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 May/June issue of Vineyard & Winery Management has a series of articles I wrote. The first is on the search for a perfect closure; the second is on Oregon's Salud! program; the third is on the worsening vineyard labor shortage; and the fourth is on proposed changes to appellation label laws (Note: all links open .pdf files).

Additionally, the May/June issue of Edible Seattle has an article I wrote on Fielding Hills. See a list of newsstand locations.

Enjoy!

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April Pic of the Vine

Thursday, April 30, 2015 0 comments

Last weekend’s Spring Barrel activities in Yakima Valley proved perfect for all – great weather, lots of local culinary excellence on hand, and enthusiastic wineries bubbling with gracious joy for the throngs of wine lovers who sipped the weekend away. Doggedly crisscrossing the valley’s wineries from Yakima to Prosser, resident photographer Richard Duval spent three days capturing the unofficial start of the Valley’s wine season.

“The wineries are as beautifully varied as any region in the state,” Duval noted of his first of many visits this season. “From elegant rooms to shiny new barrel rooms to big wineries surrounded by expansive vineyards like this image of acclaimed Dineen Vineyard, Yakima Valley’s stunning beauty and slew of wine choices makes for a great wine getaway all season long.”

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

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The April Virtual Tasting wine is the 2014 Renegade Wine Co. Rosé Columbia Valley. This wine retails for $11 and is widely available. The tasting will take place on Thursday April 30th 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 #renegadewine. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport.

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

From around the country…

Wine Spectator writes about Larry Stone’s new winery and vineyard.

The Miami Herald recommends the Ponzi Pinot Gris.

The Boston Globe writes about a Washington red that pairs with fish.

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Taste Washington in pictures

Thursday, April 16, 2015 0 comments

Resident photographer Richard Duval logged a full weekend at Taste Washington last month, capturing a slew of sips and swirls.

“From the morning seminars to the afternoon’s delights, Washington wine lovers reveled in one of the great wine events in the country," he said.

Here is Duval's photo collage of the event. Click on the picture to see a larger image.


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

From around the world…

The Drinks Business writes about Chateau Ste Michelle sharpening its export focus.

Wines & Vines writes that Red Mountain goes on-line.


From around the country…

The Atlanta Journal Constitution writes that Oregon’s getting excited about Chardonnay.

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

From around the world…

The Drinks Business writes about Oregon rose in a can.


From around the country…

Wine Enthusiast writes about eight excellent Oregon varieties that aren’t Pinot Noir.

The Boston Globe writes about Washington state wine.

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

From around the country…

The Sacramento Bee writes about Washington Riesling.

The Independent Record writes about wines for spring with a couple of Washington mentions.

The Sioux Falls Leader writes about white wines for warmer weather with a callout to the A to Z Pinot Gris.

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Come join me at Taste Washington

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 0 comments

Taste Washington, the nation’s largest single region wine and food event, is coming up March 26th through 29th. I’ll be moderating two seminars at the event this year. The first is on Saturday, March 28th and is titled ‘The Chardonnay Revival’ where we’ll be focusing on the resurgence of this variety in Washington of late (see a seminar description as well as the list of panelists and wines). Meanwhile on Sunday, March 29th, I’ll be moderating a seminar titled ‘Appellation Spotlight: Red Mountain’ where we’ll discuss this viticultural area’s rise to preeminence (see a seminar description as well as the list of panelists and wines). Ticket information is here. Come say hello! Also, keep an eye out for suggested wineries to visit during the Grand Tasting at Seattle Metropolitan next week. Happy Washington Wine Month!

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Growers in Washington are seeing bud break occur in certain varieties. The onset of the growing season looks to be historically early for some, even compared to the warm 2014 vintage.

“Bud break last year started April 5th, so we are certainly two weeks ahead of that,” said Ryan Driver, vineyard manager at Tertulia Cellars in the Walla Walla Valley. Driver has already seen bud break in Grenache at some of his vineyards.

Chris Figgins of Leonetti Cellar and FIGGINS has seen bud break in his Sangiovese at Seven Hills Vineyard. “I remember bud break in March before but certainly not March 15th!” Figgins said.

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

From around the country…

Wines & Vines writes about the Northwest’s early growing season.

The Poughkeepsie Journal writes about the Fox Farm Pinot Gris.

The Washington Times writes about Nevada lawmakers vetting a bill to ease restrictions on wineries.

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I want to touch briefly on how to keep up with what I am writing about Northwest wine in addition to what is appearing in this space.

