NW Wine on the Interwebs Autobahn
It’s still winter around the Pacific Northwest, and while the vines are stark and the skies gray, that doesn’t mean the regional wine world isn’t active. There’s plenty to read, do, taste, and see. To help you stay in touch with this great wine region, I’ve rounded up some good links for you to check out. These are online stories by Northwest wine people who know what they are talking about, or they are events and happenings you should check out.
Lake Chelan AVA
I first wrote abut Lake Chelan 5 years ago in Northwest Palate. A lot has changed since then! Over at Northwest Wine Anthem there’s a great story about Karma Vineyards and their sparkling wine program. Lo these many years ago I visted with Karma before their winery was really off the ground, and have lost touch with what they are doing. This story will get you wanting to go visit!
Wine Access Closure
British Columbia wine lovers, not to mention Americans fond of BC wines, will be sad to learn that Wine Access magazine, what was an outstanding national wine publication, has closed its doors. While I have some personal understanding of the factors that go into closing a magazine, I am greatly saddened by the loss. Anthony Gismondi, one of the most influential wine commentators/writers in Canada, comments on the closure.
Washington vs. California
At greatnorthwestwine.com, Prolific Northwest wine writer Andy Purdue offers up a fascinating comparison of Washington’s wine industry with California’s. We all know that California is the country’s largest wine producer, and Washington’s is the runner up. Andy’s comparison makes the valuable point that “Washington doesn’t make jug wine” so a more useful comparison is between Washington and Napa/Sonoma—in both regions premium wine is the focus.
At the WashingtonWineReport.com, Sean Sullivan offers some interesting reading by looking at 2010 through the lens of cabernet sauvignon. Sean talks about the difficulties of the 2010 vintage, and how, in the end, some winemakers turned out “some of the finest wines I’ve had the privilege of trying from Washington . . .”
Pinot and Paella
Tamara Belgard takes on pairing pinot noir with the great Spanish dish, paella. Helping in her Sip With Me! exploration is a Portland Spanish chef and three Oregon wineries: WillaKenzie Estate, Elk Cove Vineyards, and Ghost Hill Cellars. It makes my mouth water . . .
It was great to hear that the Elkton AVA had been established by the TTB in southern Oregon. I used to live in this area and have always had a soft spot for it. I remember traipsing around pinot vines planted in the 1970s, tasting excellent pinot from the tiny tasting room at River’s Edge winery, and recall when these folks named Terry and Sue Brandborg moved in to start their winery. Read the entire definition of the Elkton AVA here.
New Character for Indie Wine Festival
One of the best Northwest wine events of recent years has been the Portland Indie Wine Festival. The brainchild of Lisa Donoughe (Watershed Communications) and Catherine Healy (Flint Design), the event is being re-imagined and reengineered for 2013. Now called Indie Wine Interactive, this new event promises to take the “wine event” concept into innovative territory. To be held May 9-13 in Portland, OR, Indie Wine Interactive will offer participants unique, in-depth access to leading wine industry experts as well as the opportunity for special wine experiences and take-away knowledge.
No More Paul Gregutt Blog
Prominent Northwest wine writer Paul Gregutt (he of Seattle Times and Wine Enthusiast) has decided to cease his blog (but definitely not his wine writing) in favor of pursuing more consulting, speaking, and apparently wine making. While I can appreciate his desire to reduce his deadline pressures, it is too bad not to have the wisdom of his regular posts. Oh, but we will have the archive of what he has posted. The good news is that Paul’s Unfined & Unfiltered blog archive will remain available. Good reading to all!
Not to Late to Get Your IPNC Tickets!
The International Pinot Noir Celebration is one of the great wine events in the world! Held at the end of July on the campus of Linfield College in McMinnville, OR, it is an annual gathering of pinophiles from around the globe—including wine luminaries, international wineries, and some of the finest chefs on America’s West Coast. If you have never been, you must go!