Red Willow Vineyard and WA Wine Royalty

Jon Sauer, Karen Sauer and Mike Sauer stand in front of signs from Red Willow Vineyard.Last week, we had the honor of visiting Red Willow Vineyard and spending an afternoon with the incredible Sauer family, Washington wine royalty.

We toured part of the vineyard with Mike, Karen and their son, Jon, and later were joined by Jon’s wonderful wife Kelly and their five lovely children. In this photo, (from left) Jon, Karen and Mike stand in front of old signs of grapes planted at Red Willow. Of note, the sign for the 1986 Syrah represents the first grape planted in Washington state.

During our visit, Mike told us about the harvest, which was almost but not quite over. He also discussed his clone project, and we tasted three wines made from some of those clones.

Although we spent time with Mike and Karen at a wine event in 2017, we hadn’t been to Red Willow in nine years. It was an amazing experience.
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31st Auction of Washington Wines Raises More than $4M

The Auction of Washington Wines raised $4.1 million at their annual four-day extravaganza earlier this month, with proceeds benefiting Seattle Children’s Hospital and Washington State University’s (WSU) Viticulture & Enology Program.

We attended the Winemaker Picnic & Barrel Auction at Chateau Ste. Michellewhere $251,500 was raised for WSU’s program. This is a record, and an increase of 83% over last year. Attendance at this fun event also broke a record.

All the Washington wines we tasted at the picnic were amazing, but our two favorites came from Two Vintners and Fidelitas. And there were some other standouts that pleased our palates too.

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Bellingham NW Wine Festival

Mark your calendars for the third annual Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival on August 4 at Four Points by Sheraton. This is a fun event, whether you live in Bellingham, Birch Bay, other parts of Whatcom County, or the Vancouver and Seattle areas.

The wines that are poured will be the winners of gold, double gold and Best in Show from an earlier judged competition. More than 125 wineries will be pouring wines from “the only judged wine competition between Seattle and Vancouver.”
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Our Top 50 Washington Wineries

NYE WineHappy New Year! As we begin 2018, it’s time for our annual Top Washington Wineries List. We have returned to our original list of 50, after it climbed up to 65 wineries last year. Why? As time goes on, our palates change, and our wine experiences become more focused. In addition, in 2017 we visited Walla Walla again for the first time in a few years, which shone the light on some new favorites.
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