Top Washington winemakers to pour at Vintners in the Vineyard

By on June 2, 2015
Vintners in the Vineyard will be Saturday, June 6 at Col Solare on Red Mountain. (Photo courtesy of the Auction of Washington Wines)

Vintners in the Vineyard will be Saturday, June 6, at Col Solare on Red Mountain. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

BENTON CITY, Wash. — The Auction of Washington Wines returns to Red Mountain on Saturday as 25 of the state’s top wineries and winemakers pour at iconic Col Solare as part of Vintners in the Vineyard.

In the past, this event was staged during Memorial Day weekend and branded as Revelry on Red Mountain, but Vintners in the Vineyard remains the opening event for summer of fundraising activities for the 28th annual Auction of Washington Wines. And it will be extra special this year — coming just two days after the opening ceremonies for the Wine Science Center at nearby Washington State University Tri-Cities.

“The timing of this is allowing everyone to highlight the best of what Washington can do and at the same time support Seattle Children’s Hospital, Washington State University and the Wine Science Center,” said Heather Unwin, executive director of the Red Mountain AVA Alliance. “And it’s nice that the spotlight will be on Red Mountain.”

Sherri Swingle, interim executive director for the Auction of Washington Wines, said, “We’ve had several wineries in the past few years that have not been able to participate because it’s been on Memorial Day weekend, and then when the Wine Science Center announced that its dedication will be on June 4, we thought that would be a great weekend for us. There’s a lot of moment with the opening of the Wine Science Center, and we wanted to be a part of all the excitement.

“You don’t want to go back and forth on the date of an event, but it’s the appropriate thing to do this year,” Swingle added. “Whether we keep it the weekend after Memorial Day, we’ll see.”

Saturday’s group is a rather elite collection of vintners from throughout the state, and the traditional presence of so many winemakers has made this event — with an average attendance of 125 — different from large festivals.

“It’s a really intimate event, and the organizers specifically ask the winemakers to be there, so people really get to hang out with them,” Unwin said. “They get to have conversations with the winemakers and ask questions of them. The winemakers are taking their time out of their schedules on a Saturday night because this is so important to them.”

Attendance for this year’s event is expected to be higher than in the past, in part because many in the industry will be in Richland for the opening of the Wine Science Center. Unwin said a company that handles exports to China also has asked to attend Saturday’s Vintners in the Vineyard.

Saturday’s festivities along Antinori Road near the top of Red Mountain will be complemented by appetizers from Jake Crenshaw, executive chef and owner of Olive Marketplace and Café Catering in Walla Walla.

Tickets are $95 per person, and sales are limited. Round-trip transportation from The Courtyard by Marriott in Richland to Col Solare is an additional $25 per person. Reservations for the shuttle service are required.

Organizers said ticket sales are brisk and are available via the website or by calling (206) 326-5754.

Auction of Washington Wines donations reach $31M

Vintners in the Vineyard will be Saturday, June 6 at Col Solare on Red Mountain.

Vintners in the Vineyard will be Saturday, June 6, at Col Solare on Red Mountain. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

The Auction of Washington Wines, created in 1988, has raised more than $31 million for its beneficiaries, with a majority helping to fund uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s Hospital. A portion of the proceeds also go toward Washington State University’s Viticulture & Enology Program.

This year, DeLille Cellars in Woodinville serves as honorary vintner of Auction of Washington Wines, joined by Dick Shaw as honorary grower and journalist Andy Perdue as honorary chair.

The schedule for the August events includes:

  • Thursday, Aug. 13 — Picnic & Barrel Auction at Chateau Ste. Michelle
  • Friday, Aug. 14 — Winemaker Dinner Series throughout the Puget Sound
  • Saturday, Aug. 15 — Columbia Winery Charity Run & Walk
  • Saturday, Aug. 15 —  The Winemaker Gala at Chateau Ste. Michelle

Several auction lots will be available Saturday at Vintners in the Vineyard, and they include:

Washington State University Viticulture & Enology commemorative lot
Engraved commemorative magnums of WSU Blended Learning Wine 2012 Red Wine, Horse Heaven Hills; Wine Science Center Grand Opening Blended Learning Viticulture & Enology 2013 Methode Champenoise Rosé, Columbia Valley; and WSC Grand Opening Blended Learning Viticulture & Enology 2013 Methode Champenoise Brut, Columbia Valley.

