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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Well, it’s that time of year when many of the higher end 2010 Cabernet Sauvignons and Bordeaux-style blends are starting to hit the shelves, so it seems like a good time to take a look back at the vintage that was.

2010 was a challenging year for growers and winemakers alike in Washington (read harvest reports here). The weather was the coolest it had been in more than ten years (little did anyone know then that 2011 would be cooler). This provided for conditions that many of Washington’s recently minted growers and winemakers had never seen.

The cool - and at times wet - conditions led to botrytis issues in some areas, even on red grapes like Syrah, which, again, was something previously unseen. The order that different varieties normally ripen and are picked was thrown askew. Hands were wrung and brows were furrowed across the state.

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The January Virtual Tasting is tonight! The wine is the Stonecap 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley. This wine retails for $8 and is widely available. The tasting 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 #stonecap. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport.

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Shannon Jones of Woodinville’s Hestia Cellars first became interested in wine while traveling throughout Europe and New Zealand playing rugby. However, it was a trip to Greece that solidified his desire to start making it. “I grew up in a big Greek family,” Jones explains. He says of his trip back to the Peloponnese, “I just fell in love with the whole culture around food and wine.”

Jones returned home from his trip and began taking weekend classes at UC Davis, completing a two-year certificate course and subsequently taking classes at WSU. In 2004, he and his wife started Hestia Cellars, naming the winery after the goddess of the hearth in a nod to his Greek roots. At the time, Jones was managing human resources and corporate accounting systems but before long he decided to dedicate himself to his winery full time.

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Washingtonians have an innate fear of the Californian invasion. While the state was long ago overrun by Golden Staters heading north in search of the good life, when it comes to the wine industry, things are just getting started.

Earlier this month California-based Trinchero Family Estates entered into an agreement to handle sales, marketing, and distribution for Charles & Charles. This winery is a joint project with K Vintners/Charles Smith winemaker Charles Smith and Charles Bieler. The Charles & Charles lineup currently includes a rosé (which landed a place in the Wine Spectator Top 100 list in 2012) and a red blend. Bieler and Smith produced 75,000 cases of their wines in 2012.

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

From around the country…

Today Food asks whether Walla Walla is America’s new wine capital (good read).

Wine Business.com writes about the Auction of Washington Wines contributing 250,000 to WSU’s viticulture and enology program.

FSR Magazine writes about Washington wine.


From the blogosphere…

Wine Folly gives a Washington wine map.

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The January Virtual Tasting wine is the Stonecap 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley. This wine retails for $8 and is widely available. The tasting will take place on Wednesday January 30th 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 on the specified date using the hashtag #stonecap. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport.

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Plans for 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013 0 comments


As is my custom, I want to start 2013 – a bit tardy perhaps! - by discussing some things to expect on these virtual pages this year. Planned changes for 2013 include:

1. Increased coverage of Oregon wines
2. Changes in Washington and Oregon coverage
3. Continued addition of other writers to this space
4. Focused articles on other aspects of the Northwest wine industry
5. Revised site design
6. Subscription charges

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Submissions

Sunday, January 20, 2013 0 comments

Washington Wine Report is dedicated to the wines and wineries of the Pacific Northwest. Samples received from other regions may or may not be reviewed at the discretion of the editor.

All wines are reviewed by Sean P. Sullivan. Read about how wines are rated and reviewed here. For information on how to submit wines, please contact Sean at wawinereport@gmail.com.

Editor's Note: As of January 2013, in addition to reviewing wines here, I am also reviewing wines for Wine Enthusiast for various regions (see table below). To avoid any conflicts, I will only be reviewing wines in this space that are not designated with the appellations I am covering for Wine Enthusiast. See a breakdown of the specific areas that I will be covering for Washington Wine Report and for Wine Enthusiast in the table below.

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Buckle your seatbelts for a special two week round-up of stories on Washington wine from January 1st to 14th 2013. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country…

Wines & Vines writes about the fallout from liquor privatization.

Shanken Daily News writes about an alliance between Trinchero Family Estates and Charles & Charles.

Wine Business.com writes about the Auction of Washington Wines contributing $250K to WSU’s viticulture and enology program.

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The January/February issue of Vineyard & Winery Management has an article I wrote on the 2012 growing season and harvest in Washington and Oregon. Subscribe or request a free issue of the magazine here.

Also, my article for Washington Tasting Room Magazine on "The Year in Wine 2012-2013" is now available on-line. Read it here. Enjoy!

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Pic of the Vine - January 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 0 comments

Pic of the Vine is a monthly image taken by contributor Richard Duval. See previous Pic of the Vine images here.

January's Pic of the Vine is another crush image from Richard Duval who captured this fall color display at Les Collines Vineyard in the  Walla Walla Valley. In a short time, Les Collines has established itself as one of the state's top sites for Syrah, including examples from Gramercy CellarsAmavi CellarsRasa VineyardsKerloo Cellars and others. Click on the picture to enlarge the image or go to  www.vinelines.com to download a full-sized version.

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I am delighted to announce that I have accepted a Contributing Editor position at Wine Enthusiast. At the magazine, among other things, I will be responsible for reviewing wines from the following areas:

Washington – Wines labeled with the following AVAs or regional designations as well as all Precept Wines.1

Ancient Lakes
Columbia Gorge
Horse Heaven Hills
Lake Chelan
Naches Heights
Rattlesnake Hills
Snipes Mountain
Wahluke Slope

Oregon – Wines labeled with the following AVA designations

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Happy New Year everybody!

As I wrote in my last post, I’m taking a short vacation the first two weeks of 2013. Look for regular new postings to resume on January 15th.

Have a great start to 2013!

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

From Around the Country…

The Chattanooga Pulse writes about Maryhill.

Good Fruit Grower writes about the upcoming grape grower’s conference.


From the blogosphere…

Great Northwest Wine writes about a history of winter events in Washington wine country. They also look at a Top 10 Pacific Northwest wine stories, give a guide to Pacific Northwest sparkling winesunshroud sparkling wines, and the Wine Science Center moving toward construction.

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