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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The February Virtual Tasting is tonight! The wine is the Saviah Cellars 2012 The Jack Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley. This wine retails for $18 and is widely available. The tasting will take place tonight, Thursday February 26th, from 7-8pm Pacific.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from the winery or a local retailer

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wines from February 15th to 21. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country…

Wine Enthusiast writes about Red Mountain rising (article by yours truly). Please bear with the six (!) advancement arrows.

Forbes writes that Gallo does Washington.

The Yamhill News Register writes about record temperatures in Washington and Oregon.

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The February Virtual Tasting wine is the Saviah Cellars 2012 The Jack Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley. This wine retails for $18 and is widely available. The tasting will take place on Thursday February 26th from 7-8pm Pacific.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from the winery or a local retailer

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from February 8th to 14th 2015. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country…

Wine Enthusiast writes about Oregon’s value Pinot Noir.


From the blogosphere…

Great Northwest Wine writes that a rule change would help many Northwest wineries. They also write about the Barnard Griffin Rosé, a Millennial-themed wine eventWAWGG, and that Cayuse won’t use The Rocks District on its labels.

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On Monday the Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposed a rule that, if enacted, would significantly alter the way that appellation names can be used on wine labels. Specifically, the proposed rule – issued in Notice No. 147 - would allow wineries to use single state appellations of origin on labels if they are in an adjacent state.

Currently, Federal law states that, in order to use an appellation of origin, a wine must be ‘fully finished’ in the state in which the appellation lies. That is to say, a Washington-based winery, for example, cannot use an Oregon located appellation on their label. The proposed rule would broaden this to allow adjacent states to use single state appellations.

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2014 was once again a year for the record books in Washington, with the state producing 227,000 tons of wine grapes. This was an increase of 8% over the previous year, though the number was less than the 240,000 tons initially forecast.

Production of white wine grapes shot up 16% with much of this increase accounted for by Riesling, which increased a whopping 26% from 2013. Riesling became Washington's most produced grape variety in 2014 at 50,500 tons, eclipsing Chardonnay (43,000 tons) and Cabernet Sauvignon (42,200).

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from February 1st to 7th 2015. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country…

Shanken Daily News writes about Oregon wine. Read part two here. They also write about Drinkspace.

Memphis City Magazine writes about Pinot Noir by the growler.

Bloomberg writes about a $300 Oregon Pinot Noir.

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Buckle your seat belts for a round-up of stories on Northwest wine from January 22nd to 31st. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country…

At Wine Spectator Harvey Steiman writes about Helen Keplinger consulting at Force Majeure. He also writes about thorny brambles versus sunny fruit.

Atlanta Magazine writes about Oregon Pinot Noir.

MainLine Today writes about 10 great wines to BYOB with several Northwest mentions.

The New Hampshire Union Leader writes about the 2012 Adelsheim Pinot Noir.

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On Monday, February 9th approval for The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater appellation will be published in the Federal Register. The Rocks District will be the first sub-appellation of the Walla Walla Valley. The region, which is wholly located on the Oregon side of the valley, will be Oregon's 18th federally approved wine growing region.

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January Pic of the Vine

Friday, January 30, 2015 0 comments

In the offseason, resident photographer Richard Duval selects certain images and moves into fine art mode. Using various software tools (but not Photoshop), he experiments with tone, light, symmetry, and shadow to create a new image that is then printed on metallic-coated paper and fused to a sheet of aluminum for display. This month’s Pic of the Vine - titled “Blue Vine” - is a recent addition to that collection.

“My intent is to illustrate the wine world we see every day in a different fashion,” Duval said. “I’m always drawn to the natural beauty of the vineyard, but I’m also intrigued by what I might uncover by deliberately and carefully altering the photo’s elements. Blue Vine conjures the stark cold of the winter season but also underscores the precision of the rows, carefully tended throughout the year.”

Click on the picture for a larger image. Enjoy!

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

From around the country…

Wines & Vines writes that Oregon winery wages outpace employment.

Wine Business writes about Helen Keplinger joining Force Majeure as a consultant.

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from January 8th to 14th. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world…

The Courier Islander (Campbell River, BC) writes about the Kung Fu Girl Riesling.


From around the country…

The Capital Gazette (Maryland) writes about the Horse Heaven Hills.

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The January-February issue of Vineyard & Winery Management contains five articles I authored, including the cover story on the top 40 viticulture and enology advances of the last 40 years. The issue also includes an article looking at the effects of the liquor privatization in Washington; issues regarding the current supply of American oak; and harvest reports for Washington and Oregon (yes, this was why this site was so quiet last fall).

Additionally, the January-February issue of Edible Seattle contains an article on Ballard’s Captive Spirits titled, “Making Big Gin: Ballard's Captive Spirits - the little distillery that could". See a list of newsstand locations.

See other recent articles, most with web links or .pdf downloads.

Enjoy!

