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

While Washington has come a long ways in terms of recognition as a significant wine region, it still has a long ways to go to reach broader awareness.

The most recent case in point comes from a look at the 25th edition of Kevin Zraly’s Windows on the World Complete Wine Course. Zraly’s book, always an enjoyable, high level read, is devoted to wines from all across the world. The book is 224 pages long. About seventy of these pages are devoted – deservedly - to wines from France. Looking to the south, California receives forty-plus pages. Washington? A mere two pages.

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

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The April Virtual Tasting is tonight from 7-8pm Pacific. The wine is the 2009 Tamarack Firehouse Red Wine. This wine retails for $20 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. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport. I will be using the hashtag #fhouse during the event.

Hope you will join us!

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REMINDER: This month's Virtual Tasting takes place on Tuesday April 26th at 7pm Pacific. Read about how to participate here.

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

From around the country…


The Courier News recommends Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling for Easter.

The San Francisco Chronicle recommends eight Washington reds.

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Falling into the ‘I love the Internet’ category, the Puget Sound Business Journal has created what they describe as a “comprehensive list of Washington State wineries, listed by their licensed facilities” using information obtained from the Liquor Control Board. The information was subsequently uploaded into a Google Fusion Table and displayed as a map.

One can click on the map and get thumbnail information about specific wineries. This information includes a listing for “Gallons sold in 2010.” Take the gallon numbers with a grain of salt as these calculations are often a bit convoluted. For example, some wineries may be buying wine in bulk; a new winery may not show production for a year or more after they are licensed; a winery may have its production done at another winery; and wineries may have negative numbers due to issues with storage, racking, spillage, or spoilage. Still, these numbers are about as good as one is going to get. Also note that the locations on the map represent “licensed winemaking facilities” – not tasting rooms.

Hats off to the folks at the Puget Sound Business Journal for creating this excellent resource. See the map here. Enjoy!

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


From around the country…

Wines & Vines writes about federal funding for a Prosser wine center.

Daily Astorian writes about an Astoria restaurant winning a Washington Wine Restaurant Award.

The San Francisco Chronicle writes about the sale of Betz Family Winery.

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After last week's announcement of the sale of Betz Family Winery, I stayed up late into the night talking with several friends about the potential implications for the winery and for the Washington wine industry more generally. One question that gnawed at me after the Betz sale is whether Washington’s many small wineries will face succession issues.

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The April Virtual Tasting is Tuesday April 26th from 7-8pm Pacific. The wine is the 2009 Tamarack Firehouse Red Wine. This wine retails for $20 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. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport. I will be using the hashtag #fhouse during the event.

Hope you will join us!

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Much ado was made last year about Seattle-based Starbucks taking a number of steps to modify its brand, perhaps most notably by serving wine and beer at test stores. While numerous articles indicated that the test stores in Seattle would focus on selling “local” or “regional” wines, Starbucks instead seems to have focused on selling high production wines made by large producers from around the world.

The Olive Way Starbucks on Capitol Hill is the first store with the company’s name on it to begin selling wine and beer (several other stores that did not bear the corporate name had done so previously). The store, which opened in October, was also substantially redesigned into what USA Today described as a “prototype for the next generation.”

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Corked Counter - April Update

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 6 comments

Since the beginning of the year I have been keeping track of the number of corked bottles of wine I have come across. Again, for my purposes here I am just considering 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA).

TCA typically comes from cork but may also come from barrels and other sources. A number of people have asked me what a wine affected by TCA smells/tastes like. The most frequent descriptions are ‘musty’ or ‘moldy newspaper’ or ‘damp basement.’ Looking for TCA is part of the purpose of checking a wine when it is presented at a restaurant (where at least you have the good fortune of being able to send it back). Unfortunately in many cases consumers don't know what to look for and just think that the wine is of bad quality.

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

From around the country…

The big news this week the sale of Betz Family Winery. Read a story by Paul Gregutt here and Wine Spectator here.

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The 2011 wine event season begins in earnest this weekend with the return of the Frog. A little over a year ago Cayuse Vineyards announced that it was changing its release weekend from November to April – delaying the event by five months the first year. Open only to mailing list members, the event takes place in Walla Walla Valley today and tomorrow. As wine lovers - and more importantly wine buyers - are always in attendance, numerous valley wineries will have extended hours this weekend.

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There are many strange terms that get bandied about in the wine world. Here are several that it is time to send the way of things.

I frequently read about such-and-such a winery being a producer of ‘super premium’ or ‘ultra premium’ wine. The description is usually on a winery website or a back label. Super premium. Are we talking about wine or are we talking about gasoline grades?

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

Buckle your seat belts. Lots of Washington wine love this week.

From around the country…

Mutineer Magazine writes that it’s a fine time for Washington wine.

Wines & Vines writes about Washington’s search for an identity.

D Magazine writes about Washington State wine with callouts to Spring Valley, Col Solare, Northstar, and Chateau Ste. Michelle.

Connect Savannah writes about Spring Valley Vineyard.

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Peter Osvaldik of Dynasty Cellars grew up in the Slovak Republic. Although his home was physically near Vienna, he says, “We were on the wrong side of the border.” He laughs. It’s the laugh from a man who has a sense of humor that can only come from having lived a much harder life.

Osvaldik and his wife Olga escaped the communist regime of what was then Czechoslovakia and came to the United States in 1983. After spending a few years in Los Angeles - “LA was a madhouse” he says – they moved to Washington a little over twenty years ago.

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Today voters overwhelmingly passed the 39th Amendment to the Constitution standardizing liquor laws across the nation. The amendment removes numerous, onerous state-by-state regulations that have hampered both businesses and wine lovers for generations.

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