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

Our June Virtual Tasting is tonight from 7-8pm Pacific Time! The wine will be the 2008 Saviah Cellars The Jack.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from a local retailer or from the winery

2. Post your comments/tweets on the wine that night between 7 and 8pm. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport. I will be using the hashtag #wawine during the event.

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Reminder June's Virtual Tasting will take place on Wednesday June 30th at 7pm. Read more about it here.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion on the Washington wine industry at the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla. In an all-too-short forty minutes, co-panelists Paul Gregutt (Wine Enthusiast, PaulGregutt.com), Coman Dinn (Director of Winemaking, Hogue Cellars), and I discussed Washington's viticultural areas, weather patterns, most important grapes, and recent trends. Here is a summary of the material I presented on recent trends in the Washington wine industry.

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Heading home today from Walla Walla after a long weekend in town for the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference.

On every trip to the area, I am struck by the sheer physical beauty of the Walla Walla Valley. Today, just a few pictures from a visit to Spofford Station. Click on the pictures for larger versions.

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WBC here we come!

Thursday, June 24, 2010 0 comments

Off to Walla Walla for the Wine Bloggers Conference. This conference, which has previously taken place in Napa and Sonoma, is now in its third year. Look for updates on Twitter and here over the course of the conference. Looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones. See the conference agenda here.

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A round-up of stories on Washington wine from June 15th to 21st.


From around the country…


Wine Spectator
writes about Washington wineries cutting back (see a related post from Paul Gregutt below).

The New York Times writes about American Gewürztraminer with a brief mention of Washington.

Las Vegas Review-Journal
writes about Washington Syrah.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes about Mercer Estates.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes about the Red Diamond Merlot.

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Recently I wrote a post about Ten Myths About Wineries, Social Media, and Their Interaction. Today, I continue with a series of questions for wineries to ask before becoming involved in Social Media. While I write this in the context of wineries, it applies to other industries as well.

I say wineries should consider these questions before becoming involved in Social Media to encourage thinking and planning. That said, not having the answers to all of these questions should not dissuade people from becoming involved. For those who are already involved in Social Media, hopefully it will give some things to think about as well.


1. How does Social Media fit into your overall marketing strategy?

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Pardon the interruption. Back to our regularly scheduled Washington wine program.

Our June Virtual Tasting will be the 2008 Saviah Cellars The Jack. This wine retails for $18 and is widely available. The tasting will take place on Wednesday, June 30th from 7-8pm Pacific Time.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from a local retailer or from the winery

2. Post your comments/tweets on the wine that night between 7 and 8pm. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport. I will be using the hashtag #wawine during the event.

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Among the accomplishments of Washington as a wine region has not just been the ability to produce world-class wine but also the ability to grow a wide variety of grapes very well. The list of grapes that have succeeded in Washington includes Merlot, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc to name just a few. These grapes all grow well and, in some cases, distinctively in the state. The Washington Wine Commission has even utilized the state's success in growing different grapes in its branding, calling Washington ‘The Perfect Climate for Wine.’

Despite this success, one grape in particular has remained largely elusive in Washington - Pinot Noir.

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A round-up of stories on Washington wine from June 8th to 14th.

From around the country…


Wines & Vines
writes about a lecture in Italy from Whitman’s Dr. Kevin Pogue.

The Memphis Daily News writes about Lemberger with a brief mention of Washington.


From the blogosphere…


Paul Gregutt
writes about #WARose. He also writes about Viento.

Under the Grape Tree
writes about Washington wine.

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With the economy still in the doldrums and wineries in Washington and elsewhere feeling the effects, many are looking for creative ways to generate revenue. This is especially true for wineries with limited offerings under the $25 mark consumers are currently focused on. So it was that two ‘mystery wine’ offers from Washington recently showed up on the Garagiste mailing list.

Garagiste is a Washington-based, on-line retailer that sends out e-mail offerings on discounted wines numerous times per week. Garagiste generally focuses outside of Washington with occasional offerings from inside the state. A section of the first Washington mystery wine email offer from Garagiste read as follows:

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What follows is a section of my 2010 Walla Walla Spring Release Report. The report will be published in its entirety in .pdf form after the last entry is posted to the blog.

