold that property, along with The Gorge Amphitheater. About a decade later they launched the boutique Cave B Estates Winery and vineyards.

1984

Columbia Valley AVA created. At a total 11 million acres it today encompasses NCW’s Wahluke Slope, Lake Chelan and Ancient Lakes AVAs.

1986

Cameron Fries launches his White Heron Cellars in Trinidad with grapes grown by others, including Wenatchee Valley Vintners, an early vineyard planted by Mike and Debbie Hanson near Pangborn Memorial Airport. It was later killed by frost. Fries planted his first grapes in 1990.

Late 1980s

The Wenatchee World has a policy against publishing articles involving alcoholic beverages, including wine.

1993

Warren Moyles plants what is thought to be the first sustainable Wenatchee-area vineyard on an acre of land between Cashmere and Dryden. His grapes, planted lower in the ground, insulated with straw and drip irrigated, flourished and defied the naysayers who insisted the region was too cold. Moyles is today considered by many to be the “godfather” of Wenatchee Valley wine.

1995-96

Severe freeze kills thousands of acres of grape vines in southern Washington. Chateau Ste. Michelle Estates urges Columbia Basin farmers to plant vineyards and sell the grapes, on contract for reliable yearly returns. The basin’s millions of years of volcanic activity, glacial scraping and cataclysmic floods proved ideal for producing intensely flavorful grapes.

1998

Chateau Ste. Michelle’s offer did the trick, triggering an explosion in grape growing in the Columbia Basin. Brothers Butch and Jerry Milbrandt plant their first grapes on the Wahluke Slope near Mattawa. Jack Jones began converting large tracts of potatoes and onions to vineyards. Other Columbia Basin landowners followed suit.Meanwhile in Chelan, Steve and Bobbi Kludt planted the first grapes to become wine pioneers with their Lake Chelan Winery and Wapato Point Cellars.

Late 1990s

Apple prices plummet in a market glut amid competition from China and New Zealand. Alfalfa, wheat and row crop growers were dealing with big market swings. Planting grapes on contract seemed like a good deal. Orchards came out. Large and growing vineyards in the Mattawa and Quincy areas were already selling grapes for Chateau Ste. Michelle and scores of small, award-winning wineries.

2000

The NCW wine industry enters period of aggressive growth. The Moyles’ La Toscana and the Kludts’ Lake Chelan Winery become the first in Chelan County to get state winery licenses. Many more would follow.

2001

Port of Chelan County gets $25,000 state grant for study that reveals that small, boutique wineries can be economically feasible in NCW. Many wineries use the study results to successfully qualify for bank financing. The port has contributed funding and expertise to help wineries organize and market their wines, including $5,000 in 2006 for Lake Chelan to apply to become an AVA. It has contributed $50,000 to $60,000 annually for marketing since 2009.

2006

Wahluke Slope AVA created. Between 1991 and 2010 (the latest state figures available), acreage dedicated to wine grapes here increased from 736 acres to 6,645 acres. Large plants to process grapes built in Mattawa.

2009

Lake Chelan AVA created. Wine grapes were growing on 247 acres there by 2010. About 30 wineries are currently in operation.

2011

World Publishing’s Foothills magazine launches the annual North Central Washington Wine Awards to recognize local industry excellence.

2012

Ancient Lakes AVA created. Nearly 1,400 acres were cultivated in grapes by 2010.

2015

Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Okanogan counties today contain 69 wineries. More than 43,000 acres are producing wine grapes with the region’s four AVAs. Vineyards in the Wahluke Slope and Ancient Lakes areas continue to supply the grapes for many of the state’s 850 wineries. Washington is the country’s second-biggest wine-producing state after California.

 

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Denver Post Travel: Wenatchee, the heart of fruit and wine country

The Denver Post Travel writer Francie Swidler recently took a tour of Wenatchee during her summer travels through Washington, and wrote a fantastic article about her experiences in the Columbia Valley.

