Brian Carter Cellars, La Frenz top 19th Northwest Wine Summit

By on June 14, 2014
The 2014 Northwest Wine Summit gathered 28 judges and 942 wines for its 19th annual competition.

The 2014 Northwest Wine Summit gathered 28 judges and 942 wines for its 19th annual competition. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine)

HOOD RIVER, Ore. — Brian Carter Cellars in Woodinville, Wash., and La Frenz Winery in Penticton, British Columbia, received the top awards at the 19th annual Northwest Wine Summit, which was staged earlier this spring.

Carter, who has been making wine in Washington state since 1980 after graduating from Oregon State University and University of California-Davis, topped his second major Pacific Northwest competition this year when his 2009 Solesce Red Wine received the award for best of competition.

La Frenz, Australian winemaker Jeff Martin’s heavily decorated winery on the Naramata Bench, took home a whopping eight gold medals in the judging of 942 wines from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia, Alberta and Montana.

Brian Carter Cellars won best in show at the Seattle Wine & Food Experience Wine Competition.

Brian Carter, owner and winemaker at Brian Carter Cellars in Woodinville, Wash., won best in show for the 2009 Solesece, a Meritage-style red wine, at the 19th Northwest Wine Summit. (Photo courtesy of Brian Carter Cellars)

This year, Northwest Wine Summit proprietor Parks Redwine of Atlanta, Ga., gathered 28 judges across two venues — the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River, Ore., and The Centre in Naramata, B.C. — for the competition staged over the final two weeks of April. His panels awarded 89 gold medals, 254 silver medals and 258 bronze medals. Gold-medal wines accounted for nine percent of the field.

Carter launched his eponymous brand with the 1997 Solesce, his first proprietary blend made in a Meritage-style. His 2009 Solesce also was chosen best red wine at the Northwest Wine Summit. Earlier this year, his 2011 Opulento, a Port-style wine, earned best in show at the Seattle Wine & Food Experience Wine Competition. Brian Carter Cellars’ 2012 Oriana, a blend of Rhône white varieties, also received a gold medal.

Kiona Vineyards and Winery on Washington’s Red Mountain won best white wine for its 2013 Chenin Blanc, while its 2012 Late Harvest Riesling also earned a gold.

Maryhill Winery

Richard Batchelor, who has been head winemaker at Maryhill Winery since  2009, produced five gold medals — including best dessert — at the 19th Northwest Wine Summit. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Maryhill Winery in Goldendale, Wash., won a total of five gold medals for its 2011 Barbera, 2011 Proprietor’s Reserve Merlot, 2011 Proprietor’s Reserve Zinfandel, 2011 Les Collines Cabernet Sauvignon and 2013 Moscato di Canelli. The Moscato also was chosen as the top dessert wine of the judging.

Other best of class awards went to Thurston Wolfe in Prosser, Wash., for its non-vintage Tawny Port (best Washington and best fortified), Stone Wolf Vineyards in McMinnville, Ore., for its 2012 Pinot Noir (best Oregon, best Pinot Noir) and Sea Star Estate Farm & Vineyards on Pender Island, B.C., for its 2013 Blanc de Noir Rosé (best rosé).

Jeff Martin of La Frenz fared well in the 2013 All Canadian Wine Championships.

Jeff Martin is the owner and winemaker at La Frenz, one of Canada’s top wineries. Martin’s winery is on the Naramata Bench of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.

Earlier this year, La Frenz was named the Best Small Winery of the Year for the second consecutive year at the Riverside International Wine Competition in Temecula, Calif. At the Northwest Wine Summit, he picked up gold medals for 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 Chardonnay, 2012 Pinot Noir, 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, 2013 Alexandria white blend, 2013 Viognier and two Port-style wines — the non-vintage Tawny from Pinot Noir and Merlot, and 2012 Vintage Port from Syrah. The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon was chosen as the competition’s top Cab and the 2013 Alexandria received the award for Best of British Columbia.

Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery in Oliver, B.C., won four gold medals for its 2013 Auxerrois, 2013 Desert Sun, 2013 Dry Rock Sauvignon Blancand and 2013 Private Reserve Riesling.

Isabella Winery of Richmond, B.C., claimed three gold medals with the 2011 3-In–One Ice Wine, 2010 Blueberry dessert wine and 2010 Imperial Grand Reserve Red Wine.

Cinder Wines produced the best Idaho wine with its 2013 Off-Dry Viognier and grabbed another gold for its 2013 Dry Rosé.

Wineries to receive two gold medals included Dusted Valley Vintners in Walla Walla, Page Cellars in Woodinville, Tsillan Cellars in Chelan and four from B.C. — Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, Dirty Laundry Vineyards, Hillside Estate Winery and Poplar Grove Estate Winery.

