Category Archives: Washington Wine

Ruby Magdalena Vineyards offers unique vertical tasting

No Tasting Room? No Problem. Ruby Magdalena Vineyards has created a unique way for you to “taste from the barrel.”

The Yakima Valley is showing off its spring colors and that means it’s time for Spring Barrel Tasting! Ruby Magdalena doesn’t have a tasting room (yet) but they have come up with a creative way for you to sample their Estate Tempranillo from the barrel.

They have pulled and bottled samples of their 2015 and 2016 Tempranillo wines, which have been aging 16 ½ months and 6 months, respectively. Due to time and labor involved, quantities are limited to 24 sets.

ruby (2)These limited quantity barrel samples of 375 ml bottles are available in an exclusive three bottle sample pack for $44 plus shipping.

  • (375ml) 2015 Tempranillo
  • (375ml) 2016 Tempranillo
  • (750ml) current release 2012 Tempranillo

A Vertical Tasting for 4: Compare, side by side, three vintages of their Estate Tempranillo in three distinct stages of development.

Included in each package are technical/tasting notes and a surprise.

Visit: Follow along on Facebook and Instagram or visit their VinoShipper Page.

Washington State reports record wine grape harvest in 2016

Cabernet Sauvignon is leading grape variety with 26-percent of total harvest

SEATTLE (March 1, 2017) – Washington State’s wine grape harvest hit a new record in 2016, according to the Washington State Wine Commission’s Annual Grape Production Report. The report, compiled with information provided by all Washington State wineries, showed the 2016 harvest totaled 270,000 tons, a 22-percent increase over the previous year. Tonnage in 2015 was down a little compared to the previous record harvest of 227,000 tons in 2014, making the 2016 harvest the biggest ever in Washington State’s history.

Red varieties produced more tons than white, with 58-percent of the harvest. Production of red varieties showed a substantial increase of 39-percent over the previous year, compared to a 3-percent increase of white varieties. The largest share of this growth was Cabernet Sauvignon, with an increase of 23,700 tons over the previous year.

“We attribute the significant growth of our red varieties, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, to a number of positive outcomes in 2016 compared with the previous year,” said Steve Warner, president of the Washington State Wine Commission, which represents every licensed winery and grape grower in the state. “The 2016 harvest was the result of a near-perfect growing season and higher than expected grape yields. Also driving growth is the fact that new vineyard plantings are beginning to produce fruit – a trend we expect will continue in the coming years.”

Cabernet Sauvignon was the state’s top producing variety at 71,100 tons or 26-percent of the total, while Merlot was ranked second at 48,400 tons or 18-percent of the total. Chardonnay was the top white grape and third overall at 45,000 tons, while Riesling was right behind it at 41,300 tons. A sign of further growth, Washington State surpassed 900 winery licenses in 2016.

Wine grape growers received an average of $1,157 per ton for all varieties in 2016, an increase of $12 over the previous year. Of all the published varieties, Malbec received the highest average price per ton at $1,587.

 “2016 was a year for the record books,” Warner said. “Not only did we see our biggest harvest ever – but it was a great harvest. The weather in Eastern Washington cooled down a bit to extend the growing season and allow the grapes some extra time to mature on the vine. Our growers and winemakers are extremely excited about these wines.”

Available online:


About the Washington State Wine Commission:
The Washington State Wine Commission represents every licensed winery and wine grape grower in Washington State. Guided by an appointed board, WSWC provides a marketing platform to raise positive awareness of the Washington State wine industry and generate greater demand for its wines. Funded almost entirely by the industry through assessments based on grape and wine sales, WSW is a state government agency, established by the legislature in 1987. To learn more, visit

Pepper Bridge Winery Completes Solar Installation, Largest in Walla Walla County

New solar project adds to the winery’s core value of sustainability

Solar with WineryPepper Bridge Winery recently completed a solar installation project consisting of 378 panels, making it the largest photovoltaic solar array in Walla Walla County. The 100-kilowatt installation, which is ground-mounted adjacent to the winery, will have an annual production of over 100,000 kilowatt-hours and is projected to provide 70% of the winery’s energy needs.

Partner and winemaker Jean-François Pellet spearheaded the solar project. He studied the environmental impact and reviewed the feasibility of the technology to ensure it was the right investment for the family-owned business. Thanks to a USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grant, the winery received funds to be used towards the purchase, installation and construction of renewable energy systems. Pellet and the Pepper Bridge Winery team wanted to ensure the project would embrace local businesses. The equipment was all made in America, with the majority of it coming from Washington. Northwest-based North Coast Electric planned and built the system and Walla Walla Electric installed it.

