Pebblestone Cellars Viognier tops Oregon Wine Experience competition

By on August 22, 2015
Erin James of Sip Northwest, Bay Area sommelier/writer Mary Orlin; and Doug Frost, a Master of Wine and a Master Sommelier, judge the 2015 Oregon Wine Experience competition in Jacksonville.

Erin James, editor-in-chief of Sip Northwest magazine, left; Bay Area sommelier/writer Mary Orlin, center, and Kansas City’s Doug Frost, a historic Master of Wine and Master Sommelier, judge the 2015 Oregon Wine Experience competition in Jacksonville. (Photo by Colony One Studio/Courtesy of Oregon Wine Experience)

MEDFORD, Ore. — Pebblestone Cellars in the Rogue Valley took best of show with its 2014 Viognier at the Oregon Wine Experience Wine Competition, topping a field of 224 entries from 50 Southern Oregon wineries.

Belle Fiore Winery won for best red wine with its 2012 Numinos, and the Red Lily Vineyards 2013 Night School captured the award for top dessert wine as part the event formerly known as the Southern Oregon World of Wine Festival.

oregon-wine-experience-logoDick and Pat Ellis created Pebblestone Cellars in 2003 when they established Ellis Vineyards on 26 acres in Medford with six varieties, including Tempranillo. They planted Viognier in 2004, and longtime Oregon winemaker Bryan Wilson developed the Pebblestone Cellars 2014 Ellis Vineyards Block 9 Viognier ($20), a blend of Geneva clone and clone 1. Wilson also received a gold medal for the Foris Vineyards 2014 Pinot Blanc.

Belle Fiore in Ashland also earned a double gold medal for the 2013 Belle Esprit Muscat Canelli made by Kathe Kaigas. Red Lily in Jacksonville added a gold medal for its 2014 Verdejo by Rachael Martin.

The judging panel, headed by Masters of Wine in Michele Anderson and Doug Frost, awarded 27 gold medals, including six double gold and 87 silver medals. The competition has recruited 14 MWs to serve as judges in the past six years.

“The wine industry in Southern Oregon continues to rapidly grow, as reflected in the record number of entries in the wine competition this year,” competition chair Bruce Nicholson said in a news release. “The judges were clearly impressed by both the variety and overall quality of the wines they tasted which, given the caliber of these judges, certainly bodes well for the future.”

Frost, an author, wine consultant and TV personality from Kansas City, became the first in the United States to earn both Master of Wine and Master Sommelier. Other judges included Randy Caparoso, wine consultant and journalist; Erin James, editor-in-chief of Sip Northwest magazine; and Bay Area sommelier/writer Mary Orlin.

Wine competition leads to start of 5-day festival

The Oregon Wine Experience will stage its 2015 public wine tasting Sunday, Aug. 23 in Jacksonville on Bigham Knoll Campus.

The Oregon Wine Experience will stage its 2015 public wine tasting Sunday, Aug. 23 in Jacksonville on Bigham Knoll Campus. (Photo by Colony One Studio/Courtesy of Oregon Wine Experience)

The Oregon Wine Experience spans five days, opening with the Medal Celebration and Barrel Auction, a series of sensory clinics, two days of vintners dinners, the Miracle Auction and Salmon Bake on Saturday and culminating Sunday with the grand tasting on Bigham Knoll Campus.

Joe Ginet of Plaisance Ranch in Williams, Lee Mankin of Carpenter Hill Vineyard in Medford and Cal Schmidt of Schmidt Family Vineyards in Grants Pass launched the wine competition in 2005 — the third year of the festival at Del Rio Vineyards in Gold Hill.

The festival moved to the Bigham Knoll Campus in Jacksonville in 2011. Last year, Asante Health System’s Foundation partnered with Southern Oregon wineries to manage the event as their signature fundraising effort for the year. They donated nearly $300,000 to Children’s Miracle Network and other Asante health care programs including the purchase of training mannequins for birth and delivery.

