Wine Stars Begin to Shine I
f three years can make a trend, then we are starting to get a clearer picture of the North Central Washington wine scene, thanks to the NCW Wine Awards. Overall, the improvements we’ve seen in the region’s wine quality over the past decade have been remarkable, and wineries here compete on a state, national and global level. This area’s agricultural tradition and its willingness to attract visitors and treat them right bode well for the future of wine tourism. Looking at the results of the first three years of the NCW Wine Awards, a few points are clear: ◆◆ Chateau Faire le Pont in Wenatchee is crafting superb wines, particularly reds. In 2011, it won five gold medals, followed up last year by two more (including best red wine). And this year, it delivered four more golds (including a unanimous double gold). ◆◆ Jones of Washington in Quincy, is the real deal thanks to the talents of winemaker Victor
Palencia. In 2011, Jones won best white wine and a double gold medal. It followed up this success in 2012 with four gold medals. This year, it won best rosé and a gold medal. ◆◆ Milbrandt Vineyards in Mattawa, has become a big-time producer the past few years. Last year, it won four gold medals and followed up this year with four more. ◆◆ Dutch John’s Wines in Cashmere is not on many wine critics’ radars, but it should be. Owner George Valison earned two gold medals in 2011, a gold last year and two golds this year. Of these six gold medals, five were for Syrah. These are just four of the story lines from the first three years. I look forward to seeing who By Andy Perdue else emerges from this exciting young wine Special to Foothills Magazine region. Andy Perdue is editor and publisher of Great Northwest and the Seattle Times wine columnist. Learn more at greatnorthwestwine.com.
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September / October 2013
Published on Aug 21, 2013