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Northwest Wines
Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman
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February 7  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
10 delicious examples of sauvignon blanc
One of the unsung white grapes of Washington is sauvignon blanc. This classic wine is a perfect pairing with our region’s seafood and is versatile with many dishes.In 2014, Washington wineries harvested nearly 7,000 tons of sauvignon blanc, the most in the state’s history. This makes sauvignon blanc the No. 4 white wine grape in the state, after riesling, chardonnay and pinot gris.

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January 31  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
Oregon remains focused on Pinot Noir It’s been more than a half-century since pinot noir was planted in the Willamette Valley and launched Oregon’s modern wine industry.Some 50 years later, pinot noir remains the grape of choice for the majority of Oregon winemakers. In fact, the suave red grape most commonly associated with France’s Burgundy region dominates the landscape, with more than 60 percent of the state’s acreage dedicated to it.

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January 24  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue, Great Northwest Wine
Northwest Syrah ripe with Old World complexity It's been 30 years since the first Syrah grapes were planted in Washington. Since then, the red grape has become a favorite in the country's second-largest wine-producing state.



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January 17  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
CLOVERDALE, Calif. — On the American wine industry’s biggest stage, Pacific Northwest wines showed just how good they can be.The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition took place the first full week of January in this Sonoma County community. It is the largest judging of U.S. wines, this year drawing 7,162 entries from more than 20 states.

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January 10  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
8 of the best Northwest wines from 2015
During 2015, we tasted a few thousand wines from around the world, though with a heavy focus on the Pacific Northwest.We published about 1,500 reviews of Pacific Northwest wines last year, and in December we distilled all those reviews down to our top 100. We did this by compiling a list that included all the top wines we tasted under blind conditions — meaning we didn’t know who made the wine or what the price was until after the wine was evaluated and rated.

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January 3  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
Wine Press Northwest reveals platinum sips In Wine Press Northwest's latest issue (which went to subscribers in time for Christmas), the longtime regional wine magazine released the results of its 16th annual Platinum Judging.

The Platinum Judging is a year-end wine competition that includes only wines that earned gold medals at any of about 40 wine competitions conducted around the world. Only wines from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho are eligible.

The wines are then tasted blind (the...

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January 3  |  By Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
Top wine stories of 2015 about weather, winners It has been a busy year throughout Pacific Northwest wine country, with the top stories often dealing with the historically warm growing seasons in Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho.

We look at 10 top stories we wrote about in 2015 in this annual roundup of wine-related news.

10. Deaths: Fred Artz, Jack Jones, Cole Danehower

The Northwest wine industry lost three family members in 2015:

Fred Artz, a longtime...

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December 27  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
It's still pretty easy to track down delicious white wines from the Northwest that cost $15 or less.

Part of this is because white wine grapes cost less, but they also spend less time in the cellar before they head to store shelves. Here are 10 tasty and affordable white wines we've tasted in recent weeks that are easy on the wallet and fresh from the 2014 vintage.

Ask for them at your favorite wine merchant or contact the wineries directly.


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December 20  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
If your wallet is feeling a little light from holiday spending yet you still need to find a few bottles of wine for parties or a midweek meal, there are plenty of red wines to be found in the magical $15-and-under category.

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December 13  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
Northwest’s newest AVA is Idaho’s Eagle Foothills
Last month, the federal government gave the official nod for the newest American Viticultural Area in the Pacific Northwest: Eagle Foothills.Eagle Foothills is in southern Idaho, a 49,815-acre region north of Boise. It is within the vast Snake River Valley AVA (approved in 2007) and is Idaho’s first AVA that is entirely within the state’s borders (the Snake River Valley dips into Oregon to the west).

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December 6  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
Red blends all the rage across the Northwest
Perhaps just 15 years ago, red blends were just a small part of the Northwest wine scene. Today, it might just be the biggest category.It’s certainly become the most interesting, with not only traditional blends from Bordeaux, the Rhône Valley, Italy and Spain coming into play, but also combinations not considered in the Old World.

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November 29  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
Woodinville wine industry continues to grow, thrive
In the past decade, the northern King County community of Woodinville has gone from being home to a small collection of wineries (including the state’s oldest and largest) to developing into an international destination.

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November 28  |  By Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
Snohomish’s Quilceda Creek nabs No. 2 wine in world
Pacific Northwest wines dominated the top of Wine Spectator magazine’s annual top 100 list, a compilation of the best wines in the world, according to the largest and most influential wine publication in the world.Wines from Washington and Oregon filled an astonishing 20 percent of the top 50, with five wines from each state.“Oregon and Washington did well,” said Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator’s editor-at-large.

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November 22  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
Nine wines to pair with Thanksgiving meal
With Thanksgiving fast approaching, it’s not too early to think about what wines you might serve with this fall’s feast.Thanksgiving can seem like a daunting meal with which to pair wines, and that’s a valid concern for many reasons: There are many contradictory flavors on the table, and the focus does not tend to be wine but rather on the food and the company.

