- Pinot Gris by Iris Vineyards tops McMinnville Wine Classic judging
- Maryhill Winery climbs atop Platinum Awards all-time leaderboard
- Sniff, Sip, Swirl: Let’s Talk About Northwest Wines grows its following
- The Wine Knows: A new start for Great Northwest Wine
- Tasting Room Perspective: A wine club you don’t want to join
- A Vine Start: 23 years later, here’s another Volume 1, Issue No. 1
- Napa winemaker produces Platinum’s top wine at Chris Daniel Winery
- Pinot Noir catches on in Oregon as white wine
- Red Mountain-focused Liberty Lake Wine Cellars bats 7-for-7 at Platinum Awards
- None in the top 10, but nine from Northwest get inside Wine Spectator’s top 60
Chardonnay popular on both sides of Columbia River
Chardonnay is by far the most popular wine in America, and in the Pacific Northwest, it also has strong support.
In Washington, it is the No. 1 white wine grape, keeping ahead of Riesling but lagging behind Cabernet Sauvignon. Across the Columbia River in Oregon, it is the No. 2 white grape behind Pinot Gris and far behind Pinot Noir, the state’s signature wine.
Chateau Ste. Michelle leads the Northwest in Chardonnay, producing more than a million cases last year.
It’s good to have such robust Chardonnay production from both states because that provides a diversity of styles, with the Columbia Valley producing a riper style that comes from the sun-drenched region, and cooler-climate styles coming from the Willamette Valley. In addition, winemakers in both states are pushing the boundaries of traditional styles, experimenting with different levels of oak, along with making the wine in such vessels as stainless steel and concrete eggs.
All of this adds up to it being a good time to being a lover and explorer of wines in the Pacific Northwest.
Here are a dozen delicious examples of Chardonnay from both Washington and Oregon. Ask for them at your favorite wine shop or contact the wineries directly.