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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Wine Blog Awards

'14 Tour Guide

Reviewed Wineries

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January's Virtual Tasting is tonight! The wine is the 2008 Waterbrook Melange Noir. This wine retails for $15 and is widely available.

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 between 7 and 8pm Pacific. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport. I will be using the hashtag #wbrook during the event.

Hope you will join us!

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REMINDER: This month's Virtual Tasting takes place this Thursday from 7-8pm. Read more about it here.

Washington State’s total grape production reached 160,000 tons in 2010, marking a record high production level. White Riesling took back the number one spot in the state, which Chardonnay held briefly in 2009. The state also bonded its 700th winery.

The 2010 production numbers in Washington were a 3% increase, despite a somewhat challenging growing season. The numbers were released Friday in the USDA’s Annual Grape Report (Note: opens .pdf).

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Five Wines Under $15 - January

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 3 comments

REMINDER: This month's Virtual Tasting takes place this Thursday from 7-8pm. Read more about it here.








In tough times, we continue the search for good, inexpensive wines.

Pacific Rim
is Washington’s Riesling specialist. The winery boasts a dazzling lineup of wines, from sparkling to dry to dessert. The Columbia Valley Riesling is off dry in style with 2.3% Residual Sugar beautifully balanced by acidity. The winery’s website states, “As wine lovers crave alternatives to heavy and oaky white wines, Riesling is experiencing a true revival (like a phoenix rising from the ashes — the inspiration for our label artwork).” Pacific Rim was recently purchased by the Mariani family.

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REMINDER: This month's Virtual Tasting takes place this Thursday from 7-8pm. Read more about it here.

A round-up of stories on Washington wine from January 15th to 21st. See previous round-ups here.


From around the country…

The San Angelo Standard Times writes about Washington wine.

Wine Spectator writes about nine red values from Washington (Note: May require subscription).

The San Francisco Chronicle writes about Obama stepping up his wine game.

Wines & Vines writes about the reversal of the decision about the Yakima corkage free zone.

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While Washington wines have gained increased prominence of late, Wednesday marked another step forward with two of the state’s top wines served at a White House State Dinner.

The dinner with China's President Hu Jintao, which was described as a “quintessentially American” meal, included the 2005 Quilceda Creek Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and 2008 Long Shadows Botrytis Riesling. A Russian River Chardonnay from California was served as well.

For White House events, only wines made in the United States are served, a policy that has been in place since the Carter administration. The dinner was served at the State Dining Room, Blue Room, and Red Room of the White House.

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The Great Recession has left many in the wine business looking for new ways to provide high quality wine at more affordable prices. One approach, which I wrote about recently, is keg wine. Another, which has recently started in Seattle, is the use of refillable wine bottles.

Paul Beveridge of Seattle’s Wilridge Winery started offering reusable bottles several months ago. Beveridge says that the inspiration was both to be as green as possible and to provide high quality wine at “recession buster” pricing.

The reusable bottles reduce environmental impact by eliminating cork (the bottles have reusable stoppers), capsules, paper labels, and the waste associated with recycling glass. “It takes five percent of the energy to clean and refill a bottle as it does to recycle a bottle,” Beveridge explains. Additionally, unlike boxed wine, it comes in a package consumers are already familiar with and that is fully reusable.

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A round-up of stories on Washington wine from January 8th to 14th. See previous round-ups here.

From around the country…


The Okalahoma Gazette writes about Washington wine.


From the blogosphere…


Nectar Tasting Room & Wine Bar
writes about the opening of the Nectar Tasting Room and the power of Social Media.

Through the Walla Walla Grapevine
writes about Holiday Barrel Tasting.

Paul Gregutt
writes about the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and Barnard Griffin. He also writes about refreshing a tired palate.

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Washington’s vineyard plantings exceeded 40,000 acres in 2010 according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Plantings totaled 40,575.9 acres, up from 36,500 acres in 2009.

The majority of the increase came from plantings in the Yakima Valley (1,832.5 additional acres) and the Horse Heaven Hills (1,524 additional acres). However, the diminutive Red Mountain saw the largest percentage increase – a whopping 40% - growing from 852.4 acres to 1,199.8.

Washington is the second largest wine growing state in the nation behind California. The state is, however, a distant second. For perspective, Napa Valley is home to over 45,000 acres of grapes and California boasts more than ten times that number.

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January's Virtual Tasting will be the 2008 Waterbrook Melange Noir. Thanks to reader Jim Scolastico for the suggestion. This wine retails for $15 and is widely available. The tasting will take place on Thursday January 27th 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 between 7 and 8pm. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport. I will be using the hashtag #wbrook during the event.

Hope you will join us!

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The following post is written by Carrie Simon. Simon is the founder of Washington Wine 9, a custom trip planning service to travelers for Washington State's wine country.

