Red Rhone blends a delicious Northwest trend

Grenache destined for Milbrandt Vineyards ripens on Washington’s Wahluke Slope. Washington Grenache is on the rise in popularity. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine) Among the most exciting developments in the Pacific Northwest wine country in recent years is the emergence of red Rhône blends, commonly called GSMs because of…

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We tend to think of Oregon as Pinot Noir country. Rightly so, s they harvested more than 50,000 tons of the red French grape last fall. Varner-Traul Vineyard in Talent, Ore., is the estate vineyard for Ledger David Cellars. The Rogue Valley site, first planted in 2006, spans 15 acres…

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A dozen great Northwest wines

Only after deciding how we want to rate a wine do we learn what it is. Our top rating is “Outstanding!” (Photo by Darlene Hildebrandt/Digital Photo Mentor) What makes a great Northwest wine? When we evaluate wines, we taste them under blind conditions, meaning we know neither the producer nor…

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Merlot, straight up delicious

Merlot grapes wait to be crushed at a Walla Walla Valley winery. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine) It’s been 13 years since the movie Sideways told filmgoers to not drink Merlot. It’s time to get over it. Merlot, especially in the Pacific Northwest, is delicious, one of the best and…

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Chardonnay popular on both sides of Columbia River

Chardonnay grapes are close to optimal ripeness in the Yakima Valley. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine) Chardonnay is by far the most popular wine in America, and in the Pacific Northwest, it also has strong support. In Washington, it is the No. 1 white wine grape, keeping ahead of…

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Affordable rosés for Northwest sunshine

Rosé has become a sign that spring is arriving soon. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine) After our long, cold, wet winter, it is nice to see sunshine, higher temperatures and flowers beginning to show up. And this puts us in the mood to fire up the grill and toss…

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Pinot Gris and things from the sea

Pinot Gris is, in fact, not a white grape, as it turns pink when it’s ready to be harvested. An old axiom about food pairings with Pinot Gris goes like this: “Pinot Gris and things from the sea.” And that why the crisp, refreshing flavors of Northwest Pinot Gris goes…

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Oregon’s Pinot Noir legacy

Rolling vineyards of Pinot Noir grapes cover much of the northern Willamette Valley, the heart of Oregon wine country. (photo by Andy Perdue/GreatNorthwest Wine) Oregon’s wine industry traces its lineage to the 1970s. The first pinot noir was planted in southern Oregon in 1961, and expanded into the Willamette Valley…

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Ancient Lakes fascinates as young Washington wine region

Several of the Columbia Basin’s Ancient Lakes near Quincy, Wash., are found in the canyon between Evergreen Vineyard and Ancient Lakes Vineyard, and both plantings were established by the Milbrandt brothers. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine) Some of Washington’s oldest vines are in the state’s newest American Viticultural Area.…

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An Outstanding selection of Northwest wines

Only after deciding how we want to rate a wine do we learn what it is. Our top rating is “Outstanding!” (Photo by Darlene Hildebrandt/Digital Photo Mentor) We taste many Northwest wines. When wine is submitted to us for review, it goes into a queue to be tasted under blind…

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