12/22/2014

Washington State Wine Awards toast people, places who make wine shine

After a decade of honoring restaurants, the Washington State Wine Commission expanded its prestigious award program to celebrate additional industries and individuals whose work raises the profile of Washington State wine throughout the state and beyond.

Monday’s well-attended Washington State Wine Awards [Twitter: #wawineawards] at McCaw Hall showcased exemplary retailers, tourism professionals and distributors for the first time, along with restaurants. Winners were selected from more than 100 nominations and were chosen for their impressive menus, innovative educational programs and marketing efforts, and commitment to excellent service.

“The nominees and winners of the Washington State Wine Awards perform a vital role in shaping Washington State as both a favored home and destination for those who enjoy outstanding wines,” said Commission President Steve Warner.

“These exemplary businesses and individuals help us spread the word that Washington State has a reputation for premium wines with superior quality across a range of varietals and distinctive character exhibiting a unique balance of the Old World and New World,” Warner added.

From an Italian restaurant nestled near the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains to a boutique hotel in downtown Seattle, an employee-owned chain of neighborhood groceries to a 23,000-square-foot wine shop just off I-5, the esteemed sommelier of a classic steakhouse to the concierge of a bustling visitors bureau – all award-winners are making a difference in promoting Washington State wine.

Fourteen businesses and individuals were singled out as champions within their industries. They will be featured in a full-page ad in 10 key publications: Food & Wine, Wine Spectator, Town and Country, Elle Décor, Real Simple, Seattle Magazine, Seattle Met, Sunset, SIP Northwest and Wine Press Northwest, as well as the 2013 Washington State Wine Tour Guide.

Prizes ranged from certificates and wine carriers to etched magnums. Three winners received custom goblets designed by Seattle Glassblowing Studio.

Master Sommelier Shayn Bjornholm emceed the event, during which attendees were able to taste wines from 60 Washington State vintners.

WINNERS

Walter Clore Honorarium: Doug Charles (Anacortes)

The Walter Clore Honorarium recognizes an individual who has demonstrated dedication to the advancement of the Washington wine industry. Charles is the owner of Compass Wines store, where he dedicates more than 75 percent of his inventory to Washington State wines. His label ded.reckoning is made by some of the top producers in the state.

Restaurant of the Year: Visconti’sof Wenatchee

Sommelier of the Year: Thomas Priceof Metropolitan Grill(Seattle)

Best Event Featuring Washington Wine: Urbane(Seattle)

Independent Restaurant of the Year: Copperleaf Restaurant at the Cedarbrook Lodge (SeaTac)

Best Restaurant Group: Mackay Restaurant Group, operator of El Gaucho restaurants (Western Washington)

Tourism Champion of the Year: Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau

Tourism Concierge of the Year: Anne Peavey, of Seattle’s Convention and Bureau Visitor

Hotel of the Year:  Hotel Vintage Park(Seattle)

Retailer of the Year: Metropolitan Market (Seattle, Kirkland)

Retailer Group of the Year: Yoke’s Fresh Markets (Eastern Washington)

Independent Retailer of the Year: Wine World and Spirits (Seattle)

Retail Steward of the Year: Doug King of Metropolitan Market

Distributor of the Year: Young’s Market Company(Western United States)

Distributor Salesperson of the Year: Kris Patten of Young’s Market Company (Seattle)

Grand Awards:

Awards of Distinction:

For more information on Washington State wine, visit www.washingtonwine.org.

Washington State Wine Awards toast people, places who make wine shine
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