VineLines Dispatch: Northwest wineries fill lists of USA Today readers

By on September 2, 2019
Long Shadows Vintners in Walla Walla, Wash., ranks No. 4 in the vote for Winery Tasting Rooms on the USA Today 10 Best Readers Choice Awards. (Richard Duval Images)

Here is the latest VineLines Dispatch by Richard Duval, the contributing and frequently roving photojournalist for Great Northwest Wine.

The USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Award for Winery Tasting Rooms resulted in Long Shadows Vintners being voted as No. 4 on its annual Top 10 list, the only Washington state winery on the list.

A panel of industry experts, led by Napa-based author Karen MacNeil, nominated 20 wineries for the award, selecting from thousands of tasting rooms nationwide. Readers voted on the 10 best. 

In addition to superb wines crafted from the Long Shadows international team of winemakers, visitors to the Walla Walla winery are surrounded by artwork from internationally acclaimed glass artist Dale Chihuly.

Washington also ranked highly in other categories. For example, NakedWines.com – voted as the Best Wine Club – includes programs led by the wife/husband tandem of Katy & Justin Michaud and Walla Walla’s Dave Harvey.

The Walla Walla Valley showed up at No. 5 on the list for Best Wine Region. In the Columbia Valley, The Kitchen at Barnard Griffin was voted as No. 7 on the Best Winery Restaurant list.

Auction of WA Wines hits new record 

The 2019 Auction of Washington Wines celebrates another successful year of supporting Seattle Children’s Hospital and the winemaking program at Washington State University. (Richard Duval Images)

Auction of Washington Wines (AWW) celebrated its 32nd annual weekend of charitable wine events raising more than $4.5 million and hitting a new milestone for the second year in a row.

More than 200 winemakers, vintners and growers attended the events during the course of three days to celebrate, pour wines and offer wine-focused auction lots to help achieve this goal. Throughout the evening, guests celebrated the craft of Washington winemaking and paid homage to Chris Gorman of Gorman Winery at the honorary vintner and Scott Williams of Kiona Vineyards at the honorary grower.

This money-raising event — ranked among the top three highest-earning charity wine auctions in the nation by Wine Spectator Magazine – supports Seattle Children’s Hospital and Washington State University’s Viticulture & Enology Program.

Sheridan Vineyard on the move

Sheridan Vineyard wines soon will be presented along Zillah Drive at the Maison de Padgett/Horizon’s Edge facility in the Yakima Valley. (Richard Duval Images)

Zillah’s winescape will soon change as Sheridan Vineyard, a fixture at the Dineen Vineyard site, will take over the Maison de Padgett facility just down the road. 

There are no specifics yet, but Sheridan’s John Caudill expects to be pouring wine in their new digs by spring of 2020.

An opening, a closure in Seattle

Associated Vintners Tasting Room & Wine Bar is now open in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. It will function as a pop-up by flipping the concept every season with a constantly shifting wine choices. September’s focus is on trendy canned wines, recently highlighted by Great Northwest Wine.

Meanwhile, on the other end of Seattle, The Estates Wine Room, the first urban tasting room in Seattle’s Pioneer Square, recently closed after Crimson Wine Group opted not to renew the expiring lease. But you can still find its three Pacific Northwest brands in their respective locations: Archery Summit in Dundee Hills, Double Canyon in West Richland, and Seven Hills Winery in Walla Walla.

Oregon: Stoller Family Estate at No. 2 on USA Today list

Stoller Family Estate in the Dundee Hills surrounding Dayton, Ore., affirms its place among the leading winery experiences in the country with its spot on the USA Today 10 Best Tasting Room list. (Richard Duval Images)

Stoller Family Estate shows up at No. 2 on the USA Today 10 Best Tasting Room list, the only Oregon winery to appear on the poll.

A year ago, Bill Stoller’s showpiece made national headlines when it led the list.

When guests visit the estate, they are welcomed with breathtaking vineyard views. The 4,000 square foot tasting room has floor-to-ceiling glass garage doors that, when opened, create a sense of being in the vineyard. Driven by Stoller’s sustainability mission, the net-zero tasting room combines environmental sustainability and high-efficiency design. 

The building harvests 100 percent of its energy through an 1180-panel solar panel installation located across the estate. Other notable design features include a green roof, skylights, salvaged timber, and two EV charging stations for electric vehicles.

Oregon showed up nicely in other categories. For example, the top-ranked wine club of NakedWines.com includes a Willamette Valley program led by Chris Baker. Among the Best Wine Country Hotels is Black Walnut Inn & Vineyard in Dundee at No. 7 and The Allison Inn & Spa in Newberg at No. 10. Farm & Forage at Sokol Blosser Winery near Stoller appeared at No. 4 with Coopers Hall Winery and Taproom in Portland at No. 10 for the Best Winery Restaurant.

Flâneur Wines at Carlton Grain Elevator

The grand opening for Flâneur Wines at the Grain Elevator in Carlton is set for Sept. 7-8. Winery owner Marty Doerschlag purchased the building from Ken Wright in 2013. (Richard Duval Images)

Flâneur Winery & Vineyards will soon open a full-service wine tasting and hospitality center in a rehabilitated 125-year-old grain elevator just off the historic city square in Carlton. 

Flâneur Wines at the Carlton Grain Elevator plans to offer a one-of-a-kind, multi-level facility featuring exclusive wine tastings, wine and food pairings and elevated experiences to Yamhill County residents and visitors.

Editor’s note: VineLines Dispatch photojournalist Richard Duval will roam the Great Northwest Wine territory throughout September searching for intriguing harvest and crush stories to capture as part of our expansive coverage of the harvest season. Contact him with updates about your harvest and crush activities – he’ll make every effort to visit.

  • Send your wine industry news items to rduval@vinelines.com and help keep readers (and our team) updated on the latest happenings in the Northwest wine community. 

About Richard Duval

Wine photographer Richard Duval captures vivid wine imagery for Great Northwest Wine and other regional and national wine media such as Wine Spectator and Wine Business Monthly, wine marketing organizations and an ever-growing number of wineries in the Pacific Northwest. Chateau Ste. Michelle selected his image of its iconic chateau for the cover of its commemorative 50th anniversary book. Signature Wines and Wineries of Washington chose his image of Sagemoor Vineyard for its cover. His images are used extensively in marketing guides for Walla Walla, Woodinville, Yakima Valley, Cascade Valley and Red Mountain wine regions as well as the annual Washington Wine Guide. From his studio in Woodinville, Richard creates bottle shots and captures portraits of wine personalities. He also markets his wine work via WinePix, a line of personal greeting cards, and his “Art from the Vine” fine art exhibit which he stages in wine venues around Washington. View more of his work at http://www.winepix.net.

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