Overview


Washington Wine Report is an independent publication focused on bringing Northwest wine to you and bringing you to Northwest wine. Our goal is:
  • To help you select Pacific Northwest wines at a variety of price levels
  • To keep you up-to-date about the Northwest’s wineries, vineyards, and individuals
  • To help you plan trips to wine country
  • To connect you to the larger wine community

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'14 Tour Guide

Reviewed Wineries

The Walla Walla Valley wine scene has been booming since the turn of the new century, with well over 100 tasting rooms and wineries now calling the valley home. Ten years ago as the valley started to garner increasing acclaim, one of the knocks I would hear was that there were few vineyards in the area. While numerous wineries in Walla Walla are still sourcing grapes from across Washington - and many always will - the valley has seen a sharp increase in plantings in the last decade, allowing an increasing number of wineries to source valley fruit for their wines.

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The following article was written by Ryan Messer. Read previous articles by Messer here.

After 14 years producing wine in St. Paul, Oregon, Owen Roe has moved production of its Washington wines to Wapato in the Yakima Valley. A new production facility has been completed and is slated to open April 26th. Production of the winery's Willamette Valley wines will continue to take place in Oregon.

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A round-up of stories on Washington wine from April 1st to April 7th. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country...

Wines & Vines writes about Washington’s wineries coveting old vines. They also write about Aquilini purchasing 700 additional acres in the Horse Heaven Hills.

Shanken News Daily writes that V2 Wine Group takes on sales and marketing For Hedges Family Estate.

The San Francisco Examiner writes about Oregon making its mark with Pinot Noir.

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The April Virtual Tasting wine is the Renegade Wine Co 2013 Columbia Valley Róse. This wine retails for $10 and is fairly widely available. The tasting will take place on Thursday April 24th from 7-8pm Pacific.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from the winery or a local retailer (see below)

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A round up of stories on Northwest wine from March 22nd to March 31st. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country...

Wine Enthusiast writes that Taste Washington offers support to mudslide victims.

The La Crosse Tribune picks the Thorny Rose Red Blend 2011 as its wine of the week.

The Greenfield Daily Reporter writes about the opening of the Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center.

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Though plantings of Rhone varieties beyond Syrah remain miniscule in Washington (see chart below), there is no doubt that Rhone wines are on the rise in the state. From Grenache Blanc to Picpoul, Cinsault to Mourvèdre, winemakers and consumers alike are showing an increased interest in varieties native to France’s Rhone Valley. Moreover, these varieties are creating some of the state’s most exciting wines.

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The 2014 growing season is officially underway in Washington. This picture of budbreak in Chardonnay at Columbia Valley's Sagemoor Vineyard comes courtesy of Lacey Lybeck (@LaceyLybeck). Let the season begin!

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Double Canyon in the Horse Heaven Hills has named Jason Ledbetter as its winemaker. Ledbetter comes from Napa Valley’s Pine Ridge Vineyards where he spent four years as assistant winemaker.

“I’m thrilled to be involved with this exciting new project,” Ledbetter said.

Crimson Wine Group, owners of Pine Ridge Vineyards as well as several other wineries, acquired the Double Canyon property in 2005. The vineyard is adjacent to Champoux Vineyard and is farmed by Will Beightol whose father manages nearby Phinny Hill.

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A belated round up of stories on Washington wine from March 15th to March 21st. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world…

The Drinks Business.com writes that Oregon is on the verge of something exciting.


From around the country...

Fox Business.com writes about Starbucks expanding its wine sales.

Forbes writes about wines with an Irish soul with a callout to Two Mountain Winery.

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The March Virtual Tasting is tonight! The wine is the Tamarack Cellars 2012 Firehouse Red Red Wine. This wine retails for $18 and is widely available. The tasting will take place tonight (Wednesday March 26th) from 7-8pm Pacific.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from the winery or a local retailer (see below)

2. Tweet your comments about the wine on Twitter between 7 and 8pm Pacific on the specified date using the hashtag #firehousered. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport.

Join us!

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March Pic of the Vine

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 0 comments

Forget groundhogs; toss the tulips; dodge the opening pitch. The first sign of spring for Washington wine folk is surely Taste Washington, the two-day event that caps a grand Washington Wine Month. Resident Washington Wine Report photographer Richard Duval offers this image captured at one of the many wine soirees he covers all year long. “Nothing says spring quite like an open bottle poised above many glasses waiting to be filled,” he said.

Duval has been a busy photographer of late. You will find his 6.5’ x 26’ mural of a vineyard image at the newly refurbished Columbia Winery tasting room; the Spring issue of Washington Tasting Room Magazine carries his story and photographs of three days in the Wenatchee valley; and he photographed the wines for the recent article in Wine Enthusiast magazine on Washington Rhones I co-authored with Paul Gregutt.

Click on this month's picture for a larger image.

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Taste Washington Cometh!

Friday, March 21, 2014 1 comments

With spring finally upon us, it can only mean one thing – and no it’s not three more months of rain in the Northwest. It’s Taste Washington!

