Watermill Winery in Milton-Freewater, Ore., produced another Platinum-winning wine last month in Wine Press Northwest’s annual judging of gold-medal winners.
On Thursday night, the magazine’s 2010 Oregon Winery to Watch will be pouring at Sorci’s Italian Café — a fun little restaurant and deli in Sumner, Wash. (It’s a short walk from my brother’s home.)
Eric Brown, Watermill’s national sales rep, will be pouring. With any luck, he may have a bottle of the 2009 Merlot left to share for the evening, which is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. (The restaurant website reads that Thursdays Wine Tastings run 5-7 p.m.)
The 2012 crush brought significant transition to Watermill. Noah Fox Reed took over for Andrew Brown, who helped guide Watermill to six Platinums since 2009. Brown learned from Saviah Cellars’ Richard Funk, one of the Northwest’s most underrated winemakers.
“We are so busy with the hard cider that Andrew had to focus solely on the production of the cider,” Nancy Kezele, co-owner/manager of Watermill, said via email.
Fox Reed’s résumé is rather impressive, having served as assistant winemaker to David “Merf” Merfeld at nearby Northstar — Ste. Michelle Wine Estates‘ famed Merlot producer in nearby Walla Walla, Wash.
So perhaps we can expect more gold medals — perhaps a Platinum — from Watermill’s 2012 Merlot.