Washington Wine Hits Number One

November 23, 2009

Photo by Guy Hand

Photo by Guy Hand

(GH: A story from Anna King at the Northwest News Network on a winning Washington wine)

RICHLAND, WA – A Washington State winery has earned an honor that could translate into big sales for the Northwest wine industry. Out of 17,000 wines, it landed the number-one spot on Wine Spectator magazine’s top 100 list. Correspondent Anna King reports.

The Columbia Crest 2005 Reserve Cabernet took Wine Spectator’s top prize. The bottle retails for about 27 dollars. It’s the first time that a Washington wine has reached the top of the list of wines from around the world. It’s a prestigious honor, and one that usually guarantees swift sales. Ted Baseler is the CEO of Ste. Sant Michelle Wine Estates. He says Pacific Northwest grape growers and wine makers have been working for recognition of this kind for decades.

Ted Baseler: “There are some spectacular wines from the great regions of the world – Bordeaux, Tuscany, from Napa, and now at the very top of all of them is a Washington State wine.”

Columbia Crest is a Ste. Michelle Wine Estates brand, the largest wine producer in Washington, and one of the largest in the United States. Total: Nine Washington and two Oregon wines made it onto Spectator’s list of 100.

Ste. Michelle only has about 1,000 bottles left of its Columbia Crest Reserve Cabernet that took the top honors. The winery is taking names for a lottery to best sell some of those in-demand bottles.

Here’s the full story and audio from Northwest Public Radio: http://www.nwpr.org/07/HomepageArticles/Article.aspx?n=6413

About The Northwest News Network:
The Northwest News Network is a collaboration of public radio stations in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. N3's reporters bring a regional perspective to daily news and produce features that go beyond the headlines.
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