In 1998, Steve Brooks came across an article in the New York Times that described the potential of Washington wine production to be “as large as the state itself.”

At the time, Brooks was nearing 40 and was determined to transition out of his nearly 20-year career at CNN in Atlanta. The news business had become physically draining, mentally depressing, and a detriment to Brooks’ family life. Brooks recalled that his grandparents, Italian immigrants, made wine in their basement and they routinely enjoyed it with meals; the newspaper article was all he needed to embark on a new journey as a winemaker. “This is the one shot I’m going to have,” he recalled thinking to himself. “I’d never forgive myself for not taking it.”

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


From around the country…


The big story this week was the sale of Pacific Rim. Wine Business.com writes about it as does Wine Spectator, Business Wire, Wine Enthusiast, the Tri-City Herald, and Newsday.

The Associated Press writes about Constellation Brand’s jump in profits.

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The Corked Counter

Friday, January 7, 2011 11 comments

Last year I wrote a series of posts about corked wines - wines that have been tainted by 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA). In the first, I wrote about how I came to believe in screwcaps and other alternative closures. In the second I wrote about the experience of six Washington wineries using alternative closures. In the third, I gave my closing argument.

Four days into the New Year, I arrived at my first corked wine. In this case it was a holiday gift. I thought coming across a corked bottle so early in the year provided a good opportunity to count up the number of corked bottles I come across in 2011. So this year I'll be keeping a personal 'Corked Counter' along the side of the blog. I encourage you to keep count of your corked bottles as well. Also feel free to add comments to this post during the year as you have wines that are corked. I'm always particularly interested to hear the occasion the wine was opened for.

Let the counting begin!

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Yesterday I wrote about the Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB) ending the ‘corkage free zone’ in Yakima. This popular program allowed consumers to buy wine from local wineries and drink the wine at local restaurants – provided the wine was bought the same day - without paying a corkage fee. Below is additional information from both the LCB and Washington Wine Institute (WWI) regarding the matter.

While initial indications were that Yakima’s ‘corkage free zone’ might have come to the LCB’s attention due to interest by other parties in creating a similar program elsewhere, Communications Director Brian Smith, says that the LCB was following up on the issue due to a complaint from within the industry.

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Wineries and restaurants in the Yakima area have been informed by the Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB) that they can no longer permit same day purchases at local wineries to be consumed ‘corkage free’ at local restaurants. The ‘corkage free zone,’ which had been in effect in Yakima for a little over a year, had been widely reported and had been embraced by businesses and consumers alike.

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A round-up of stories on Washington Wine from December 22nd to 31st. See previous round-ups here.

From around the country…

Wines & Vines
writes about stopping vineyard grinches.

The Atlantic
writes about domestic sparkling wine with a callout to Domaine Ste. Michelle.

Washington Life Magazine
gives a shout out to Domain Ste. Michelle.

Business Week
recommends Goose Ridge for the all-purpose bottle.

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Today, a look back at some of my personal favorites from the blog from each month last year.

January’s was a story about misrepresenting price and points on the shelves.

February’s was a Focus Report on Kiona Winery and Vineyards.

March’s was a look at Betz Family Winery.

April’s was a post about 10 myths about wineries, social media, and their interactions.

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Summary of posts for 2010

Sunday, January 2, 2011 0 comments
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Below is a list of publications and awards, as well as radio, TV, and speaking appearances. Email me at wawinereport@gmail.com for reprints of any articles that do not currently have web copies.

In addition to the articles listed below, read on-line articles for Seattle Metropolitan and wine reviews for Wine Enthusiast at buyingguide.winemag.com.

Publications

Washington Tasting Room - "Chardonnay Revival"


Vineyard & Winery Management September/October 2014 - "Oregon's other white grape: Chardonnay takes baby steps toward respectability and quality"


Wine Enthusiast September 2013 - "NFL Stars Talk Wine"

 Edible Seattle July/August 2014 - "Summer in a glass" (on rosé)
Vineyard & Winery Management July/August 2014 - "Oregon Winegrowers Combat Herbicide Drift"



Washington Tasting Room Magazine Summer 2014 - "New Heights in the Walla Walla Appellation"


Vineyard & Winery Management May/June 2014 - "Northwest Tipping Point"
Wine Enthusiast March 12, 2014 - "Ste. Michelle Acquires Eola Amity Hills Property"



Edible Seattle March/April 2014 -  "Rise of the Rhones"


Washington State Wine Tour Guide 2014 -  "Seattle and Northwest Washington"; "Woodinville"; "Southwest Washington and Columbia Gorge"; "Yakima Valley"; "Cascade Valley and North Central"; "Tri-Cities"; "Walla Walla Valley"; "Spokane and Pullman"; three grower profiles




Wine Enthusiast March 2014 - "Washington's Rise of the Rhones" (with Paul Gregutt)





