SEATTLE – Great Northwest Wine has been named the best news website for small daily newspapers throughout the Pacific Northwest.
The 2-year-old news startup earned the distinction in the Society of Professional Journalists Region 10 Excellence in Journalism competition. The awards were announced Saturday evening in Seattle. The competition is run by the Western Washington Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Great Northwest Wine, which is owned and operated by veteran newspaper journalists Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue, earned first place in the category of “General Excellence” for news websites. The site topped all daily newspapers and online news organizations with staffs of 15 or fewer journalists in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho and Montana.
Finishing in second place was GeekWire, a national technology news site started in 2011 by two longtime journalists. It is based in Seattle.
In third place was The Seattle Globalist, a daily online publication that provides a platform for diverse voices.
Perdue also won a first-place trophy in business reporting for “Final harvest for Paul Champoux,” a feature that published Sept. 30 about longtime Washington wine grape grower Paul Champoux, who retired after harvest last fall. Champoux owned and operated Champoux Vineyards in the Horse Heaven Hills and gained a reputation for growing some of the best grapes in the world.
In 2009, Champoux was stricken by West Nile Virus and continues to use a wheelchair.
Degerman won second place in the category of long feature stories for “Randy Dunn brings maverick style from Napa to Walla Walla,” which published Oct. 1. The story profiled Dunn, who is a partner in Long Shadows Vintners in Walla Walla, producing a wine called Feather using Washington state Cabernet Sauvignon. Dunn lives in California’s Napa Valley.
Great Northwest Wine launched in late 2012 and is dedicated to providing daily coverage of the wine regions of Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho. It also publishes several wine reviews each day.
Degerman and Perdue are both Northwest natives who have worked in newspapers for a combined 60 years. They are the co-founders of Wine Press Northwest magazine, which they launched in 1998 while working for the Tri-City Herald in Kennewick, Wash. Though no longer the editors of the quarterly magazine, they continue to contribute a large percentage of its stories.
The pair write a weekly wine column that is syndicated in 21 newspapers in Washington and Idaho. They write for a number of other periodicals, including Treasure magazine in Boise, Idaho; Walla Walla Lifestyles in Walla Walla, Wash.; Wine Business Monthly in Santa Rosa, Calif.; and Vineyard & Winery Management, also in Santa Rosa.
Degerman also contributes features to Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine in Federal Way, Wash.
In addition, Perdue is the wine columnist for The Seattle Times. His “Grapevine” column appears every Sunday in The Times’ Pacific Northwest magazine. Perdue has written or contributed to five books on Northwest wine, food and travel. “The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer’s Handbook” was published in 2003 by Sasquatch Books.
Both have judged in dozens of international wine competitions, primarily along the West Coast.