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November 4  |  By Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman Great Northwest Wine
Walla Walla Vintners continues to shine
WALLA WALLA — It’s been quite a year for the team at Walla Walla Vintners.Led by owners Gordy Venneri and Myles Anderson and winemaker William VonMetzger, this winery east of downtown Walla Walla has been capturing medals and acclaim at a fast clip in 2015.In June, the Walla Walla Vintners 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon earned best of show at the third annual Walla Walla Valley Wine Competition — its second best of show in as many years.

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November 1  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
Great whites from Great NW Invitational Wine Competition
White and sparkling wines are perfect for any time of the year — and especially during the holidays.White wines tend to be less expensive than reds, and they often pair well with such dishes as seafood, chicken, pork and vegetable dishes.

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October 25  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
At the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition, 20 judges worked in groups of four to work through the 561 wines entered from throughout the Pacific Northwest.To win a gold, a wine must earn a top score from three of the four judges. If all four judges deem the wine a gold medal, then it wins a unanimous double gold.

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October 18  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
Top wines from third Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition HOOD RIVER, Ore. — For the second consecutive year, a white wine from British Columbia entranced the judges at the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition.

Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery's 2014 Old Vines Auxerrois won best of show at the third annual competition, which took place at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel. Gehringer Brothers is about 20 minutes north of the U.S. border near the city of Oliver.

Last year, Wild Goose Vineyards from from...

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October 11  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
Washington Chardonnays continue to gain in popularity Chardonnay has been Washington's bread-and-butter white wine since the early 1990s and has continued to be one of its strongest grape varieties through the past 20 years.

Thanks to growth from the top (Chateau Ste. Michelle makes about 1 million cases of Chardonnay annually), Washington wineries have embraced the noble white variety in a big way.

Chardonnay is easy to pronounce — and easy to love. Most Chardonnays pair well with a wide variety of food,...

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October 4  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
Idaho wine industry small but mighty
Idaho is, by far, the smallest wine region in the Pacific Northwest — and it is poised to continue to grow.Thanks to a commitment to quality and explorations into what the best grape varieties could be, the Gem State wine industry is showing it’s ready for prime time.The sixth annual Idaho Wine Competition, conducted Sept. 22, showed just how well the region’s wines are doing as eight wine professionals judged through 160 entries from 29 of the state’s 50 wineries.

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September 27  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
Affordable white wines for autumn enjoyment
As summer fades into autumn, there’s no time like the present to load up on delicious white wines to enjoy as the holidays approach.

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September 18  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
Inexpensive Northwest red wines difficult to make
Our definition of a “best buy” is $15, for red or white. With the cost of doing business, it’s extremely difficult for winemakers in Washington and Oregon to make red wines for much less than that. Quality grapes, oak barrels, bottles, labels, winemaker salaries, marketing costs, wholesale prices and other expenses begin to add up quickly, meaning profit margins become extremely thin for red wines below $20 per bottle.

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September 13  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
As evenings grow cooler and snow begins to fall in the mountains, our thoughts drift toward autumn and winter nights when a delicious glass of fortified dessert wine warms the belly and the soul.

Fortified dessert wines — crafted by adding brandy during fermentation — tend to be high in alcohol and off-dry to sweet on the palate. They pair beautifully with nuts, fresh fruits and cheeses such as Roquefort or Rogue Creamery's Smokey Blue.


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September 6  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
North Central Washington wineries continue to shine
Washington’s original wine country is proving to be on quite the comeback. The wines of North Central Washington are growing in quality and quantity, as this year’s North Central Washington Wine Awards show.

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August 30  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
With wildfires seemingly affecting every corner of the Pacific Northwest, one of the hardest-hit communities has been those around Washington’s Lake Chelan.A lightning storm the morning of Aug. 14 caused several fires to erupt, destroying thousands of acres of forest, burning dozens of buildings, sending residents fleeing and keeping visitors away during a crucial period in Lake Chelan’s tourist season.

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August 27  |  By Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
Wildfire destroys Lake Chelan winery Ventimiglia Cellars
LAKE CHELAN — A wildfire has destroyed one winery and caused many of the region’s winemakers and grape growers to evacuate.Ventimiglia Cellars was destroyed Friday evening after owner Ron Ventimiglia was forced to flee.“I had a few customers in the tasting room when we were told to evacuate,” Ventimiglia told Great Northwest Wine.

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August 23  |  By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
Small family winery produces big results in Oregon’s Dundee Hills
High in northern Oregon’s picturesque Dundee Hills is a special vineyard and winery run by a small but high-achieving family.Winter’s Hill Estate was established in 1990, when Peter and Emily Gladhart put their first vines in the ground at the 150-acre family farm, which was established nearly 30 years earlier. They crafted their first wines in 1998, producing just a few hundred cases that vintage.

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August 16  |  By Andy Perdue Great Northwest Wine
Historically early wine grape harvest begins in Washington ZILLAH — Washington's historically early wine grape harvest kicked off early Friday morning when 18 tons of Chardonnay were harvested in the Rattlesnake Hills American Viticultural Area.

The grapes were harvested at Hilltop, a 31-year-old vineyard north of the Yakima Valley community of Buena. It is managed by Patrick Rawn of Two Mountain Winery in Zillah, who sells the grapes to Treveri Cellars in nearby Wapato.

By all accounts, this is the earliest...

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