Seattle Children’s Hospital Sounders FC VIP Experience
Four club-level tickets to watch the Sounders take on Toronto FC at CenturyLink Field on Sept. 5, including $100 to spend at The Brooklyn Seafood, Steak & Oyster House

Private tour, tasting for six at Col Solare
Your party of six will be invited to tour the estate vineyard and cellars and enjoy a special wine and cheese pairing experience. You will learn about this Bordeaux style blend while touring the estate vineyard, winery and cellars. There will be time to enjoy the expansive view from our Red Mountain tasting room while sampling two vintages of Col Solare for a side by side taste comparison.

Vintners in the Vineyard list of winemakers, wines

Vintners in the Vineyard will be Saturday, June 6 at Col Solare on Red Mountain.

Vintners in the Vineyard will be Saturday, June 6, at Col Solare on Red Mountain. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Here is the list of wineries, winemakers and wines scheduled for Saturday during Vintners in the Vineyard at Col Solare:

Ambassador Wines of Washington  
Lisa Wilson will be pouring:
2011 Estate Envoy
2012 Estate Syrah
2012 Estate Grenache
Anelare Winery
Kahryn Alexander and Forrest Alexander will pour:
2014 Ciel du Cheval Cuvée
2011 Red Heaven Daniel Mark
Baer Winery
Lisa Baer will pour:
2014 Shard
2011 Ursa
Chinook Wines
Kay Simon and Clay Mackey will pour:
2013 Yakima Valley Semillon
2013 Yakima Valley Sauvignon Blanc
2012 Yakima Valley Cabernet Franc
Col Solare Winery
Darel Allwine & Will Wiles will pour:
Col Solare 2012 Red Mountain
2012 SLR and 2012 Component Syrah Red Mountain
Cooper Wine Co.
Neil Cooper will pour:
2013 Estate Chardonnay
2012 The Girl Friend
Corvus Cellars
Stephan Lessard will pour:
2014 Red Mountain Rosé
2011 Red Mountain Syrah–Petite Sirah
2011 Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
DeLille Cellars
Greg Lill will pour:
2014 Doyenne Roussanne
2012 DeLille Cellars D2
Rebecca Germano will pour:
2010 Upright Merlot
2011 Ceidleigh Syrah
Erin Todak and Mitch Venohr will pour:
2012 Red Mountain Merlot
2012 Optu Red Mountain
Frichette Winery
Greg and Shae Frichette will pour:
2012 Red Mountain Malbec
2012 Reserve Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Gamache Vintners
Roger Gamache will pour:
2012 Heritage Cabernet Franc
2012 Heritage Cabernet Sauvignon
Gordon Estate
Tyler Tennyson will pour:
2014 Rosé of Malbec
2013 Reserve Chardonnay
2013 Syrah
Guardian Cellars
Jerry Riener and Joel Wright will pour:
2011 The Alibi, Red Mountain blend
2014 Angel, Sauvignon Blanc
Hamilton Cellars
Russ and Stacy Hamilton will pour:
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
2010 Malbec
2012 Rosé of Malbec
Henry Earl Estate Wines
Kasee Woods and Mitch Venohr will pour:
2012 Henry Earl Red Mountain Malbec
2011 Henry Earl Red Mountain Merlot
2011 Henry Earl Red Mountain Homesteader
Hightower Cellars
Tim Hightower will pour:
2014 Murray Rosé
2012 Hightower Estate Wine
2011 Hightower Reserve Red Wine
J. Bookwalter Winery
John and Gretchen Bookwalter will pour:
2013 Doubleplot Chardonnay
2013 Suspense
2012 Conflict
2012 Protagonist
Lawrelin Wine Co.
Kendall Mix & Jenn Nance will pour:
2002 Cabernet Sauvignon
2002 Syrah
MonteScarlatto Estate
Joel Mackay will pour:
2014 Scarlatto Rosé
2012 Malbec
2012 Cab Franc
2012 10th Hole Red Blend
Obelisco Estate
Doug Long will pour:
2012 Electrum Cabernet Sauvignon
2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
2011 Malbec
Seven Hills Winery
Vicky McClellan will pour:
2012 Ciel du Cheval Vintage Red Wine
Tapteil Vineyard Winery
Jane & Larry Pearson will pour:
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon — Red Mountain
2014 Grenache Rosé — Red Mountain
2014 Riesling — Yakima Valley
Upchurch Vineyards
Chris and Thea Upchurch will pour:
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
WSU Blended Learning
Brooke Kietzmann & Joe Sperry will pour:
2012 Dry Riesling, Yakima Valley
2012 Red Blend, Horse Heaven Hills
2012 Syrah, Walla Walla/Horse Heaven Hills
2013 Barbera, Yakima Valley

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.

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