Seattle Magazine just announced their 12th Annual Washington Wine Winners. Winners in all categories were nominated by a panel of wine and food industry professionals.  Congratulations to all of the 2017 winners that make Washington wine so special.

The wines were judged by blind tasting by a small and select group of sommeliers, wine writers, wine makers and distributors.

Washington Red Wines of the Year

Washington Cabernet Sauvignon of the Year

Cabernet Sauvignon, $30 or less: Ross Andrew 2015 Glaze Cabernet Sauvignon – Columbia Valley, $15

Cabernet Sauvignon, $30–$65: Walla Walla Vintners 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – Walla Walla Valley, $42

Cabernet Sauvignon, more than $65: Betz 2014 Pere de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon – Columbia Valley, $75

Washington Merlot of the Year

Merlot, $25 or less: Chateau Ste. Michelle 2014 Indian Wells Merlot – Columbia Valley, $18 *2 wins for the Indian Wells label this year

Merlot, more than $25: Two Vintners 2013 Merlot – Columbia Valley, $32

Washington Red blend Wine of the Year

Red Blend, $20 or less: Tamarack 2015 Firehouse Red Blend – Columbia Valley, $16

Red Blend, $20–$40: Mark Ryan 2014 Numbskull Bordeaux Red – Walla Walla Valley, $38

Red Blend, more than $40: Long Shadows 2013 Chester-Kidder Red Blend – Columbia Valley, $55

Washington Rhône Blend of the Year

Rhône Blend, $25 or less: Kevin White 2015 Rhône Red – Yakima Valley, $18

Rhone Blend, more than $25: W.T. Vintners 2014 Rhône Red – Walla Walla Valley, Stoney Vine Vineyard, $35

Washington Syrah of the Year

Syrah, $25 or less: Two Vintners 2014 Syrah – Columbia Valley, $21 *Two Vintners won 2 categories 2 years in a row!

Syrah, $25–$40: Kerloo 2014 Syrah – Walla Walla Valley, Les Collines Vineyard, $40

Syrah, more than $40: B. Leighton 2014 Syrah – Yakima Valley, Olsen Brothers Vineyard, $45

Washington Rosé Wine of the Year

Rose, all prices: College Cellars of Walla Walla 2016 Rosé of Pinot Gris – Columbia Valley, Reed Vineyard, $16

Washington Sparkling Wine of the Year

Sparkling Wine, All Prices: Block Wines NV Extra Brut Pinot Noir Rosé – Washington State, Marchant Vineyard, $28 

Washington Sparkling Wine Hall of Fame Award

Sparkling Wine Hall of Fame Award: Domaine Ste. Michelle NV Brut Méthode Champenoise – Columbia Valley, $13

Washington White Wines of the Year

Chardonnay, $20–$35: Forgeron Cellars 2014 Chardonnay – Columbia Valley, $28

Chardonnay, $20 or less: Chateau Ste. Michelle 2015 Indian Wells Chardonnay – Columbia Valley, $18

Chardonnay, more than $35: Côte Bonneville 2014 Chardonnay – Yakima Valley, DuBrul Vineyard, $50 (*A WBW favorite for special occasions and their second win in a row!)

Sauvignon Blanc, all prices: Efeste 2015 Feral Sauvignon Blanc – Ancient Lakes, Evergreen Vineyard, $20

Dry Riesling: Efeste 2014 Evergreen Riesling – Ancient Lakes, Evergreen Vineyard, $20

Off-dry Riesling: Milbrandt 2014 Traditions Riesling – Columbia Valley, $13

For wine descriptions, pairing ideas and stories behind the winners, read the Seattle Magazine article The 12th Annual Washington Winners are In.

Washington Winemaker of the Year 

Awarded to a winemaker who is known for the quality of his or her winemaking, contributions to the winemaking community and for helping put Washington wines on the national stage.

Chris Peterson – Avennia, Passing Time

Washington Vineyard of the Year

A Washington vineyard that contributes specific qualities to the wines in which its fruit is featured.

Underwood Mountain Vineyards – Columbia Gorge AVA * winner second year in a row!

Washington Winemaker to Watch

A winemaker who is crafting wines of distinctive style and making an impact on Washington wine.

Erica Orr – Orr Wines, Orr Consulting, Baer Winery

Washington Sommelier of the Year

Awarded to a sommelier or wine director whose program emphasizes Washington wines and who delivers exceptional service and education to guests and staff.

Katelyn Peil – Purple Café and Wine Bar in Woodinvill, The Commons in Woodinville

Washington’s Best Place to Buy Wine

A brick-and-mortar or online retail operation (shop, grocery store or liquor store) with a strong presence of Washington wine, run by someone with a commitment to showcasing Washington wine 

McCarthy & Schiering Wine Merchants 

Coolest Wine Label

A visually impactful label that communicates an idea or theme.

àMaurice Cellars

In addition to the survey of wine and food industry, a reader’s poll had a say in who won the awards for the Retail Wine Steward of the Year and Best Restaurant to Experience Washington Wine. The Steering Committee made the final vote and the winners are:

Washington Retail Wine Steward of the Year

Bestowed on an individual who has proven to be a passionate, engaged and dedicated ambassador of Washington state wine by continually educating herself or himself and raising awareness of Washington state wine.

Jeff Cox – Wine, beer and spirits merchandiser at PCC

Best Restaurant to Experience Washington Wine 

A Puget Sound–area restaurant that hasn’t won in this category before and that offers exceptional opportunities to taste Washington state wine through Washington-wine-focused lists, unique tasting events and a professional, educated wine service staff.

Heavy Restaurant Group (including Purple Café & Wine Bar restaurants)


The one exception to the nominating process was the Walter Clore Award.The Walter Clore Washington Honorarium was chosen by an internal Washington State Wine commission committee.

Walter Clore

Washington Wine Ambassador Award
An individual in any aspect of the wine industry who has demonstrated a significant dedication to the advancement of the Washington state wine industry as an ambassador, mentor and champion of Washington wines presented by the Washington State Wine Commission.

Paul Mackay, founder of El Gaucho Hospitality