"With its high-desert climate, Wenatchee resides within Columbia Valley, the state's largest wine region, where 99 percent of Washington's vineyards are planted. The city also is home to Stemilt Growers, the world's largest shipper of sweet cherries.

Wenatchee is even known as the apple capital of the world.

He had me at fruit and wine, but the list of land amenities kept abundantly growing.

Wenatchee's ski mountain, Mission Ridge, sees more than 300 sunny days a year (a bit of competition for Colorado there), and is less than a 30-minute drive from downtown. In the summer, the valley's uncrowded hiking trails beckon.

The nature of the city seemed to be all wrapped up in, well, nature, with the Wenatchee River to the north, the Columbia River to the east and the Wenatchee Mountains (a sub-range of the Cascades) to the west and south.

It was beginning to sound to me like the people of Wenatchee were in a serious, committed relationship with their land, and rough and bitter seasons only make their connection stronger."

Francie also made a Wenatchee Insider's guide of the favorite stops:

  • Apple Country Inn Bed & Breakfast
  • Warm Springs Inn & Winery
  • Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel
  • Pak it Rite
  • Stan's Merry Mart
  • Pybus Public Market
  • Dizzy D's
  • McGlinn's Public House
  • Joe's Log Cabin
  • Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga
  • Rocky Reach Dam
  • Stutzman Ranch U-Pick
  • Ohme Gardens

Read Full Article

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Results from the Riverside International Wine Competition

Wenatchee Wine Country wineries placed at the Riverside International Wine Competition in Temecula, CA.  Winners were:

Gold:  Martin-Scott Winery 2008 Raven Ridge Red

Silver:  Martin-Scott Winery 2006 Merlot

            Milbrandt Vineyards 2008 Traditions Cabernet Sauvignon

Bronze:  Milbrandt Vineyards 2009 Traditions Pinot Grigio

              Milbrandt Vineyards Traditions Merlot

              Saint Laurent NV Syrah Rose

              Saint Laurent Malaga Estate Vineyards Riesling

Cheers to these winners!

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Paul Gregutt sings the praises of Ancient Lakes Wines

Here are highlights from my recent tasting tour of the Ancient Lakes.

Crayelle Cellars 2009 Dry Riesling; $15
The winery motto is "Balance • Character • Longevity" and this shows every indication of having all three. Tart and racy in an Australian style, with lemon/lime fruit wrapped in dry minerals. Juicy and fragrant.

Jones of Washington 2010 Sauvignon Blanc; $15
Honeysuckle scents and ripe, fresh fruit flavors run from grapefruit on into tropical. This was fermented in Hungarian puncheons, picking up just a hint of toast along the way. Clean and quite delicious.

Cave B 2009 Viognier; $20
Estate-grown and 100% varietal. I have rarely had a Viognier this delicious with a meal. Orange blossoms and tangerine highlights accompanied a spectacular beet/goat cheese salad from chef Bear Ullman at Cave B's Tendrils restaurant. A yum-a-thon all the way.

Saint Laurent 2008 Lucky White; $12
This pleasant blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling has the flesh, the fruit and the bracing acidity to be a fine summer sipper. Peaches and herb (say, weren't they a singing duo?) dominate, with a fresh, fleshy finish.

Ryan Patrick 2008 Reserve Chardonnay; $18
The fruit shines here, with flavors running from apples to bananas, and a pleasant wash of toast running into the finish. Broad, accessible, and well-priced.

White Heron 2008 Dry Rosé; $10
The color of this Syrah-based rosé is a bright copper. it is bone dry, with a slightly sour aftertaste. If you enjoy French rosés with a little bottle age, this is the wine for you.

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Jones and Martin-Scott win awards at the 2011 San Diego Intl. Wine Competition

Congratulations to Jones of WA on the following awards:

Silver medal for 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Silver medal for 2007 Merlot, Silver medal for 2008 Syrah, and Silver medal for 2009 Chardonnay.  Good job! 

