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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Wineries: Time to Get Mobile

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 6 comments

An interesting moment occurred earlier this year as smartphone use surpassed conventional cell phone use. There is only one problem with the plethora of new smartphone users; wineries are not ready for them.

Meet Me In The Cellar's Annual Wine Marketing Symposium in Woodinville served as a case in point. When winery owners and workers were asked how many had a website for their businesses, everyone’s hand went up. When they were subsequently asked how many of their websites were set up for mobile users, only one person in the room raised their hand.

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After two successive cool growing seasons in the Pacific Northwest, one thing is already clear: 2010 and 2011 this is not. While no one can say with any certainty what will happen next, the 2012 growing season is off to a warm start.

Here a picture tells a thousand words. Current Growing Degree Days (GDDs) and precipitation are tracking closely to historical averages according to Washington State University’s Viticulture & Enology Research & Extension (click on the picture for a larger image of current GDDs). In fact, the numbers are currently close to 2003, a relatively warm year. Looking at the picture, the contrast with 2011 is stark.

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The tale of Mosquito Fleet Winery is one of friendship, wine country inspiration, and a love of history.

Our story begins in the year 2000 when two couples, Dr. Brian and Jacquie Petersen and Scott and Jacy Griffin, met at a birthing class. The Petersens and Griffins soon developed close friendships. With a mutual interest in wine, the couples began taking trips together to Napa, Sonoma, Walla Walla and the like. One such trip proved fateful.

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Kevin White's path to becoming a winemaker had a most unusual starting point - a koosh ball. White was majoring in computer science at the University of Connecticut when he stopped by the Microsoft booth at a campus career fair.

“They were giving away koosh balls and I wanted one,” White says simply of that first, fateful interaction with the company. What started as a koosh ball soon led to a summer internship in Redmond - and we all know how summer in the Pacific Northwest goes.

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A round-up of stories on Washington wine from May 15th to 21st 2012. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country…

The LA Times says the secret about Lake Chelan is out.

The Napa Valley Register writes about Walla Walla Valley vineyard owers looking for California buyers.


From the blogosphere…


Paul Gregutt writes about springtime rieslings. He also writes about the two most common winemaking mistakes.

Northwest Wine Anthem writes about Wind Rose Cellars’ Dolcetto.

Table Talk interviews Gramercy Cellars winemaker Greg Harrington.

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

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The Tasting Note Database has been updated to the present date. See the database here. Read an explanation of database fields here.

Enjoy!

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May's Virtual Tasting is tonight! The wine is the 2011 Barnard Griffin Rosé of Sangiovese. This wine retails for $12 and is widely available, though if for some reason you can't find it, feel free to grab another bottle of pink wine! The tasting will take place will take place 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. Tweet your comments about the wine on Twitter between 7 and 8pm Pacific using the hashtag #bgriffin. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport.

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Reminder: This month's Virtual Tasting takes place Thursday 7pm Pacific. Read about how to participate here.

A round-up of stories on Washington wine from May 8th to 14th 2012. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country…

The Lousiana Daily Comet writes about House Wine.

Shanken Daily News writes that Gallo is eyeing Ascentia.


From the blogosphere…


Paul Gregutt asks whether viognier is the 12th man of grapes. He also writes about Seven Hills Winery and asks whether bigger is always better.

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A round-up of stories on Washington wine from May 1st to 7th 2012. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country…


The LA Times writes about the search for the perfect oyster wine with a callout to Cedergreen and several other Washington wineries.

WineBusiness.com writes about Precept opening two Walla Walla tasting rooms.


From the blogosphere…


Table Talk writes about Gordy Venneri of Walla Walla Vintners. They also write about the search for the perfect oyster wine.

Jameson Fink says drink local Puget Sound Wines.

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Fresh Sheet May 10th 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012 2 comments






Today’s Fresh Sheet – new and recent releases – includes wines from Maison Bleue, Tulpen Cellars, Two Mountain, Smasne Cellars, Seufert Winery, Dowsett Family Winery, and Patton Valley Vineyard.

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Since the birth of the Washington wine industry, no winery has received more accolades and acclaim than Snohomish’s Quilceda Creek - the standard bearer for Washington wine. In fact, the winery’s four 100-point ratings from The Wine Advocate in the last seven vintages – along with three 99-point ratings - are unparalleled by any winery in the world.

Quilceda Creek was bonded in 1978 as the state’s 12th winery. In its first vintage, 1979, the winery produced a mere 150 cases of its Cabernet Sauvignon, with the fruit coming from Otis Vineyard.

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Baer Winery founder Lance Baer first became interested in making wine after tasting a bottle of DeLille Cellars D2. “The light went on,” his sister Lisa Baer remembers. Lance soon began volunteering at DeLille and worked his way up to assistant winemaker.

Baer started his eponymous winery in 2000 in partnership with his sister. The winery started out producing the Ursa Red Wine, a Cabernet Franc-dominant Bordeaux-style blend. Arctos, a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant blend, was subsequently added. Since 2003 Baer Winery has sourced all of its fruit from Stillwater Creek Vineyard.

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In celebration of Spring, this month's Virtual Tasting wine will be the 2011 Barnard Griffin Rosé of Sangiovese. This wine retails for $12 and is widely available, though if for some reason you can't find it, feel free to grab another bottle of pink wine! The tasting will take place will take place on Thursday May 17th 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. Tweet your comments about the wine on Twitter between 7 and 8pm Pacific using the hashtag #bgriffin. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport.

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A round-up of stories on Washington wine from April 22nd to 30th 2012. Read previous round-ups here.

Buckle your seatbelts boys and girls. This roundup is a long one.

From around the country…


Wines & Vines writes about the economic impact study on Washington wine.

The San Francisco Chronicle writes about Governor Gregoire’s take on California wine.

KSBY writes about Governor Gregoire referring to California as jug wine.

Indiana’s The Republic writes about the Wine Commission’s economic impact study.

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The May/June 2012 issue of Edible Seattle contains an article I wrote on Chardonnay. Check it out on newsstands now. See a directory of locations to find a copy here.

The opening paragraph teaser: "Chardonnay is a grape of many contradictions. On the one hand, it creates some of the world's most sought after and expensive wines; on the other, it creates some of the cheapest and most abominable plonk."

Enjoy!

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Even with the economy contracting, the Washington wine industry continues to expand. One indication of this is the economic impact study released by the Washington Wine Commission last week. Another is that new wineries continue to spring up each month all over the state. One of the more exciting wineries to debut in recent years is Woodinville’s Avennia.

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