5th Annual Everett Craft Beer Festival Beer Descriptions!

Everett Craft Beer FestivalEverett Craft Beer Festival Saturday, August 20 Hoyt Avenue, Downtown Everett

The Washington Beer Commission is proud to announce the more than 100 mouth watering beer descriptions for the 5th Annual Everett Craft Beer Festival, taking place on Saturday, August 20, from noon – 7pm on Hoyt Avenue in downtown Everett.

The Everett Craft Beer Festival will feature 34 Washington Breweries pouring more than 100 seasonal and special brews including a Disco Lemonade Berliner Weisse, a Pineapple IPA, a Nitro Brown with Hazelnut and Praline, a Strawberry Daiquiri Summer Ale, a Raspberry Wheat, and a deep red brew called Life on Mars, just to name a few to get your taste buds tingling. Continue reading “5th Annual Everett Craft Beer Festival Beer Descriptions!”

Washington State Wine Industry Represented by Winegrape Growers of America's New Chairman Todd Newhouse of Upland Vineyards

Todd Newhouse Upton VineyardsTodd Newhouse Elected as Board Chairman of Winegrape Growers of America

At the 2016 National Grape and Wine Policy Conference, the Winegrape Growers of America (WGA) elected Todd Newhouse as Board Chairman. Newhouse is the owner of Upland Vineyards in Outlook, Washington and also serves as the Board Chairman for the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers (WAWGG).

During the Conference, WineAmerica also elected officers for the coming year. Martin Clubb of L’Ecole No. 41 in Walla Walla, Washington and WAWGG member was elected to the position of Vice Chair. Continue reading “Washington State Wine Industry Represented by Winegrape Growers of America's New Chairman Todd Newhouse of Upland Vineyards”

Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers Elects Board of Directors and Officers

John Derrick, newly elected 2016 WAWGG Board Member
John Derrick, newly elected 2016 WAWGG Board Member

John Derrick of Mercer Canyons was elected to serve a three year term on the Board of Directors for the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers by the voting membership that includes vintners and grape growers during their Annual Convention in February held in Kennewick.

Ken Lewis of Trail View Farm and Patrick Rawn of Two Mountain Winery were re-elected to serve three year terms as well on the nine member board.  

Derrick is the Vice President of Vineyard Operations for Mercer Canyons Inc. of Prosser where he has worked for 23 years holding positions in management, development, production, and purchasing. Since 2009 he has managed development and staffing of 2300 acres. Continue reading “Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers Elects Board of Directors and Officers”

"Beginning Wine Tasting" Class at Whisk in Old Bellevue

Wine DieterIf you are just starting your exploration of this fascinating subject or want to learn a bit more about it, Sommelier Dieter Schafer (https://winedieter.wordpress.com) will share his knowledge and expertise in this tasting class. Dieter, a certified wine educator, will talk you through wine terms, what to look for when buying wine at a shop or in a restaurant, how to read a wine label, how to pair wine Continue reading “"Beginning Wine Tasting" Class at Whisk in Old Bellevue”

Washington Wine and Grape Industry Announces Honors

The Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers highlighted the latest industry research and information during the Poster session at their annual Convention held in February. About 2,000 state, national, and international participants from the grape and wine industry attended. Continue reading “Washington Wine and Grape Industry Announces Honors”

Robert Mondavi Winery to Hold Mountain Wine Tour at Whistler Blackcomb March 11 to Celebrate 50 Years For Both

Whistler Blackcomb and Robert Mondavi Winery are celebrating their joint 50th anniversaries with a mountain top wine tour and food pairing event on March 11. The Robert Mondavi Mountain Wine Tour is the first time Whistler Blackcomb has held an event of this kind.

During the tour, guests will move from one location to another around the mountains, guided by Whistler Blackcomb Snow School instructors. At each stop on the tour, located at the Crystal Hut, Christine’s on Blackcomb, and Raven’s Nest, food from Whistler Blackcomb catering will be paired with Robert Mondavi wines. A wine ambassador from Robert Mondavi Winery will speak to each pairing. The final stop of the tour will be hosted by Robert Mondavi Winemaker, Meghan Schofield, at Steeps Grill & Wine Bar in the Roundhouse Lodge, where guests will be able to sample some of Robert Mondavi’s Napa Valley wines.
“The mountain top wine tour is going to be truly unique,” says Paul Street, Vice President of Food & Beverage at Whistler Blackcomb. “We are thrilled to be able to share the celebration of our 50th anniversary with Robert Mondavi Winery and our guests. Whistler Blackcomb catering will create some amazing dishes to complement the wine, which we hope will really elevate the experience.”
There are 50 tickets available to the Robert Mondavi Mountain Wine Tour at $149, and they include food, wine and a ski guide; lift tickets are additional. Intermediate to advanced ski/boarding ability is required to take part.

