5th annual Cascadia Wine Competition begins today

By on March 21, 2017


The 2017 Cascadia Wine Competition begins today in Hood River, Ore. (Photo by Richard Duval Images)

HOOD RIVER, Ore. – The fifth annual Cascadia Wine Competition begins this morning at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel.

The judging attracted 948 from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho. Twenty-one wine professionals from across the Pacific Northwest will serve as judges for the next three days.

cascadia wine competition logoThe Cascadia Wine Competition concludes Thursday afternoon, and all results will be announced soon after on GreatNorthwestWine.com. As wines are judged, gold medals will be announced immediately on Twitter at #greatnorthwestwine.

The Cascadia Wine Competition is sponsored by CascadiaNow!, a nonprofit organization that advocates to raise awareness of the Cascadia bioregion.

Victor Palencia, a young Walla Walla Valley winemaker, is in line to earn the top prize for the third consecutive year. In 2016, Palencia Wine Co. won best of show for its 2015 Albariño, a crisp white wine. In 2015, Palencia, 31, took top honors for his Vino La Monarcha 2014 Pinot Noir Rosé.

For the first three years of the judging the Cascadia Wine Competition was called the Great Northwest Wine Competition. Last year, the name was changed to differentiate it from the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition, the judging organized each October by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. That event also is held at the hotel built in 1921 by timber magnate Simon Benson.

All wines are tasted blind by category, and the panel is made up of 12 women and 10 men winemakers, sommeliers, journalists, retailers and marketers. April Reddout, wine program director at the Walter Clore Center in Prosser, Wash., will serve as chief judge. The judges do not know the winery or the price while they are evaluating the wines.

The competition is managed by Great Northwest Wine, an award-winning news and information company owned by Degerman and Perdue. Between them, the two have more than 35 years of combined experience writing about the wines, vineyards and chefs of Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho. They founded Wine Press Northwest magazine in 1997 for the Tri-City (Wash.) Herald and edited the quarterly glossy consumer magazine through 2012.

In 2010, they launched a weekly wine column called Northwest Wine that is syndicated in 22 newspapers and has a print and online audience of more than 5 million potential readers.

In addition, Perdue is the wine columnist for The Seattle Times, and Degerman is the wine columnist for Portrait of Portland and Portrait of Seattle magazines.

Cascadia Wine Competition judges

Sheri Morano, who earned her Master of Wine in 2003 at the age of 28, evaluates a flight during the opening day of the 2017 Cascadia Wine Competition in Hood River, Ore. (Photo by Richard Duval Images)

The judges for the fifth annual Cascadia Wine Competition include:

Chief judge

  • April Reddout, wine program director, Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center, Prosser, Wash.

2017 judges






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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