Twenty-one wineries visited, over 100 wines sampled

Spring Release, always the first weekend in May, is one of the main event weekends in the Walla Walla Valley. Although I have traveled to the valley for this event for many years, several things particularly struck me on this visit. The first was the consistently high quality of the wines being made. It seems every year the quality bar gets raised higher and higher as wineries gain additional experience and competition increases. No doubt coming off exceptional vintages in 2007 and 2008 also has something to do with this. The second was the continuing influx of new wineries.

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These are the dark days. Earlier this week I wrote about Yellow Hawk Cellar. Yesterday, Belltown’s Seattle Cellars announced that it is closing. The retail store will have a ‘going out of business sale’ starting Friday June 11th with everything in the store on sale at twenty-five percent off.

Seattle Cellars opened in Belltown in 1996. Scott Haugh purchased the store in 2006. Haugh cited the poor economy and the difficult business climate in Belltown as the reasons behind the decision. To long-time patrons, Seattle Cellars' closure was not unexpected. The store has had a small fraction of its floor space utilized of late and once teeming shelves have been only partially stocked.

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A round-up of stories on Washington wine from June 1st to 7th.


From around the country…


The Dallas Morning News writes about Tamarack’s 2008 Firehouse Red.


From the blogosphere…


Through the Walla Walla Grapevine writes about #WAwine. Catie also writes about a field trip to Woodward Canyon and gives Walla Walla winners of the Seattle Wine Awards.

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Yellow Hawk Cellar had its first vintage in 1998, releasing its inaugural wines two years later. The winery was the fourteenth in Walla Walla Valley, an area that now boasts over one hundred wineries. Yellow Hawk has been run out of Tim Sampson and Barbara Hetrick’s home south of downtown Walla Walla. “He’s the winemaker. I’m the wine taster,” Barbara Hetrick says. A downtown tasting room was subsequently added in 2008. Both the tasting room and the winery will be closing their doors next month.

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The Vashon Island Hum

Monday, June 7, 2010 2 comments

Andrew Will Winery was founded in 1989. The winery, located on Vashon Island, was started by Chris Camarda and is named after Camarda’s nephew Andrew and son Will.

Camarda began at Andrew Will making a series of single vineyard, single varietal wines. Over time, he shifted his focus to blended, single vineyard wines. Camarda, an audiophile, likens his single varietal wines and his single vineyard wines to the differences between “mono and stereo.”

Andrew Will is one of several wineries located on Vashon Island. Other wineries on the island include Vashon Winery and Palouse Winery. While physically close to Seattle, Vashon Island seems a world apart. One takes a short ferry ride from the city and feels transported to another land. The pace of life is different, the look of the area even. Vashon even has its own hum – literally. While there has been much speculation as to the source, my bet is on Andrew Will, which continues to hum along making some of Washington’s best wines.

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I have updated my tasting note 'database' to make it current through the end of May. You can access it here. Please let me know if you have any questions or issues.

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Reminder to join us tonight for the national #WAwine Twitter tasting. Read more about it here.

A round-up of stories on Washington wine from May 22nd to 31st.


From around the country…

Beverage World
writes about a memorandum of understanding among Hong Kong, Washington, and Oregon regarding wine-related business.

Wines & Vines
writes about concerns about tropical viruses in the Washington wine industry.


From the blogosphere…


Paul Gregutt
writes about an upcoming Washington rosé event on June 10th. He also writes about vineyard conditions in Washington’s AVAs and drinking outside the comfort zone.

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Reminder to join the #WAwine Twitter tasting on Thursday June 3rd. Read more about it here.

Terra Blanca Winery and Estate Vineyards was established in 1993. The winery is owned by Keith and ReNae Pilgrim. Keith serves as winemaker.

Located on Red Mountain, Terra Blanca gets its name from the high levels of chalk in the soils of its estate vineyard. The vineyard, which surrounds the winery, is spread over three hundred acres, eighty of which are currently planted. Terra Blanca uses its Red Mountain estate vineyard for most of its red wines (Malbec is the exception). Grapes for many of the winery’s white wines come from elsewhere in the Yakima Valley.

Terra Blanca is large by Washington standards, producing 35,000 cases annually. While Terra Blanca is a long-established winery, it continues to change and experiment. This includes changes to both what is on the outside of the bottle as well as what is on the inside.

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