Our Favorite 50 Washington Wineries

NYE WineHappy New Year! As we begin 2019, it’s time for our annual Favorite Washington Wineries List for the previous year. The way to get on our list is fairly simple: wineries must offer great juice and good people who provide an excellent wine experience.

Perhaps we had fun or learned something in a tasting room, a wine shop tasting, or at a wine event. Perhaps someone from the winery gave us a call, or sent us a personal note or samples. Or perhaps we were invited to an incredible winery party.

These people who made our experience special include the winemakers; the winery owners; the hard-working staff in a tasting room who went out of their way to make us feel welcome; and the amazing workers in the vineyards where it all begins.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Thanksgiving Reds

Thanksgiving is only three days away, and we’re trying to decide what wines to pour. Do you know yet? Perhaps you’re looking for a good pairing for your turkey feast, or a special bottle to take to a family dinner or an evening with good friends.

Some people prefer whites such as Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling; others would rather sip on reds. Some pair well with turkey or sides, and others are best at parties. There is no right or wrong!

Here are some special-occasion red wines that we recently tasted and consider the Top 10 for our Thanksgiving festivities. They were crafted in Washington state, Oregon, California, British Columbia and New Zealand, with prices ranging from $30-$60. Continue reading

Mercer Estates

Mercer Estates has been growing grapes in Prosser since 1972, the first to plant in Horse Heaven Hills. Of note, Block 1 later became the highly acclaimed Champoux Vineyard.

But the family’s history in Prosser began in 1886, three years before Washington became a state. In 1915, the family began herding sheep; In 1958, Mercer Ranches incorporated.

The Mercer family made their first vintage of wine, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, in 2005. Four years later, their Prosser tasting room opened. (Earlier this year, a second tasting room opened in Seattle.) In 2011, Don and Linda Mercer received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers. Last year, Wine Press Northwest named Mercer Estates the “2016 Washington Winery of the Year.”

Wow! So it’s not surprising that we have been fans for quite a few years now, and Mercer’s recent releases continue to impress. The winery produces three tiers of brands: Mercer Canyons is the most affordable; Mercer Estates is mid-range; and Mercer Reserve has the highest price point.

We were fortunate to receive samples of three new releases — Malbec, Sharp Sisters Red Blend and Sauvignon Blanc, in addition to three Cab Sauvs from all three tiers. First, the new releases.
Continue reading