- Fire destroys distillery at Westport Winery Garden Resort in Washington
- Fries family departs Washington wine industry with Desert Wind sale
- Warnshuis realizes dream of Utopia along Oregon’s tiny Ribbon Ridge
- Fidelitas promotes Will Hoppes, Mitch Venohr as part of transition
- New Alliance of Women in Washington Wine already stands at 200 strong
- Bullocks bid goodbye to Eye of the Needle Winery in Woodinville
- VineLines Dispatch #7: That’s a wrap
- Former Oregon car dealer gears up with Jachter Family Wines
- VineLines Dispatch: 6 Vineyards at Work
- L’Ecole Nº 41 to create wine bar at Marcus Whitman Hotel
Syrah leads Northwest’s Rhône revolution
One of the most fascinating developments in the past 20 years has been the intense interest in red Rhône varieties.
For the most part, these wines include Mourvèdre, Grenache, Counoise, Petite Sirah and a few other varieties. But first in line is Syrah, the noble grape of the northern Rhône Valley.
First planted in Washington 30 years ago, Syrah is now the No. 3 red wine grape in the state (after Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot). And despite lower interest in Syrah from consumers the past few years – thanks in no small part to the flood of simple Aussie Shirazes in the market – Washington Syrah continues to gain strength.
And while Washington Syrah dominates the Northwest Rhône scene, other regions also have gotten in on the act. Last year, Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards in Roseburg, Ore., won best New World Syrah at the prestigious Six Nations Wine Challenge in Australia. And in Southern Idaho’s Snake River Valley, Rhône varieties are emerging as perhaps the best grape for the region – led, of course, by Syrah.
Here are a dozen delicious Syrahs we’ve tasted in recent weeks. Ask for them at your favorite wine shop or contact the wineries directly.