How nice it was to recently read in The China Post that “wine connoisseurs worldwide recognize the U.S. Pacific Northwest for its high-quality wines.” According to Keith Schneller, head of the American Institute in Taiwan’s Agricultural Trade Office in Taipei: “The fertile soils and numerous microclimates with rolling hills and lush river valleys have made it one of the world’s most important new viticultural areas.”
“Where there were only 50 vineyards in Washington state 10 years ago,” said Schneller, “today, there are more than 500.” Schneller made the comments at a Taipei tasting of several wines, including Washington state’s L’Ecole 41.
According to the Post, another of Schneller’s goals is to educate the Asian market to the fact that U.S. wines come from other states, not just California. “We wanted to introduce a diverse variety of American wines. While most people are familiar with California wines, they do not know much about those from Washington, Oregon or Idaho.”
Cheers to another Washington state wine champion!
Lots of you have recommendations for Oregon wineries, but haven’t been able to comment on my blog for some reason. It’s been a mystery! But please try again. I think the mystery bug is fixed now and I’d love to hear from you!
As you’ve probably figured out by now, I prefer Washington state red wines. But there are other wines from the northwest that I also enjoy. I’m from the Northwest — I grew up in Vancouver (B.C.) and then I briefly lived in Oregon before we made Seattle our home.
I first started writing about wine in Portland ten years ago, in a bi-weekly column called “Uncorked” for KOIN-TV’s Web site. At the time, we had a few favorite Oregon wineries: Erath Winery, Sokel Blosser and Ponzi Vineyards to name a few. But I’m sure many more have made their mark in Oregon wine country in the last decade.
We have to go to Portland for business in the near future and we’d like to do some wine tastings. Do you have suggestions of good wineries, within driving distance of Portland? If so, please let us know.
WeÂ recently came back from a quick trip to Palm Springs, where we were surprised to find a dearth of Washington state wines sold in stores. During our short visit, we stopped by five different grocery stores and drug stores where wine was sold. One store had just opened a beautiful wine cellar, where we spent the good part of an hour browsingÂ through different labels.
As expected, there were dozens of California wines at all the stores we visited. There was also lots of wine from Australia and France. But the only Washington state wines that were available were whites fromÂ Hogue Cellars and Chateau Ste. Michelle. No reds at all!
Now, regular readers of this blog will know how much we love Hogue’s Terroir wines, from Cabs to Malbecs. And Chateau Ste. Michelle is a staple around this state and well-known across the country. But c’mon SoCal — there are more than 500 wineries here. Washington state is the second-highest wine-producing state in the country.
The absence of so many fine Washington state wines on the shelves in Palm Springs was shameful.