Walla Walla Valley winemakers report excellent grape quality in early 2015 harvest

Walla Walla Valley winemakers are calling the 2015 wine grape harvest the earliest on record. According to a post-harvest survey sent to Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance member wineries, the earliest first day of harvest was August 14 and the latest last day of harvest was October 30. Few wineries said they processed grapes past October 20.

“Wineries are normally harvesting grapes well into October and November,” said Duane Wollmuth, Executive Director of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, “but even with the early harvest, Walla Walla Valley winemakers are very pleased with the quality of the 2015 grapes.”
Nearly all survey respondents (96-percent) reported the overall quality of the grapes processed by their winery from the Walla Walla Valley wine region to be either Above Average or Exceptional. Of the numerous wine grape varieties harvested from the Walla Walla Valley, it was the big three – Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot – that winemakers felt did the best in 2015.
One survey respondent described the grapes as “smaller berries with concentrated flavors,” and another said the wines have “good color and flavor.”
The last couple of years have been record-breaking in terms of grape tonnage, but this year 40-percent of survey respondents reported that total tonnage per acre harvested was down.
“We had an unusually hard freeze last November and a very hot summer, which had some effect on the crop,” Wollmuth said. “Still, we’re thrilled with the overall outcome this year – and we can’t wait to taste the 2015 wines.”

EX-FOOTBALL QUARTERBACKS DAMON HUARD AND DREW BLEDSOE GO HEAD TO HEAD WITH THEIR WINES AT THE APPLE CUP WINE DINNER

Celebrate the Husky/Cougar rivalry on Friday, November 27th at Daniel’s Broiler-Bellevue with exclusive wines from former Husky quarterback Damon Huard and former Cougar quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Loyalties will be tested as Huard’s Passing Time and Bledsoe’s Doubleback compete to win over your palate. The evening will be hosted by Damon Huard and feature a gourmet dinner and special appearance from Jack Thompson.

Daniel’s Broiler-Bellevue  Apple Cup Wine Dinner
Friday, November 27, 2015
6 p.m.
Daniel’s Broiler-Bellevue
10500 NE 8th St, 21st Floor
Bellevue, WA 98004
$150 per person (plus tax and service). Make reservations online at www.schwartzbros.com/events, or call private dining at 425-990-6310.
Spazzo Italian 
                              Celebrate the Husky/Cougar rivalry on Friday, November 27th atDaniel’s Broiler-Bellevue with exclusive wines from former Husky quarterback Damon Huard and former Cougar quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Loyalties will be tested as Huard’s Passing Time and Bledsoe’s Doubleback compete to win over your palate. The evening will be hosted by Damon Huard and feature a gourmet dinner and special appearance from Jack Thompson.

$6 MILLION GRANT TO TRANSFORM VINEYARD MANAGEMENT

The National Grape & Wine Initiative today announced award of $6 million in federal funding for research to develop and apply technology that will transform the way grapes are grown in the U.S.
The five-year project will be led by Dr. Terry Bates of Cornell University and Dr. Stephen Nuske of Carnegie Mellon University and focus on technology

that creates digital maps and analytical software tools allowing farmers to focus on variance and conditions in specific management zones in vineyards, according to Jean-Mari Peltier, president of NGWI. 

“This project will build on an industry funded pilot project that developed tools for precision vineyard management,” Peltier said. “Together, we believe this will lead to commercialization of technology for farmers who grow wine, juice, raisin and table grapes.”
Using novel and off-the-shelf sensor technologies, the industry pilot project resulted in digital management maps of soil, canopy and crop.  A new prototype crop estimation tool can be attached to common vineyard equipment and take thousands of images per minute providing a more accurate view of grape clusters.  
“It is impossible to overstate the value of this technology,” said Peltier. “It could result in a 50 percent improvement in predicting crop yield.”
The combined data could provide information including crop yield, soil conditions, irrigation and fertilization needs; canopy growth and color and maturity of grapes.  Digital mapping can help farmers balance quality and quantity of a crop; manage and direct harvesting operations; and help pinpoint varying soil conditions and needs throughout vineyards.
Funding is from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) and includes experts from California State University at Fresno, the University of California at Davis, and Newcastle University in England.
“This project exemplifies what the specialty crop industry has been looking for from SCRI,” said John Aguirre, President of the California Association of Winegrape Growers, and Chairman of the NGWI Board. “Because of grower involvement, the project reflects an industry-driven research agenda to ensure the outcome will be relevant and valuable to the nation’s grape growers and ultimately American consumers.”
An industry advisory panel has been identified to provide input and guidance during the project that includes Dr. Russ Smithyman of Ste Michelle Wine Estates in Washington State.
Aguirre pointed out that NGWI worked exhaustively with government officials to create a two-step review process for SCRI that allows industry to reviews proposals for relevance and impact, followed by a scientific peer review. The unique approach allows that most important, scientifically valid projects are funded. 
Aguirre said, “We believe this is a model for other competitive grants administered by NIFA.”