2015 Oregon Wine Experience Competition

Winemaker, retail price listed with each medalist

Best of Show
Pebblestone Cellars, 2014 Viognier, Winemaker Bryan Wilson: Retail $20

Best red
Belle Fiore, 2012 Numinos Bordeaux Blend, Winemaker: Kathe Kaigas, Retail $36

Best dessert
Red Lily Vineyards, 2013 Night School Red Dessert Wine, Winemaker: Rachael Martin, Retail $38

Double gold medal
Requires unanimous gold medal scores by all three judges
Belle Fiore Winery 2013 Belle Esprit Muscat Canelli, Kathe Kaigas, $24
Belle Fiore Winery 2012 Numinos Bordeaux Blend, Kathe Kaigas, $36
Cuckoo’s Nest Cellars 2014 Aromatique White Blend, Bryan Wilson, $15
Pebblestone Cellars 2014 Ellis Vineyards Block 9 Viognier, Bryan Wilson, $20
Red Lily Vineyards 2013 Night School Red Dessert, Rachael Martin, $38
Season Cellars 2014 Transparency White Blend, Scott & Jennifer Henry, $18

Gold medal
Abacela 2014 Albariño, Andrew Wenzl, $21
Brandborg Vineyard & Winery 2014 Treats Sweet Style Riesling, Terry Brandborg, $20
Cliff Creek Cellars 2014 MRV White Blend, Herb Quady, $22
Daisy Creek Vineyard 2014 Rousanne, Brian Denner, $24
DANCIN Vineyards 2012 Adagio Pinot Noir, Eric Weisinger, $36
Foris Vineyards 2014 Pinot Blanc, Bryan Wilson, $14
Grizzly Peak Winery 2012 Syrah, Linda Donovan, $24
Harry & David Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir, Linda Donovan, $30
Jaxon Vineyards 2012 Forté Red Blend, Rob Folin, $28
Kriselle Cellars 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Scott Steingraber, $32
Ledger David Cellars 2013 Malbec, Rob Folin, $30
Plaisance Ranch 2012 Rouge Prestige Papa Joe’s Private Stash, Joe Ginet, $30
Red Lily Vineyards 2014 Verdejo Stargaze Lily, Rachael Martin, $22
RoxyAnn Winery 2012 Pinot Noir, John Quinnones, $34
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir, Cal Schmidt, $38
Schultz Wines 2013 Homeward Chardonnay, Linda Donovan, $20
Season Cellars 2014 Viognier, Scott & Jennifer Henry $22
Serra Vineyards 2011 Merlot, Scott Fernandes, $50
Simple Machine 2012 Vector Red Blend, Brian Denner, $32
Tesoaria Vineyard & Winery 2013 Zinfandel, John Olson, $42
Troon Vineyard 2013 Zinfandel, Herb Quady, $15

