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

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After a long wait, the 2011 harvest is underway in Washington State. Over the coming weeks, I will provide periodic updates on what is picked, where, and when as well as thoughts on the growing season from the state’s growers and winemakers.

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Fresh Sheet September 28th 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 0 comments

TONIGHT! September's Virtual Tasting is tonight from 7-8pm. Read about how to participate here.







Today’s Fresh Sheet – new and recent Washington wine releases – includes wines from Purple Star Wines, Pandora Cellars, Laurelhurst Cellars, and Pomum Cellars.

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Reminder: September's Virtual Tasting is this Wednesday from 7-8pm. Read about how to participate here.

As I wrote in a previous post, the November ballot in Washington State features another liquor privatization initiative, Initiative 1183. I am interested in hearing the thoughts of people across the three tiers - wineries, distributors, and restaurateurs - on what they see as the positives and/or negatives for their industries and for consumers about the proposed changes. I am particularly interested in the changes related to the wine industry, specifically:

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Wine Country Porn

Monday, September 26, 2011 1 comments

Reminder: September's Virtual Tasting is this Wednesday from 7-8pm. Read about how to participate here.

Pictures from last week's trip to eastern Washington where harvest is getting underway. Includes shots from Red Willow, Evergreen, Wahluke Wine Company, Clifton Hills, Cave B, and Canoe Ridge. Click on the pictures for larger images. Enjoy!

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A round-up of stories on Washington wine from September 15th to 21st 2011.

From around the country…

ESPN writes about Drew Bledsoe of Doubleback.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes about good wine under $10 with a callout to House Wine.

The Chicago Daily Herald writes about rediscovering Chardonnay with a callout to Airfield Estates.

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Walla Walla Valley Report 2011 Part II

Thursday, September 22, 2011 2 comments

Below is Part II of a report from the Walla Walla Valley including wines from Cayuse Vineyards, Leonetti Cellar, Reynvaan Family Vineyards, Gramercy Cellars, and Corliss Estates. Download a .pdf version of this report here. Read Part I here.

Cayuse Vineyards


Walking through Cayuse Vineyards with Christophe Baron, both his passion and his attention to detail become immediately clear. As he walks and talks about his vineyards Baron picks up any small item that does not belong there, anything that is out of place.

It is this attention to detail that has made Baron’s wines among the best in the world. It is this attention to detail that, again, led Baron to bury canes at his vineyards last year. While he had to cut many of his vines back to the ground this spring due to last November’s freeze, Baron still looks to produce a fairly full crop again this year due to this precaution. In contrast, many vineyards in the rocks region of the Walla Walla Valley were, again, completely wiped out.

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What follows is a section of Part II of the 2011 Walla Walla Valley report. Look for the full report in an upcoming post. Read Part I here.

As the first modern day winery in the Walla Walla Valley, Leonetti Cellar celebrates its 34th vintage this year. During this time, the winery’s history of success and accolades is nearly unparalleled. The new releases continue to build on Leonetti’s elite reputation.

Chris Figgins assumed head winemaking responsibilities from his father, Gary Figgins, in 2000. Since that time he has completed the winery’s transition to using all estate fruit from the Walla Walla Valley for its wines. The results thus far have been impressive.

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September's Virtual Tasting wine will be the 2009 Boomtown Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine retails for $15 and is widely available. The tasting will take place Wednesday September 28th from 7-8pm Pacific.

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 using the hashtag #boomtown. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport.

Hope you will join us!

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A round-up of stories on Washington wine from September 8th to 14th 2011.

From around the world…

Indian Wine Academy writes about Washington wine.

Sommelier India writes about the Washington Wine Commission visiting.

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Weekday on KUOW 'Wine Wars' Show

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 0 comments

For those who missed last Friday's Weekday show on KUOW 94.9FM, here is a link to the show. Mike Veseth, author of the book Wine Wars and the blog The Wine Economist, Richard Kinssies of Seattle Wine Outlet, and I discuss Washington wine and touch on some global wine trends.

From the linked page above, select one of the 'Listen to Weekday' options to hear the show.

Enjoy!

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What follows is a Focus Report on Betz Family Winery. Download a .pdf version of this report here. Read previous Focus reports here.

The Washington wine world was stunned last spring when industry icon Bob Betz announced the sale of Betz Family Winery. Some foresaw the winery’s demise in a storyline that went like this - quality would go way down, production would go way up, and prices would soar.

New owner Steve Griessel, who purchased the winery with his wife Bridgit, acknowledges hearing those concerns. “I think there’s a lot of fear,” Griessel says. “People think, ’Who are these people? Are they going to screw this thing up?’” The answer to the first question is Steve and Bridgit Griessel. The answer to the second question is no.

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Note: I will be speaking on Weekday on KUOW 94.9 FM today at 9am about globalization of the wine industry and Q13 at 5:30pm about the Seattle Metropolitan Top 100 list. Tune in!

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the polls, another liquor privatization initiative is on the ballot this November.

Initiative 1183 is brought to you by the same folks who brought you Initiative 1100 one year ago. It is, in some respects, a greatly simplified and streamlined version of 1100. The concise description of the initiative reads as follows:

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Note: I will be speaking on Weekday on KUOW 94.9 FM this Friday at 9am about globalization of the wine industry and Q13 that same day at 5:30pm about the Seattle Metropolitan Top 100 list. Tune in!

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


From around the world…


Hospitality Biz India writes about the Washington Wine Commission seeking Indian importers.


From around the country…


The Washington Post writes about screwcaps with a callout to Hogue Cellars.

LA Weekly talks with Jean-Francois Pellet of Pepper Bridge and Amavi Cellars.

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

The season’s not over yet! In fact, one might argue it is just beginning! With harvest around the corner, this is the time of year wine country kicks into full gear – all hands on deck!

Indeed, more often than not it is hands, not feet, involved in harvest. Often when grapes are harvested they are +/-50 degrees Fahrenheit. Stomping them will freeze your toes in no time! Yet even visitors who want to experience harvest hardware - de-stemmers, crushers, fermenting tanks and more - have one big challenge to overcome: no one knows when harvest will arrive until the moment it does! In other words, there tends to be a lot of waiting around, especially in years like this when harvest is later than usual; only Mother Nature knows when exactly harvest will begin.

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


From around the country…

The Washington Post writes about Washington Riesling.

Wine Spectator writes about the 2011 growing season.

The Cannon Beach Gazette writes about K Vintners.

St. Louis Today writes about Chenin Blanc with a callout to Hestia Cellars.

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It seems you can’t name anything in this country without tripping over someone who has something obliquely similar and whose lawyers threaten trouble (US Olympic Committee versus Olympic Cellars anyone?). I mean seriously folks, stop the madness! Such it is that Grand Rêve Vintners – one of the most exciting wineries to emerge from Washington recently – has changed its name to Force Majeure Vineyards.

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Summary of Posts for August 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011 0 comments
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