Celebrating our state’s winemakers

Enjoy dinner and great wine with some of Washington’s best vintners and vintages

By Peter Christian, Vice President Food & Beverage

One of the beautiful things about the Washington wine industry is its youth. Another is its family ties. Of the seven labels featured at this year’s Taste Washington Winemaker Dinner, all have deep ties to the state, and many are operated by multiple generations of their founding families.

These families all show a true love and commitment to the craft of winemaking, and it’s a great honor to bring their vintages together at our touchstone culinary event. This year’s Taste Washington Winemaker Dinner takes place at 6 pm on Saturday, March 30, in the Crystal Ballroom. Tickets sold out last year, and the booking window is now open.

Each year, when choosing which winemakers to invite to the Taste Washington Dinner, we focus on showcasing a diversity of styles and appellations. With 14 official American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) acknowledged by the Washington Wine Commission, our state delivers everything from dry whites to robust reds.

Perhaps the most exciting guest at this year’s dinner will also be the youngest. Passing Time Winery sources grapes from various in-state AVAs and was founded five years ago by former NFL quarterbacks Dan Marino and Damon Huard, the latter of whom also starred at the University of Washington.

This year’s keynote presenter at the dinner will be Scott Haladay of Walla Walla Vintners. Haladay is a wonderful example of some of the new blood stepping into the Washington wine industry. After a successful technology career, he purchased Walla Walla Vintners in 2017. The winery recently hired Derrek Vipond away from Long Shadows Vintners. Vipond accepted the role of head winemaker after serving as assistant at Long Shadows.

These are exciting times for Washington wine, and the Taste Washington Winemaker Dinner offers WAC members and their guests an annual update on this incredible industry. Join us for wonderful pours paired with enlightening conversation and delicious food.

Along with WAC Executive Chef Eric Floyd, guest chefs Danna Hwang of Peony Kitchen and Pat Donahue of Anthony’s Restaurants will dazzle with their culinary creations, the perfect complement to this intimate evening of food and wine.

—Peter Christian holds a Level 1 Sommelier Accreditation from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Reach him at
pchristian@wac.net. 

As published in the March/April 2019 issue of WAC Magazine

Posted February 28, 2019

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