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

May's Five Wines Under $15

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 0 comments






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

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The May Virtual Tasting will be tonight from 7-8pm Pacific. The wine is the 2009 Pacific Rim Columbia Valley Riesling. This wine retails for $12 and is widely available. If you can't find this wine - or prefer another style - feel free to grab any of the Pacific Rim wines and join in (Note: Some may see the 2010 on the shelves).

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 #rieslingrules during the event.

Hope you will join us!

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Reminder: This month's Virtual Tasting takes place Wednesday the 25th at 7-8pm Pacific Time. Read more about it here.

Skylite Cellars is located a short distance from downtown Walla Walla, just off Highway 12. The winery is one of a number to suddenly find itself off the beaten path when the highway moved in 2010.

Cheryl Hodgins and her family first became interested in wine in 1990 when they fell in love with the wines of Walla Walla Vintners. In 1999 the family decided to go in with a group of investors in Ash Hollow Vineyard. A year later, Hodgins’ father planted a small “hobby” vineyard.

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Reminder: This month's Virtual Tasting takes place Wednesday the 25th at 7-8pm Pacific Time. Read more about it here.

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

From around the country…


The Washington Post writes about Aligote with a callout to Jed Steele.

Market Watch writes about Bill Foley going on a shopping spree (brief mention of Washington).

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Woodinville Wine Cellars is one of Washington’s unsung wineries – one that consistently produces high quality wine yet remains largely below the radar.

The winery was founded by Stan Barrett. Barrett is President and CEO of Art Culinaire, sole US distributor for Lacanche professional cooking ranges. Several of these ranges are in use at the winery, which places a premium on the experience of wine, food, and the family table.

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Fellow Washington wine lovers, the May/June edition of edibleSeattle contains an article I wrote titled 'Integral Parts: The Land and Family of Syncline Winery.' Also, the current edition of Wine & Jazz Magazine contains the article 'Columbia Gorge: A hidden gem straddling the Washington and Oregon border.'

Note that both of these articles are only available in print. Old school I know, but who doesn't love the feel of pages in their hands? See a list of locations to find edibleSeattle here. Enjoy!

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Wines like the Pamplin Family Winery JRG Red Wine are part of what makes drinking wine so exciting – the joy of discovery.

Robert Pamplin Jr. founded Pamplin Family Winery in 2007 in Dundee, Oregon with the goal of “making the best Bordeaux varietal wines from the Pacific Northwest.” While this may seem an audacious goal, Pamplin’s life is nothing if not marked by success and accomplishment.

Born in August, Georgia, Pamplin seems to have lived many lives rolled into one. Pamplin’s resume is as long as it is diverse. He holds three Bachelors degrees (Business and Administration, Accounting, and Economics), an MBA, a Master of Education, a Ph.D. in Business Administration, and a Doctor of Ministry.

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Merlot strikes back!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 7 comments

In 2004 the movie Sideways seemingly dealt a deathblow to Merlot for a generation of wine drinkers. In the movie, the character Myles famously states, “If anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving. I am NOT drinking any f#!ing Merlot!” Merlot sales subsequently dropped and Pinot Noir, the character’s preferred wine, correspondingly rose.

Why did Myles malign merlot? With good reason. Merlot, especially when made cheaply and at high volume, can be light, fruity and inoffensive – but also entirely uninteresting. There are millions of gallons Merlot made in a style that is essentially a red wine for white wine drinkers.

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


From around the country…

The New York Times writes about Myles Anderson sharing Walla Walla Vintners wine with hikers in the Rogue River area.

The Pensacola News Journal says that its time for haters to stop hating Chardonnay with a callout to Janiuk’s 2008 Cold Creek Chardonnay.

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There is an inconvenient truth about spring in western Washington. It’s just not very spring like!

A recent look at the daily temperatures here serves as a case in point: high of 50, low of 46. Day after day after day after day. When I asked a friend recently what the next day’s weather was going to be he said, “Raining but it’s supposed to be warmer!” with hopeful anticipation.

Rather than cloudy and overcast with a chance of rain the forecast should just say “Dreary” with an unhappy face.

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Charlie Hoppes (pronounced hop-pas) of Fidelitas Wines is one of Washington’s whirlwind winemakers.

Hoppes first became interested in wine in 1982 while working as an engineer at Boeing. He started out with a winemaking kit. A year later he purchased a batch of Riesling grapes and made wine at his father-in-law’s house. He was hooked.

Hoppes soon changed career directions and headed off to UC Davis, graduating in 1988. At Davis, he would not only learn the ins and outs of winemaking, he would also meet Mike Januik, now of Januik Winery, who would give him his start in the wine industry.

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Fresh Sheet May 11th 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 0 comments







Today’s Fresh Sheet – new and recent Washington wine releases – includes wines from Matthews Estate, Long Shadows, Covington Cellars, Pondera Winery, and Buried Cane.

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It’s hard to understate the level of experience that winemaker Mike Januik brings to bear at Januik Winery and Novelty Hill Wines. One off-handed comment on a recent visit sums it up perfectly.

Januik was in the midst of blending trials on the day of my visit. When asked how it was going he said simply, “Well, I’ve been doing this for twenty-seven years.” Far from a boast it was rather a simple statement of fact.

Of course, working such a long period of time is in and of itself not an accomplishment as much as a testament to longevity. However, few in the Washington wine industry can claim the extraordinary level of success that has followed Mike Januik throughout his career.

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


From around the country…

The Washington Post picks up an AP story about Eaton Hill Winery.

The San Francisco Chronicle writes about oyster wine winners with callouts to Cadaretta’s 2010 SBS, Chateau Ste. Michelle’s 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, and Hogue’s 2009 Pinot Grigio.

The Napa Valley Register writes about the 2009 Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling (asking whether this could be America’s greatest wine value. Answer? Yes!).

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The May Virtual Tasting will be Wednesday May 25th from 7-8pm Pacific. The wine is the 2009 Pacific Rim Columbia Valley Riesling. This wine retails for $12 and is widely available. If you can't find this wine - or prefer another style - feel free to grab any of the Pacific Rim wines and join in (Note: Some may see the 2010 on the shelves).

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 #rieslingrules during the event.

Hope you will join us!

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Fresh Sheet May 5th 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011 0 comments







Today’s Fresh Sheet – new and recent Washington wine releases – includes wines from Barons V, Columbia Winery, Covey Run Winery, Three Rivers Winery, and Desert Wind Winery.

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A round-up of stories on Washington wine from April 22nd to 30th. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world…

The Montreal Gazette writes about Merlot.


From around the country…


Lubbock On-line writes about eco-conscious wines.

USA Today writes about Washington wine RV campgrounds.


From the blogosphere…


Paul Gregutt writes about Ancient Lakes. See part two here.

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