Gold medals

8th Generation Vineyard 2013 Classic Riesling
Airfield Estates 2012 Mouvedre
Alderlea Vineyards 2009 Matrix
Averill Creek Vineyard 2010 Pinot Gris
Backyard Vineyards NV Blanc de Noir Brut
Barnard Griffin Winery, 2011 Merlot
Blakeslee Vineyard Estate, 2012 Chardonnay
Blue Moon Estate Winery 2012 Sirius Dessert wine
Brian Carter Cellars 2009 Solesce
Brian Carter Cellars 2012 Oriana
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2010 Meritage
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2012 Chardonnay
Capitello Wines 2011 Dolcino Gewürztraminer Late Harvest Dessert wine
Cardwell Hill Cellars 2011 Reserve Pinot Noir
Cascade Cliffs 2012 Estate Barbera
Cathedral Ridge Winery 2011 Reserve Zinfandel
Celista Estate Winery 2012 Ortega
Chaberton Estate Winery 2008 AC 100 Merlot
Cinder 2013 Dry Rosé
Cinder 2013 Off-Dry Viognier
Damali Lavender & Winery 2013 Mure Lavande Wild Blackberry Dessert wine
Desert Hills Winery 2012 Cactus White
Dirty Laundry Vineyard 2013 Say Yes Pinot Gris
Dirty Laundry Vineyard 2013 Secret Affair
Duck Pond Cellars 2012 Syrah
Dusted Valley Vintners 2011 Petite Sirah
Dusted Valley Vintners 2012 Rachis Syrah
Eleganté Cellars 2009 Sangiovese
Elephant Island Orchard Winery 2013 Cassis
Enrico Winery 2010 John-Lewis-Schneider Cabernet Libre
Field Stone Fruit Wines NV Raspberry Dessert
Field Stone Fruit Wines NV Strawberry-Rhubarb
Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery 2013 Auxerrois
Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery 2013 Desert Sun
Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery 2013 Dry Rock Sauvignon Blanc
Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery 2013 Private Reserve Riesling
Gifford Hirlinger 2011 Stateline Red
Hillside Estate Winery 2012 Reserve Pinot Gris
Hillside Estate Winery 2013 Gewürztraminer
Intrigue Wines 2013 Pinot Gris
Isabella Winery 2010 Blueberry Dessert fruit wine
Isabella Winery 2010 Imperial Grand Reserve
Isabella Winery 2011 3-In–One Ice wine
Jacob Williams Winery 2010 Cabernet Franc
Kiona Vineyards and Winery 2012 Late Harvest Riesling
Kiona Vineyards and Winery 2013 Chenin Blanc
Krause Berry Farms Winery NV Tayberry Dessert fruit wine
La Frenz Winery NV Tawny
La Frenz Winery 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
La Frenz Winery 2012 Chardonnay
La Frenz Winery 2012 Pinot Noir
La Frenz Winery 2012 Vintage Port
La Frenz Winery 2013 Sauvignon Blanc
La Frenz Winery 2013 Alexandria
La Frenz Winery 2013 Viognier
Lang Vineyards 2012 Farm Reserve Riesling
Love & Squalor Wine 2011 Pinot Noir
Major Creek Cellars 2011 Cabernet Franc
Maryhill Winery 2011 Barbera
Maryhill Winery 2011 Proprietor’s Reserve Merlot
Maryhill Winery 2011 Proprietor’s Reserve Zinfandel
Maryhill Winery 2011 Les Collines Cabernet Sauvignon
Maryhill Winery 2013 Moscato di Canelli
Naches Heights Vineyard 2012 Grenache
Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery 2012 Pinot Grigio
Page Cellars 2009 Norseman
Page Cellars 2011 Lick My Lips Syrah
Pentâge Winery 2010 Pentâge Blend
Poplar Grove Winery 2012 Chardonnay
Poplar Grove Winery 2013 Pinot Gris
Recline Ridge Vineyards and Winery 2012 Siegerrebe
Sea Star Estate Farm & Vineyards 2013 Blanc de Noir Rosé
Sea Star Estate Farm & Vineyards 2013 Siegerrebe
Silkscarf 2013 Viognier
Spangler Vineyards 2011 Cabernet Franc
Stone Wolf Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir
Sun River Vintners 2011 Souzão
Thornhaven Estates Winery 2012 Pinot Gris
Thurston Wolfe Winery NV Tawny Port
Tightrope Winery 2013 Pinot Gris
Tinhorn Creek 2010 Oldfield Series Pinot Noir
Trio Vintners 2010 Grenache
Tsillan Cellars 2011 Estate Reserve Syrah
Tsillan Cellars 2013 Estate Gewurztraminer
Walnut City Wineworks 2012 Gewürztraminer
Waterbrook Winery 2012 Sauvignon Blanc
Z’IVO Wines 2009 Pinot Noir

About Eric Degerman

Eric Degerman is the President and CEO of Great Northwest Wine. He is a journalist with more than 30 years of daily newspaper experience and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Andy Perdue and served as its managing editor for a decade. He is a frequent wine judge at international wine competitions throughout North America and orchestrates 10 Northwest competitions each year.


  1. […] spring, that same wine was selected best red and best of show at the Northwest Wine Summit. In January, the Woodinville winemaker’s 2011 Opulento, a Port-style wine, earned best in show at […]

  2. […] In May, his 2009 Solesce, a Bordeaux-style red blend, won top honors at the Northwest Wine Summit. […]

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