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Plans for 2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015 4 comments

As we start off the New Year, I want to write about plans for 2015 and what you can expect to see in this space. Without further ado.

1. All Washington wine reviews and scores will be now published in Wine Enthusiast magazine

Now that I have posted reviews for all of the wines that were received at Washington Wine Report prior to October 1st when my responsibilities at Wine Enthusiast changed, all formal reviews and scores of Washington wines will now be published in Wine Enthusiast as opposed to in this space (see my list of Wine Enthusiast coverage areas). I encourage you to subscribe to the magazine. However, these reviews are also freely available at winemag.com, the magazine’s website.

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from January 1st to 7th 2015. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country…

Scene (Wisconsin) writes about Washington wine.

Forbes writes about ten ways to love wine in 2015, with shout outs to Washington and Oregon. They also write about the Four Graces Pinot Gris.

The Washington Post writes about the Washington Hills Merlot.

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Happy New Year folks! Starting off the year, a round-up of stories on Northwest wine from December 22nd to 31st. Read previous roundups here.

From around the world…

The Montreal Gazette recommends the Kung Fu Girl Riesling.

The Windsor Square (Toronto) asks whether Burgundian Pinot Noir is a fool’s game.


From around the country…

Wine Enthusiast writes about Oregon Pinot Noir.

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2014: The Year in Washington Wine

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 0 comments

What follows is an excerpt from an article in the Winter issue Washington Tasting Room magazine. 

A peek at the 2014 harvest plus a review of what’s trending in Washington’s wine industry

Washington State growers and winemakers saw their second straight warm growing season in 2014. For many vineyard sites in Eastern Washington, it was their warmest growing season on record. Growers appreciated the relatively stress-free year which was without frosts, freezes and other significant events. Read rest of article here.

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Fresh Sheet December 30th 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 0 comments

Today’s Fresh Sheet – reviews of new and recent releases – includes wines from sommes des partiesSilverback VineyardsColumbia WineryErathAnam Cara CellarsKramer Vineyards, and La Crema.

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Walla Walla Valley Report 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014 0 comments


This report on the Walla Walla Valley includes wines from Cayuse VineyardsNo GirlsAbejaWoodward CanyonDelmas, and Maison Bleue.


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Pic of the Vine - December 2014

Sunday, December 28, 2014 0 comments

The cold winter blues is our choice for the last Pic of the Vine of 2014. This image from resident photographer Richard Duval was captured while roaming a favorite site in the Walla Walla Valley on a ten-degree day.

“Winter in wine country offers a different and demanding view of old friends like Les Collines Vineyard,” Duval said. “Balancing snow, frost, and cold are a challenge but the results are captivating glimpses of what these vineyards do in the off-season – sleep!”

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The Evolution of Force Majeure

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 0 comments

Changes are afoot at Woodinville’s Force Majeure. Earlier this year the winery hired Todd Alexander (pictured left) as winemaker and general manager. Alexander previously served as winemaker at the cult Napa Valley winery Bryant Family.

The move to hire a full time winemaker at Force Majeure was in part accelerated by the departure of partner Ryan Johnson. Johnson, who also stepped aside from managing Ciel du Cheval Vineyard this year, had been a driving force on the viticultural side for Force Majeure.

“Ryan’s a great viticulturalist and I would love for him to still be involved, but I also have to respect life choices,” said owner Paul McBride. Renowned grower Dick Boushey was subsequently brought on to manage the winery’s estate site.

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A round-up of stories on Northwest wine from December 8th to 21st 2014. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country…

Wine Enthusiast writes about Betz Family purchasing land in Walla Walla Valley (article by yours truly).

The News-Press (Florida) recommends Pinot Blanc for the holidays.

Wines and Vines writes about Betz Family purchasing 40 acres at SeVein. They also write about the Oregon Wine Institute planning for the future.

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The December Virtual Tasting is tonight! The wine is the Treveri Cellars Brut Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine NV. This wine retails for $14 and is widely available. The tasting will take place tonight, Wednesday December 17th, from 7-8pm Pacific.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from the winery or a local retailer

2. Tweet your comments about the wine on Twitter between 7 and 8pm Pacific on the specified date using the hashtag #treveri. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport.

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

From around the world…

The Globe and Mail writes about the 14 Hands Hot to Trot White Blend.

Drinks Business Review writes about Erath releasing its first wine from Willakia Vineyard.


From around the country…

The San Francisco Chronicle gives a preview of its Top 100 white wines, with a call out to Analemma. They also write about top Pinot Noirtop Zinfandel and other redstop Cabernets and blendsChardonnayother whitessparkling wines, and top Rhone-style reds.

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With the holidays coming up and holiday parties aplenty, it’s time to take a look at value wines $15 and under. This will be the final segment of what has historically been the ‘Five Wines Under $15’ series over the years as I transition all of my Washington reviews to Wine Enthusiast. Look for postings on value wines based on Wine Enthusiast reviews in 2015.

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