Once the grant was secured, construction took two months. The winery expects the system to pay for itself over 10 years and cut annual electricity charges by up to 80 percent.

“We are always looking for ways our winery can lessen its impact on the environment,” said Pellet. “Whether it’s using earth friendly practices in the vineyard or using the sun’s rays to create energy, we are mindful of reducing our carbon footprint. This was a great investment for our company.”

The endeavor further demonstrates Pepper Bridge Winery and its sister winery Amavi Cellars’ strong commitment to sustainability, a core value of the family-owned businesses. Pellet, was instrumental in creating Vinea, the Winegrowers’ Sustainable Trust, more than ten years ago.  Pellet remains an active member in the organization, which was Walla Walla Valley’s first sustainable viticulture program.

About Pepper Bridge Winery

Pepper Bridge Winery represents the pioneering spirit of the Walla Walla Valley. Owned and operated by three families, the McKibbens, the Goffs and the Pellets, the winery is a leader in quality winemaking, innovative technology and vineyard development. Pepper Bridge Winery produces Bordeaux-style wines using traditional winemaking techniques, French oak and estate fruit from the Walla Walla Valley. Combining old-world philosophy with modern innovation, the winery has become an industry leader. For more information visit


Russell’s in Bothell to Celebrate the Women of Washington Wine

Sips, Merriment & Appetizers in Russell’s Loft

Cap I

Russell’s in Bothell is  celebrating Women of Washington Wine Thursday, March 24th and invites you to enjoy an evening with friends sampling wines  by women winemakers and business owners.

Chef Russell will be joining the ladies for demonstrations and  discussions that will highlight both established and up-and-coming winemakers.

Showcased Wineries

  • Adrice Wines
  • Damsel Cellars
  • Elsom Cellars
  • Kasia Winery
  • Red Sky
  • Robert Ramsey Cellars
  • Sonoris Wines
  • Warr-King Wines

Tickets include 8 tastings & appetizers. Retail Wine store and wines by the glass available during the event

Follow along ~ Find Russell’s in Bothell on their Website:, Facebook, and  Twitter

Thursday March 24, 2016, 6-9 pm Tickets $35



Auction of Washington Wines Winemaker Dinner Series Announces Chairman’s Dinner with L’ecole N°41 Winery and Chef Russell Dean Lowell

Marty Clubb

Marty Clubb, Managing Winemaker and co-owner, L’ecole N°41

Delicious partnerships in food and wine. Community and Industry Leaders and Auction Co-Chairs Marty and Megan Clubb and Frank and Charlene Blethen continue the tradition of the exclusive Chairmans’ Dinner. This sold out celebration will be held at the home of Rick and Kandy Holley perched on a hillside above Bellevue with views stretching from Tacoma to Mt. Baker. Guests will be treated to an exceptional dining experience provided by Chef Russell Dean Lowell of Russell’s. Special guests at this dinner will be our Honorary Vintner, DeLille Cellars, and Honorary Grower, Dick and Wendy Shaw, as well as  2015 Honorary Chair, Andy Perdue.

This dinner is limited to 50 guests and is available only to guests who are also attending the Winemaker Gala or purchasing a weekend package.


Passed Hors d’oeuvres

  • Smoked Salmon Roulade
  • Grilled Saffron Marinated Prawns with Pancetta Vinaigrette
  • Asian Crostini with Spicy Peanut Chicken
  • 2013 Henry Earl Wahluke Slope Riesling
  • 2014 L’ Ecole Chenin Blanc
Russell Dean Lowell

Chef Russell Dean Lowell

5 Course Dinner:

First Course:

  • Composed Salad of Sliced Scallop, Avocado, Grilled Nectarine and Chèvre with a Champagne
  • Vinaigrette
  • 2014 L’Ecole No 41 Stillwater Creek Semillon

Second Course:

  • Seared Duck Breast with Caramelized Shallot and Fig Reduction on Seared Polenta
  • 2012 Col Solare

Third Course:

  • Grilled Lamb Loin Chop with Roasted Duxelle Demi Glace and Herbed Risotto Cake
  • 2012 DeLille Cellars Four Flags

Fourth Course:

  • Veal Medallions with Rainier Cherry Demi Glace, Celeriac Mash & Taro Root Crisp
  • 2012 L’Ecole No 41 Estate Ferguson

Fifth Course:

  • Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Curd, Blackberries & Meringue
  • CSM Ice Wine or Late Harvest Riesling

There are several dinners in the series, tickets to the Winemaker Dinner series are $500 per guest, limited seating. For a complete list, please visit: Auction of Washington Wines