2016 Commercial Wine Competition Winners Announced, Newport Seafood Wine Fest
(Newport, Oregon) – On a warm, dry summer-like weekend full of sun and every good reason to be out on the beach, five talented wine judges, backed by a dedicated support crew who kept the glasses coming, remained sequestered in the Shilo Inn’s ocean-front suite from morning to night, both Saturday and Sunday, swirling, sniffing and spitting as they analyzed 171 wines entered in the 2016 Newport Seafood and Wine Festival, which opens Thursday, February 25, for four days through Sunday, February 28.
This was the 30th anniversary of the Commercial Wine Competition, which has become the longest unbroken wine competition in Oregon and a key component of the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival, which enters its 39th year at the end of this month.
A 2012 Pinot noir from River’s Edge Winery in the tiny Umpqua River town of Elkton, Oregon, won a Gold medal and was chosen for the Joseph H. Swafford Award for Best-Of-Show. Pinot noir, Oregon’s signature wine grape, with 35 entries, made up the largest category of the more than thirty types of wines entered by 62 wineries. River’s Edge owner-winemakers Vonnie and Mike Landt also won a Gold medal with their 2014 Baco noir, a hybrid cross of a French white and an unknown American red grape which produces a dark red wine that goes well with hearty dishes.
A wide spectrum of Northwest reds were recipients of Gold medals. In addition to three Pinot noirs, there were wines from the warmer growing regions of Southern Oregon, the Columbia Gorge and Eastern Washington, source of excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel and the Spanish grape Tempranillo that has adapted so well to Oregon’s Umpqua Valley.
Joining River’s Edge with two Golds each were Oregon’s Purple Cow Vineyards with a Tempranillo and a Zinfandel and Washington’s Columbia Crest with a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chardonnay.
The Newport Seafood & Wine Festival presented by Chinook Winds Casino Resort is February 25-28, 2016. For more information including vendor lists, sponsors, ticket prices, festival maps and more, visit www.seafoodandwine.com or download the Newport Seafood & Wine Festival mobile app.