Martin-Scott Winery won Gold Medals for their 2008 Raven Ridge Red and 2008 Malbec.  Silver medals were earned for 2008 Petite Syrah and 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. Wow!

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Jones of WA wins more awards

At the Monterey Wine Competition:  

Silver medals:  2007 Barrel Select,  2007 Merlot, 2008 Syrah, and 2009 Chardonnay

 

At the Grand Harvest Awards:  

Gold"  2007 Merlot

Silver:  2007 Sangiovese

Bronze:  2009 Chardonnay

Congrats to Jones of WA!

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Chateau Faire le Pont Scores High in Wine Press Northwest


Chateau Faire Le Pont 2007 Merlot, Wahluke Slope, $22 Excellent

Chateau Faire Le Pont 2007 Confluence, Washington, $43 Outstanding

Chateau Faire Le Pont 2007 Provence, Columbia Valley, $35 Excellent

Chateau Faire Le Pont 2007 Tre Amore, Washington, $39 Excellent

Chateau Faire Le Pont 2007 Malbec, Horse Heaven Hills, $40 Outstanding

Chateau Faire Le Pont 2007 Syrah, Wahluke Slope, $25 Excellent


and  here's another great award for Chateau Faire le Pont:

  2010 WORLD WINE Championships -- Beverage Testing Institute

2007 Tre Amore Marries intensity and elegance

Retail $39.99  

GOLD Medal -- 93 Points “Exceptional”   

 

 

 December 2010  WINE SPECTATOR – WASHINGTON Syrah and Blends

Chateau Faire le Pont

 

2007 Provence Smooth and Inviting

Retail $34.99

Smooth and inviting, offering gorgeous licorice-inflected dark berry and earth flavors.  Long and supple, Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre – Columbia Valley. Drink now through 2014. 260 cases made.

 

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Ray's Boathouse Retrospective of NW Wines

 

WINNERS OF RAY’S BOATHOUSE 24TH ANNUAL 

RETROSPECTIVE OF NORTHWEST WINES COMPETITION ANNOUNCED

 Seattle, Washington – Every January, Ray’s Boathouse Restaurant on Shilshole Bay in Seattle, Washington conducts its Retrospective of Northwest Wines Competition. Now in its 24th year, this wine-lover’s event has uncovered hidden gems from up-and-coming wineries, as well as reaffirmed the well-deserved praise earned by established wineries. 

 On January 4-5, 2011, Ray’s wine director Richard Kelsey assembled a panel of judges consisting of sommeliers, wine writers and local wine experts to blind-taste Northwest wines released in 2010 (list of judges available upon request).

The Gold Winning Wines will be artfully paired with a delicious menu created by Ray’s Executive Chef Peter Birk and presented at the 24th Annual Retrospective Dinner with the winning winemakers in attendance.The dinner will be held on Friday, January 28, 2011, beginning at 6:30 PM. Cost is $75.00 per person, includes tax and gratuity. Reservations: 206.789.6309. 

 THE 2011 RETROSPECTIVE WINNERS from WENATCHEE WINE COUNTRY ARE:

 Gold:  Milbrandt Vineyards Traditions Pinot Gris, Columbia Valley 2009

Gold:  Martin-Scott Winery Raven Ridge Red, Columbia Valley 2007

Silver:  Milbrandt Vineyards Traditions Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2008

 


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WinePress Northwest awards

Horan Estates Winery received an Outstanding! award from the last November 2011 edition of Winepress Northwest on their 2006 CWM Syrah and 2006 HVH Red Blend, as well as an Excellent award on the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. Their 2006 HVH Red Blend was also chosen from one of the wine judges at WPNW as his “Dream Case” of wine for under $200.  

Jones of Wa also received a Platinum medal for their 2009 Rose of Syrah from Wine Press NW.  

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