I frequently post information about wines I'm sampling for Wine Enthusiast as well as personal bottles on my Washington Wine Report Facebook page. I encourage you to follow this page if you are not already. Additionally, I also tweet about various goings on at twitter.com/wawinereport. My reviews of Washington (and Idaho) wines as well as feature and other articles appear regularly in Wine Enthusiast magazine. While I encourage you to subscribe to the magazine, these are also all freely available on-line (Note: Wine Enthusiast is currently updating its content management system so things should be easier to find in the near future if all goes well).

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Below is the first installment of my Wine Enthusiast reviews to be published to this space. They are reviews for the December 31, 2014 issue of the magazine and encompass the appellations that I was assigned to review prior to my assuming review responsibilities for all of Washington October 1st of last year.

Wines are listed alphabetically by winery. Read additional information on how I review wines here. All of these reviews are freely available on-line at the Wine Enthusiast Buying Guide. There is also a freely available Wine Enthusiast Tasting Guide app.

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from March 1st to 7th 2015. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country…

D Magazine says to drink Oregon Chardonnay.

Shanken Daily News writes about 14 Hands partnering with the Kentucky Derby to make a limited edition red blend.

The Wall Street Journal writes about the red blend trend.

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The March issue of Wine Enthusiast has a feature article I authored on Red Mountain with images from resident photographer Richard Duval (apologies in advance for the six click throughs).

The March-April issue of Vineyard & Winery Management has an article about Antonio Galloni's Vinous (Note: opens .pdf).

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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…

Business Vancouver writes that the Aquilinis press on in their Washington state wine venture.


From around the country…

Wines & Vines writes about grape growers discussing vintage variation.

Wine Business.com writes about the Oregon Wine Symposium.

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February Pic of the Vine

Saturday, February 28, 2015 0 comments

The just-released March issue of Wine Enthusiast carries a feature article I authored on Red Mountain, one of the nation’s premier wine regions. The article is illustrated with photographs from our resident photographer, Richard Duval.

“This article was a bit different from some others I’ve worked on with Sean in that we knew we’d be collaborating up front,” Duval said. “It made for a fun photo pairing, like this one from Klipsun Vineyard that the magazine used for the opening spread.” Read the article and see other images here.

See other Pic of the Vine images.

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On wine ratings

Friday, February 27, 2015 0 comments

As all of my reviews and scores for Washington wines will now be published in Wine Enthusiast rather than in this space, I want to take a moment to talk about how these scores relate to the rating system that I have used here, how wines are rated and reviewed at Wine Enthusiast, and more generally how I think about wine ratings.

Several years back I published the following comparison of the five star rating system that I have used here as it relates to my original scoring system and also the 100-point scale. I am republishing it here for reference.

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The February Virtual Tasting is tonight! The wine is the Saviah Cellars 2012 The Jack Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley. This wine retails for $18 and is widely available. The tasting will take place tonight, Thursday February 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

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

From around the country…

Wine Enthusiast writes about Red Mountain rising (article by yours truly). Please bear with the six (!) advancement arrows.

Forbes writes that Gallo does Washington.

The Yamhill News Register writes about record temperatures in Washington and Oregon.

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The February Virtual Tasting wine is the Saviah Cellars 2012 The Jack Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley. This wine retails for $18 and is widely available. The tasting will take place on Thursday February 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

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from February 8th to 14th 2015. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country…

Wine Enthusiast writes about Oregon’s value Pinot Noir.


From the blogosphere…

Great Northwest Wine writes that a rule change would help many Northwest wineries. They also write about the Barnard Griffin Rosé, a Millennial-themed wine eventWAWGG, and that Cayuse won’t use The Rocks District on its labels.

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On Monday the Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposed a rule that, if enacted, would significantly alter the way that appellation names can be used on wine labels. Specifically, the proposed rule – issued in Notice No. 147 - would allow wineries to use single state appellations of origin on labels if they are in an adjacent state.

Currently, Federal law states that, in order to use an appellation of origin, a wine must be ‘fully finished’ in the state in which the appellation lies. That is to say, a Washington-based winery, for example, cannot use an Oregon located appellation on their label. The proposed rule would broaden this to allow adjacent states to use single state appellations.

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2014 was once again a year for the record books in Washington, with the state producing 227,000 tons of wine grapes. This was an increase of 8% over the previous year, though the number was less than the 240,000 tons initially forecast.

Production of white wine grapes shot up 16% with much of this increase accounted for by Riesling, which increased a whopping 26% from 2013. Riesling became Washington's most produced grape variety in 2014 at 50,500 tons, eclipsing Chardonnay (43,000 tons) and Cabernet Sauvignon (42,200).

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from February 1st to 7th 2015. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country…

Shanken Daily News writes about Oregon wine. Read part two here. They also write about Drinkspace.

Memphis City Magazine writes about Pinot Noir by the growler.

Bloomberg writes about a $300 Oregon Pinot Noir.

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