This year’s annual event takes place in Seattle on March 29th and 30th. For those who have never attended – and those who have – it’s a great opportunity to taste an enormous selection of Northwest wines in one location. To wit, this year’s event includes 226 wineries and 68 local restaurants.

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America's Róse Revolution

Thursday, March 20, 2014 1 comments

Well, with months of dreary winter weather behind us and, yes, months of dreary spring weather still in front of us here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s time to celebrate the beginning of spring. And nothing rings in the start of the season quite like the release of the new vintage of róses.

There has been a true róse revolution in the Northwest of late for both winemakers and consumers. On the winemaker side, there was long a focus on saignée-style wines where winemakers bled tanks during fermentation and used juice designated for red wine production (if you are trying to determine if this is the case, alcohol level can often be your guide; look below 14% for wines specifically made for róse). These wines were often more cash flow oriented than a deliberate attempt to make high quality wine. The result was often dark, sweet, higher alcohol, and lower acid wines, sometimes made from grapes that just weren’t a good fit for róse (Note: If the grape hasn’t been used extensively for róse elsewhere in the world, the chances of it working here in the Northwest are probably not high).

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A round up of stories on Northwest wine from March 8th to March 14th.  Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world…

The Prince George Citizen writes about wines from the Columbia Valley.
       

From around the country...

Wine Enthusiast writes about Ste. Michelle Wine Estates purchasing property in the Eola-Amity Hills (article by yours truly).

Forbes writes about Union Wine Co.

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The March issue of Wine Enthusiast has an article on Washington Rhone-style wines I co-authored with Paul Gregutt. Read the article here. The March/April issue of Edible Seattle has another article I authored on Washington Rhone-style wines. See a list of newsstand locations here.

Enjoy!

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The March Virtual Tasting wine is the Tamarack Cellars 2012 Firehouse Red Red Wine. This wine retails for $18 and is widely available. The tasting will take place on Wednesday March 26th from 7-8pm Pacific.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from the winery or a local retailer (see below)

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from March 1st to 7th 2014. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world…

Decanter writes about Cabernet Sauvignon becoming Washington’s top grape.

The Prince George Citizen (British Columbia) writes about great wines from the Columbia Valley.


From around the country…

USA Today writes about the 10 best wine destinations with a shout out to Walla Walla.

Wines & Vines writes about Washington’s record harvest.

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It’s official. With the release of the 2013 grape production data from the USDA on Monday, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the most produced wine grape variety in Washington. Cabernet leapfrogged up from its long-held position of third behind Chardonnay and Riesling. Those two grapes have for years traded places for the top spot.

42,600 tons of Cabernet Sauvignon were produced in 2013, up a staggering 19% from 2012. Cabernet Sauvignon made up one fifth of Washington’s production in 2013, which set a record of 210,000 tons. Overall production was up by 12% from 2012, with most of this increase due to additional plantings coming on-line.

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from February 22nd to 28th. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world…

Manila Standard writes about winery concerts with a shout out to Chateau Ste. Michelle.

Decanter writes about changes at Evening Land Vineyards.

China Post writes about Washington wine.

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The February Virtual Tasting is tonight! The wine is the 2010/2011 Kiona Vineyards & Winery Lemberger (see vintage explanation below). This wine retails for $15 and is widely available. The tasting will take place tonight, Thursday February 27th, from 7-8pm Pacific.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from the winery or a local retailer (see below)

2. Tweet your comments about the wine on Twitter between 7 and 8pm Pacific on the specified date using the hashtag #kiona. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport.

* The Kiona Lemberger is currently between vintages so readers may see either the 2010 and 2011 vintages on the shelf depending on where in the country you live.

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Fresh Sheet February 26th 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 1 comments







Today’s Fresh Sheet – new and recent releases – includes wines from Mark Ryan WineryKerloo CellarsEFESTEEight Bells WineryAuclair WineryButy Winery, and Robert Ramsay Cellars.

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February Pic of the Vine

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 0 comments

As the end of February draws near and we gaze at the calendar, longing for spring and the warmer weather it brings, this month contributing photographer Richard Duval offers an image he has appropriately titled 'Waiting.'

“It’s just a reminder that what we get to sample come spring is almost certainly worth the wait,” he said. “But in the meantime, we simply wait and wait and wait . . .” Fear not, before long the new growing season in the Northwest will be upon us.

Click on the picture for a larger image. See previous Pic of the Vine images here.

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from February 15th to February 21st.  Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country...

Wine Enthusiast Magazine writes about Washington's Rise of the Rhônes (article co-authored by yours truly).

Wine Spectator writes about more changes at Evening Land.

Wines & Vines writes about the Wine Science Center streamlining its budget.

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from February 8th to 14th. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world…

The Drinks Business writes that Obama serves ‘cheap’ U.S. wine (low value article but interesting to see that they picked up this story).


From around the country…

Vineyard & Winery Management writes about Chardonnay in focus at the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers conference (article by yours truly).

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The February Virtual Tasting wine is the 2010/2011 Kiona Vineyards & Winery Lemberger (see vintage explanation below). This wine retails for $15 and is widely available. The tasting will take place on Thursday February 27th from 7-8pm Pacific.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from the winery or a local retailer (see below)

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