Vineyard & Winery Management February 7,  2014 - "Chardonnay in focus at grape grower conference"


Vineyard & Winery Management January/February 2014 - "2013 Harvest Report Washington, Oregon(Note: Opens .pdf)


Vineyard & Winery Management January/February 2014 - "Oregon Land Rush: Outside Money Pours Into the State" (Note: Opens .pdf)


Washington Tasting Room Magazine Winter 2013 - "Trends & Predictions: The Year in Wine"





Woodinville Wine Country Fall/Winter Issue 2013 - "The Wonders of Woodinville"



Wine Enthusiast December 23, 2013 - "Drouhin Family Purchases 279-acre Oregon Vineyard"



Wine Enthusiast December 1, 2013 - "Ice Wines from Around the Globe (Canada)"





Seattle Metropolitan September 2013 - "100 Best Washington Wines"; "The Top 15"; "The Best of the Rest"; "Top Wines Under $25"; "Top Wines Under $15"; "The Rise of the Rhones"

Edible Seattle September/October 2013 - "Sangiovese: A sensitive grape"
Vineyard and Winery Management September/October 2013- "Yakima Valley Renaissance"






WXL Wine and Dine - "Kyle MacLachlan Bears It All"


Washington Tasting Room Summer 2013 - "The Rocks of Walla Walla"






Wine Enthusiast May 2013 - "Cocktail of the Month"






Vineyard and Winery Management May/June 2013 - "Whither Washington Whites?"





Edible Seattle May/June 2013 - "Time in the cellar - The patient rhythms of Cadence Winery"





Seattle Metropolitan March 2013 - "Treveri Cellars"






Washington State Wine Tour Guide 2013 - "State Treasures - Seattle and Puget Sound;" "Around the Sound;" "Woodinville - So many choices so take your time;" "Columbia Gorge and Vancouver - From here to gorgeous;" "Water to Wine - Yakima Valley;" "Cascade Valley and North Central - Prepare to be dazzled;" "Tri-Cities Wine Country;" "Walla Walla Valley - Small town charm;" "Taste Test - Spokane and Pullman;" 3 chef profiles, 3 grower profiles, and 7 tourist attraction profiles


Vineyard and Winery Management January/February 2013 - "2012 Harvest Report Washington, Oregon"






Washington Tasting Room Magazine Winter 2012/2013 - "The Year in Wine 2012-2013"






Seattle Metropolitan September 2012 - "100 Best Washington Wines," "Great Whites, Ten Reds Under $25"






Edible Seattle July/August 2012 - "Heart and soul: The pursuit of passion, perfection, and peace of mind at Maison Bleue"






Seattle Metropolitan July 2012 - "Wine Blends Catch On in Washington"







Washington Tasting Room Magazine Summer 2012 - "Nefarious Cellars: Defiance on the Lake"






Decanter June 2012 - "E. and J. Gallo holds high hopes for Washington"

Edible Seattle May/June 2012 - "The Chardonnay Paradox: Why America's Favorite Grape Struggles to Find Its Way in Washington"





Washington State 2012 Tour Guide
- State Treasures: Seattle and Puget Sound (with Chris Nishiwaki)
- Water to Wine: Yakima Valley
- Tri-Cities: Washington's Melting Pot
- So Good They Named It Twice: Walla Walla Valley
- Spokane & Pullman - Two University Towns with Universal Appeal
- Prepare to be Dazzled - Cascade Valley and North Central
NB: 2011 content revised and updated along with the addition of grower and chef profiles.

Edible Seattle January/February 2012 - "Feral Yeast Seductive Characters: Brennon Leighton's modest goal of being the world's best winemaker" (Note: Paragraph spacing is off)





Washington Tasting Room Magazine Winter 2011/2012 - "Trends and Predictions: The Year in Wine"






Seattle Metropolitan September 2011 - "100 Best Washington Wines 2011," "20 for the White Wine Lovers," "The Rest of the Best"






Wine and Jazz August 2011 - "Vintners Village" (p49 e-reader)







Edible Seattle July/Aug '11 - "Why Chenin Blanc is a Grape Worth Saving"







Seattle Metropolitan June '11 - "Chardonnay Gets Some Respect"








Wine Press Northwest Spring 2011 - "Washington Syrah - star or FUBAR?" (page 16 e-reader)






Wine and Jazz April 2011 - "Columbia Gorge: A hidden gem straddling the Washington and Oregon border (page 62 e-reader)"






Edible Seattle May/June '11 - "Integral Parts: The Land and Family of Syncline Winery"






Washington State 2011 Tour Guide
- Seattle and Puget Sound: A funny thing happened on the way to the market (with Chris Nishiwaki)
- Yakima Valley: Where it all began
- Tri-Cities: The Mesopotamia of Washington Wine;
- Walla Walla Valley: Say it again!;
- Spokane and Pullman: Next Stop - Innovation;
- Cascade Valley and North Central: Be prepared to be captivated


