LACEY, Wash. — David Volmut, who has made Italian varieties a focus of Wind Rose Cellars on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, produced a 2013 Primitivo from acclaimed StoneTree Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope that won best of show at the annual Capital Food and Wine Festival Wine Competition near Olympia.
A grape-growing grandfather from the famed wine region of Piedmont in Italy continues to serve as an inspiration for Volmut, a native of Kansas and a refugee of the IT industry. Volmut chose to pursue winemaking as a second career after moving to Washington’s Columbia Valley. He served two internships at Olsen Estates and studied winemaking at Yakima Valley College, launching Wind Rose Cellars in Sequim not long after graduating from the Yakima Valley College vineyard and winery technology program.
A beautifully aging Malbec from Sleeping Dog Wine took the award for best red Bordeaux as Benton City winemaker Larry Oates’s 2008 vintage off nearby Buoy Vineyard continued the variety’s dominance in the judging. A 2014 Malbec from the Yakima Valley by Mount St. Helens Winery was best of show in 2016.
Kiona grapes help Sovereign Cellars win 3 golds
South Puget Sound winemaker Dennis Gross, a retired chemistry teacher, used Red Mountain fruit from the Williams family of Kiona fame to produce three gold medals for red wine at tiny Sovereign Cellars. The Steamboat Peninsula producer also won a trio of gold medals during the 2016 Capital judging, and Gross used Malbec to win best of show at the 2015 competition.
Abiqua Wind Vineyard, a small producer in the Cascade foothills near Salem, Ore., topped the white wine field with its 2015 Chloe’s Breeze Müller-Thurgau. The Swiss grape is one of six aromatic white varieties that Pete Buffington established across his 11-acre vineyard, and he names the relative of Riesling for his granddaughter.
Results of the competition were unveiled earlier this spring during the 29th annual fundraising event held at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Wash., near the capital city of Olympia. RJ’s Cellar in the Marcus Pavilion is named for the late Randi Johnson, a member of the school’s alumni association who helped launch the festival in 1989.
The event ranks among the Northwest’s best-attended wine festivals. Tom Barte, wine chairman for the Capital Food and Wine Festival, says the event draws an average of 5,000 attendees. He adds that more than $40,000 each year for scholarships at St. Martin’s. More than 300 volunteers, including St. Martin’s students, support the event in various ways.
Here are the complete results of the judging, which is staged by Great Northwest Wine.
2018 Capital Wine & Food Festival judging results
Best of show, best red
Wind Rose Cellars 2013 Primitivo, Yakima Valley $25
Best white wine
Abiqua Wind Vineyard 2015 Chloe’s Breeze Müller-Thurgau, Willamette Valley $12
Best sweet wine
Westport Winery NV Rapture of the Deep Cranberry Wine, Washington $28
Best red Bordeaux
Sleeping Dog Wine 2008 Malbec, Yakima Valley $30
Best red blend
Davenport Cellars 2011 Continuity Red Wine, Columbia Valley $29
Convergence Zone Cellars 2014 Storm Front Red Wine, Columbia Valley $28
Eleganté Cellars 2016 Tempranillo, Walla Walla Valley $36
Madsen Family Cellars 2010 Cabernet Franc, Washington $30
Mosquito Fleet Winery 2014 Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley $32
Mt St Helens Cellars 2017 Spirit Lake Sasquatch’s Blushing Bride Rosé of Pinot Noir, Washington $25
Sovereign Cellars 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain $35
Sovereign Cellars 2015 Finnigan’s Daughter Claret, Red Mountain $28
Sovereign Cellars 2015 Syrah Red Mountain, $35
Abiqua Wind Vineyard 2016 Estate Caleb Knorr Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley $15
Abiqua Wind Vineyard NV Estate Bin 15 Intertwined Cuvée White Wine, Willamette Valley $12
Convergence Zone Cellars 2015 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Drizzle Pinot Gris, Red Mountain $12
Convergence Zone Cellars 2014 Virga Red Wine, Red Mountain $31
Davenport Cellars 2016 Orange Muscat, Yakima Valley $18
Eleganté Cellars 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley $36
Heymann Whinery 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley $30
Madsen Family Cellars 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills $32
Mill Lane Winery NV Rhubarb-Cranberry Wine, Washington $18
Mosquito Fleet Winery 2014 Merlot, Walla Walla Valley $29
Mt St Helens Cellars 2015 Spirit Lake Winery Sasquatch in a Bottle Red Wine, Rattlesnake Hills $28
Sleeping Dog Wine 2012 Buoy Vineyard Petite Sirah, Yakima Valley $30
Stina’s Cellars 2011 Syrah, Washington $20
Stina’s Cellars 2014 Tempranillo, Wahluke Slope $28
Westport Winery 2015 Jetty Cat Red Wine, Columbia Valley $29
Wilridge Winery 2015 Artz Vineyard Sèmillon, Red Mountain $18
Wilridge Winery 2015 Angiolina Vineyard Grenache, Yakima Valley $23
Wilridge Winery 2014 Wilridge Vineyard Biodynamic Estate Syrah-Mourvèdre, Naches Heights $35
Wind Rose Cellars 2012 Barbera, Columbia Valley $28
Burley Mountain Winery 2017 Black & Blue Blackberry – Blueberry Wine, Washington $9
Burley Mountain Winery 2017 Blackberry Wine, Washington $9
Eleganté Cellars 2009 Merlot, Walla Walla Valley $36
Heymann Whinery NV Cranberry Wine, Washington $17
Heymann Whinery NV Just Peachy Wine, Washington $17
Madsen Family Cellars 2013 Heart of Darkness Dessert Wine, Horse Heaven Hills $26
Mill Lane Winery 2015 Beyond the Arc Ice Wine, Washington $18
Mill Lane Winery NV Fancy Footwork Rose Carbonated Fruit Wine, Washington $22
Mill Lane Winery 2017 The BIG Red Blend, American $35
Sleeping Dog Wine 2016 Buoy Vineyards Sweet Aurora Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Yakima Valley $21
Stina’s Cellars 2013 Petit Verdot, Wahluke Slope $45
Stottle Winery 2014 Big Eddie Red Wine Blend, Columbia Valley $36
Stottle Winery 2013 Red Wine Blend, Columbia Valley $19
Westport Winery NV Shiver Me Timbers White Wine, Washington $27
Wind Rose Cellars 2016 Bravo Bianco White Table Wine, Yakima Valley $22
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