Seattle Wine Awards reception. I admit, it’s a rough life at times — volunteering to work in the Washington wine industry. As I mentioned in a previous post, Seattle Wine Awards Executive Director Christopher Chan asked if I would help out and interview various winery owners and winemakers during Sunday’s reception and tasting for award winners at the historic Rainier Club in downtown Seattle. After thinking about it for all of, like 2 seconds, I said sure!
The interviews. I was able to meet and interview upwards of 15 winemakers and owners, and ask them about their award winning wines. Lucky me — I talked to everyone from Freddie Arredondo from Cave B winery near Quincy, (I grew up in neighboring Ephrara), to Darcey Fugman-Small of Woodward Canyon, Ronn Coldiron of Glencorrie, Stevie Johnson of Tertulia, Flint Nelson from Kestrel, Rasa Vineyards’ Pinto Naravane, Robert Smasne of Smasme Cellars and Skylite Cellars, (and who was kind enough to share a bottle of award winning red), as well as Leslie Balsley from William Church Winery and Mike Andrews of Coyote Canyon Winery. (I know there are a couple of others I am unintentionally leaving out).
What I learned. Washington wines are excellent. While I didn’t have time to do as much tasting as I would’ve liked, I did taste some fabulous blends. It’s one of the things Washington winemakers do extremely well. The Rhone-style blends are simply delicious, and if you are a red wine lover, I encourage you to try them if you seldom branch out from your favorite Cab. The blends made from Syrah, Grenache, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Mourvedre and other varietals are, for the most part, done well.
Where to find the interviews. The interviews will eventually be available on YouTube and I will have to find out exactly when they’ll be uploaded. John David Cline did the videography, and I know Ole Thompson, the former sommelier at Wild Ginger, also did a number of interviews. You’re sure to find your favorite winemakers and as soon as they are posted, I’ll attach some links. In the meantime, for a full list of winners, please check out http://www.seattlewineawards.com/, and for you winemakers, I see entry forms are already post for next year!