Vineyard and Winery Management January/February 2011 - "2010 Harvest Report Washington, Oregon" (Note: Opens .pdf)







Seattle Metropolitan September 2010 - "100 Best Washington Wines"









Awards






Wine Blog Awards - Winner "Best Single Subject Wine Blog" 2014

Wine Blog Awards - Winner "Best Single Subject Wine Blog" 2013

Wine Blog Awards - Finalist "Best Single Subject Wine Blog" 2012

Wine Blog Awards - Finalist "Best Single Subject Wine Blog" 2010


Other

"Washington's Emerging Appellations," (presenter) Society of Wine Educators Conference, August 14, 2014

"The 411 on Washington Wine," (presenter) Society of Wine Educators Conference, August 13, 2014

"Water, Fire, Wind and Wine: The Incredible Story of Washington State Wine," (presenter) Eat Drink San Francisco, August 2, 2014

Judge, Sunset International Wine Competition, April 28-29, 2014

"Red Mountain - Past, Present, and Future," (presenter) University of Washington Faculty Club, April 8, 2014

"The Rise of the Rhones," (panel moderator) Taste Washington, March 30, 2014

"An Old Vine's Tale," (panel moderator) Taste Washington, March 29, 2014

"Washington vs the World," (panel moderator) Minnesota Food & Wine Experience, March 2, 2014

"The Rise of the Rhones," (panel moderator) Minnesota Food & Wine Experience, March 1, 2014

"An Introduction to the World of (Washington) Wine," (panel moderator) Taste Washington March 23,  2013

"Washington wine," (interview) KIRO Radio March 23, 2013 (interview starts at 7:57 mark)

"The Art of Blending," (panel moderator) Taste Washington, March 24, 2013

"Valentine's Day Wine and Chocolate Pairing," (interview) FOX Q13 News, February 13, 2013

"Washington Syrah," (presenter) University of Washington Faculty Club, January 28, 2014

"What's next for Woodinville?" (keynote speaker) Woodinville Wine Country Annual Meeting, December 12, 2012

"Harvest Update and Thanksgiving Wines (37 mins in)," Table Talk KKNW 1150AM, October 24, 2012

"Washington Wine," (presenter) University of Washington Faculty Club, October 8, 2014

"Seattle Metropolitan Top 100 Washington," Table Talk KKNW 1150AM, September 12, 2012

"Washington Rosé Recommendations," (interview) FOX News Q13, July 19, 2012

"Clicks and Sips: The Power of Social Media," (panelist), ZINO Society Liquid Assets Forum, July 17, 2012

"Total Wine, BevMo, and Gallo join the Washington wine industry," Table Talk KKNW 1150AM, June 27, 2012

"Climate Change: Current Trends and How to Insulate Yourself From Turbulent Times," (presentation), Meet Me In The Cellar's Annual Wine Marketing Symposium, Woodinville WA May 17, 2012

"Washington Rosé," Table Talk KKNW 1150AM, April 25, 2012

Tasting Panelist, Seattle Wine Awards, April 2012

"Celebrated Vintages: A Look Back at 25 Years of Washington Wine," (panel moderator) Taste Washington March/April 2012

“Washington Wine: Over-delivering at Every Price?” (panel moderator) Taste Washington March/April 2012

"Washington Wine Update," Table Talk KKNW 1150AM, March 28, 2012

"Sparkling Wines," (interview) FOX News Q13, December 2011

"Thanksgiving Wines," (interview) FOX News Q13, November 2011

"Harvest Update 2011," Table Talk KKNW 1150AM, October 26, 2011

"Election Coverage: Initiative 1183," Weekday on KUOW 94.9FM, October 2011

"Syrah: Love your style," (panelist) Washington Wine Road Trip, October 2011

"Washington's Top 100 Wines" (interview), FOX News Q13, September 2011

"Wine Wars," Weekday on KUOW 94.9FM, September 2011

"Washington wine," Table Talk KKNW 1150AM, August 24, 2011

“Marketing the Nectar of the Gods” (panelist) ZINO Society Liquid Assets Forum, July 2011

Tasting Panelist, Seattle Wine Awards, April 2011

“The Power of Social Media” (keynote speaker) Stoel Rives 2nd Annual Wine Law Seminar,  February 2011

“What’s the Point(s)?” (panel moderator) Taste Washington March 2011

“Washington’s Emerging Varieties: Grenache Panache” (panelist) Taste Washington March 2011

“The New Age of Wine Marketing" (moderator) Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers Annual Meeting February 2011

“Mighty Malbec” (panelist) Taste Washington March 2010


Note: This is a running list that will be updated. Last updated August 14, 2014

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