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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Great Northwest Wine: Maryhill continues winning tradition

It has been quite a run for Maryhill Winery, and it continues for the large, family-owned winery in Washington’s Columbia Gorge. At last month’s fourth annual Cascadia Wine Competition, Maryhill earned three double gold medals, two best-of-class awards and five gold medals. This follows up a string of awards the past two years that puts the winery in rare company.

Idaho wines impress at recent competition

Thanks to a commitment to quality and explorations into what the best grape varieties could be, the Gem State wine industry is showing it’s ready for prime time.

Idaho wines impress at recent competition

Thanks to a commitment to quality and explorations into what the best grape varieties could be, the Gem State wine industry is showing it’s ready for prime time.

Great Northwest Wine: Washington just right for growing merlot

While cabernet sauvignon is the No. 1 wine grape in Washington, the grape that brought the state to prominence in the past 15 years is merlot – and it’s still going strong. Like cabernet sauvignon, merlot is from France’s Bordeaux region and is one of its most significant grapes.

Cabernet’s popularity keeps climbing

It’s known throughout the world as “King Cab,” and that is so true in Washington. Cabernet sauvignon is most famous in France’s Bordeaux and California’s Napa Valley, but it’s quickly risen to the top in Washington’s Columbia Valley, where the arid days and cool nights allow cabernet sauvignon to ripen to perfection.

Ste. Michelle makes chardonnay a priority

Not too many years ago, David Rosenthal was reading “Wine for Dummies” while he and his father were driving from Colorado to California. It was 2001, and Rosenthal – a University of Puget Sound grad – was heading to Napa Valley, where he had picked up a harvest job at Robert Mondavi Winery. A Colorado native, Rosenthal had earned a degree in marine biology, so this gig was just to keep him busy while he figured out what was next for his life.

Walla Walla wines in a class of their own

WALLA WALLA – Since the 1970s, the Walla Walla Valley has been well-known for producing some of the Northwest’s finest red wines. Little has changed. The valley’s earliest wineries set the standard for high-quality wines – particularly reds – and that continues today.

Wallet-friendly red wines round out summer evenings

As temperatures begin to rise and we spend more time living outdoors in the Northwest, now is the time to begin stocking up on inexpensive red wines. When you’re spending time on the back deck barbecuing with friends and family, you don’t want to think too much about your wines. In particular, you certainly don’t want to worry about what is going to break your budget.

Gold-medal hills

Since the early 1970s, wine grapes have been grown in Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills. Today, the region south of the Yakima Valley is one of the state’s largest and most important viticultural regions. In 1972, Don Mercer planted cabernet sauvignon near the tiny community of Alderdale. Today, cabernet sauvignon is the most important variety in the region, with hundreds of new acres being planted each year, but other grape varieties – red and white – thrive.

Red Mountain a small region with big flavor

It is not red, nor is it a mountain, but “brown ridge” doesn’t sound like much of a grape growing region. Red Mountain is a 4,040-acre bench in Washington’s eastern Yakima Valley, and in the 40 years since the first wine grapes were planted amid sand and sagebrush, Red Mountain has developed into what is arguably the most important region in Washington. It also is the state’s smallest American Viticultural Area.

Latest honor secures Maryhill’s spot among region’s finest wineries

When Maryhill Winery opened 14 years ago, the Washington wine industry was much different. Maryhill was one of the first 125 wineries open in the state when owners Craig and Vicki Leuthold launched their winery near the remote community of Goldendale, Washington. Today, there are more than 800.

14 Hands wines offer variety, affordability

Think about this: A decade ago, 14 Hands Winery didn’t exist. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates created the brand in 2005 as a restaurant-only label. Consumer demand grew to the point that the company made it available for retail sales. Last year, Ste. Michelle converted Snoqualmie Winery’s tasting room in Prosser to 14 Hands.

Festive, affordable reds

As we head into the holiday season, it’s always good to have a few bottles of red wine on hand for festivities, whether they be Christmas parties or New Year’s Eve celebrations. With red wines, it does get a bit more difficult to keep prices at or below the magical $15-per-bottle mark. This is because Washington state in particular doesn’t grow wine grapes at a production level that allows for really low prices, not like some areas of California’s Central Valley. While the San Joaquin Valley vineyards can reach 10 or more tons per acre for jug-quality wines, Washington’s Columbia Valley rarely sees much above 5 tons per acre.

Jones wines make most of region’s climates

In the arid Columbia Basin, a winery is crafting beautiful and affordable wines from some of the warmest and coolest regions in Washington wine country. As a result, few are able to keep up with the Joneses.

Grapes, wineries thrive in Washington’s apple region

North-central Washington is the state’s original wine country, and now it is making a strong case for being a significant region once again. In 1874, John Galler opened Washington’s first winery in East Wenatchee. It stayed open until 1910. A year later, Philip Miller opened the state’s second winery across the Columbia River in Wenatchee.

Great Northwest Wine: Northwest excels at crisp pinot gris

Perhaps the least-understood white wine in America is pinot gris. In part, this is because the grape normally associated with France’s Alsace region and Italy is often a bland wine when made outside of the Pacific Northwest. But here in Washington and Oregon in particular, pinot gris becomes a magical wine that is the quintessential Northwest white because of its ability to pair perfectly with our region’s styles of cuisine.

Great Northwest Wine: Tasty reds show off region’s wineries for $15 or less

Last week, we wrote about value white wines to enjoy as spring transitions into summer here in the Pacific Northwest. This week, we take a look at value reds. Finding reds in the Pacific Northwest that retail for $15 and less has become a little bit more difficult in recent years, but it can still be done.

Raise a glass to the season with range of versatile, budget-friendly whites

As we get into mid-May and early June and begin to see more warmth and sunshine, we start thinking more about enjoying chilled white wines. White wines tend to be quite versatile food wines, pairing well with fresh seafood, shellfish, chicken and pork dishes. Dry whites such as sauvignon blanc, pinot gris and some rieslings work perfectly with pasta dishes, especially in white sauces or tossed with grilled vegetables. Off-dry whites can be superb with Asian dishes such as Vietnamese soups, Indian or Thai curries or spicier Chinese cuisine.

Great Northwest Wine: Washington meets thirst for cabernet

For the first time in Washington’s history, cabernet sauvignon is king. Last fall, the state crushed a record 210,000 tons of wine grapes, of which 42,600 were cabernet sauvignon. That makes the suave red grape not only the most prolific variety in Washington, but also the most economically important, as it brings in $1,440 per ton to the farmers who grow it.