Maryhill Winery near Goldendale, Washington, offers visitors a concert amphitehater with stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge in addition to award-winning wines.
High time, sez I, reading the news out of California: wines from Washington keep winning best-of-show and best-of-category awards at major wine competitions. The best part, I guess, is that the PR types no longer append modifiers like "little-known" or "remote" to AVAs like Walla Walla, Red Mountain or Wahluke Slope.
So let's run through the list, shall we?
The best-of-show rosé at the West Coast Wine Competition is from Craig and Vicki Leuthold's Maryhill Winery, located on the Washington side of the scenic Columbia River Gorge. The winning wine is a $10 rosé of sangiovese, made by Napa Valley veteran Richard Batchelor from grapes grown in the larger Columbia Valley AVA. News? Not if you've been following Wine Press Northwest, which three years ago named Maryhill its Winery of the Year.
And did I mention the San Francisco Wine International Wine Competition? Over 4,500 wines from 1,300 wineries. Distinguished panel of judges. Here again, "Best-in-Show White" award to Maryhill Winery for its 2010 Riesling, just $10.
Oh, and "Winery of the Year" award to our homegrown Wunderkind, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates (annoying age-verification required).
It's also been a pretty good year for Flint Nelson of Kestrel Vintners out in Prosser. He picked up "Best-of-Show Red" for his Raptor Red (a Bordeaux-style blend) from San Francisco. Double gold for his Mourvèdre at the Seattle Wine Awards.
Finally, the Sunset International Wine Competition (which shamelessly bribed me to participate) found several gold-medal wines in Washington (K Vintners, Delille, Kiona, Fidelitas, Cadaretta, Waterbrook, Sparkman, Smasne). A link to the full results is here.