Silver medal
30 Brix Winery 2014 Pastle 13 Orange Muscat, Chateau Roberts, $20
Abacela 2013 Grenache, Andrew Wenzl, $29
Abacela 2012 Jasper Block Reserve Syrah, Andrew Wenzl, $42
Abacela 2014 Grenache Rosé, Andrew Wenzl, $18
Agate Ridge Vineyard 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, Brian Denner, $18
Agate Ridge Vineyard 2013 Semllion Sauvignon Blanc, Brian Denner, $20
Agate Ridge Vineyard 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Kiley Evans, $28
Agate Ridge Vineyard 2011 DK Reserve Red Blend, Brian Denner, $60
Agate Ridge Vineyard 2012 Weeknight Red, Brian Denner, $13
Belle Fiore Winery 2014 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, Kathe Kaigas, $29
Belle Fiore Winery 2013 Belle Esprit Malbec, Kathe Kaigas, $29
Brandborg Vineyard and Winery 2014 Pinot Gris, Terry Brandborg, $16
Brandborg Vineyard and Winery 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Terry Brandborg, $20
Caprice Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, John Quinnones, $30
Cliff Creek Cellars 2011 Cabernet Franc, Joe Dobbes, $28
Cliff Creek Cellars 2009 Claret, Joe Dobbes, $25
Cuckoo’s Nest Cellars 2012 Two Birds Red Blend, Bryan Wilson, $15
Cuckoo’s Nest Cellars 2014 Fizzé Early Muscat, Bryan Wilson, $15
Daisy Creek Vineyard 2014 Viognier, Brian Denner, $22
DANCIN Vineyards 2013 Capriccio Chardonnay, Brian Denner, $32
DANCIN Vineyards 2013 Plie 65 Pinot Noir, Eric Weisinger, $34
DANCIN Vineyards 2013 Adagio Pinot Noir, Eric Weisinger, $34
DANCIN Vineyards 2013 Septette Pinot Noir, Eric Weisinger, $34
Deer Creek Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay, Herb Quady, $16
Del Rio Vineyards 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Jean Michel Jussiume, $28
Del Rio Vineyards 2013 Merlot, Jean Michel Jussiume, $28
Del Rio Vineyards NV Semi Sparkling Jolee Rosé, Jean Michel Jussiume, $15
Edenvale 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Ashley Campanella, $65
Foris Vineyards 2014 Dry Gewürztraminer, Bryan Wilson, $14
Girardet 2012 Chardonnay, Marc Girardet, $20
God King Slave Wines 2013 Kinfolk White Blend, Chris Jiron, $24
Grizzly Peak Winery 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Linda Donovan, $28
Grizzly Peak Winery 2012 Merlot, Linda Donovan, $24
Harry & David Vineyards 2013 Chardonnay, Linda Donovan, $15
Henry Estate Winery 2014 Müller-Thurgau, Greg Sothras, $15
Henry Estate Winery 2013 Bordeaux Blend, Greg Sothras, $25
Irvine Family Vineyards 2013 Chardonnay, Irvine Vineyards, $30
Irvine Family Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir, Irvine Vineyards, $35
Jaxon Vineyards 2012 Syrah, Rob Folin, $28
Kriselle Cellars 2012 Di’Tani Red Blend, Scott Steingraber, $26
LaBrasseur Vineyard 2012 Reserve Merlot, Fred LaBrasseur, $26
LaBrasseur Vineyard 2012 Petite Sirah Port-Style, Fred LaBrasseu, $26
Ledger David Cellars 2014 Primoris Chenin Blanc, Kiley Evans, $22
Ledger David Cellars 2013 Petit Verdot, Rob Folin, $35
Misty Oaks Vineyard 2014 Constitution Ridge Pinot Blanc, Steve Simmons, $18
Misty Oaks Vineyard 2014 Julio’s Hill Pinot Gris, Steve Simmons, $18
Pebblestone Cellars 2011 Ellis Vineyards Block 2 Merlot, Bryan Wilson, $21
Pebblestone Cellars 2014 Rose of Syrah Ellis Vineyards Block 7 Rosé, Jonathan Oberlander,$16
Plaisance Ranch 2011 Merlot, Joe Ginet, $25
Plaisance Ranch 2012 Petite Sirah, Joe Ginet, $30
Plaisance Ranch 2012 Pinot Noir, Joe Ginet, $30
Platt Anderson Cellars 2013 Ashland Artist Series Merlot, Gill Anderson, $20
Platt Anderson Cellars 2013 Ashland Artist Series Bordeaux Blend, Gill Anderson, $20
Quady North 2014 Grenache Blanc, Herb Quady, $21
Quady North 2014 Pistoleta White Blend, Herb Quady, $19
Quady North 2013 4-2-A Syrah, Herb Quady, $25
Quady North 2014 Rosé, Herb Quady, $15
Red Lily Vineyards 2012 Tempranillo, Rachael Martin, $35
Rocky Knoll 2009 Dunbar Ranch Bordeaux Blend, John Quinnones, $22
RoxyAnn Winery 2013 Chardonnay, John Quinnones, $26
RoxyAnn Winery 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Kent Barthmann, $20
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2014 Albariño, Cal Schmidt, $24
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Cal Schmidt, $23
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2012 Syrah, Cal Schmidt, $36
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2012 Tempranillo, Cal Schmidt, $36
Season Cellars 2013 Marsanne Roussanne Viognier Blend, Scott & Jennifer Henry, $24
Season Cellars 2012 Syrah, Scott & Jennifer Henry, $30
Serra Vineyards 2013 Rosé, Scott Fernandes, $28
Slagle Ceek Vineyards 2010 Pini Red Dessert, Greg Paneitz, $22
Slagle Creek Vineyards 2012 Pini Red Blend, Steve Anderson, $20
Soloro Vineyard 2013 Emerald Isle White Blend, Linda Donovan, $20
Soloro Vineyard 2011 Reserve Killdear Syrah, Steve Anderson, $28
South Stage Cellars 2013 Riesling, Joe Dobbes, $20
South Stage Cellars 2012 Malbec, Linda Donovan, $28
South Stage Cellars 2011 Pinot Noir, Joe Dobbes, $30
Spangler Vineyards 2012 Claret Bordeaux Blend, Pat Spangler, $28
Tesoaria Vineyard & Winery 2012 Baco Noir, John Olson, $35
Tesoaria Vineyard & Winery 2011 Arany Szarvas, John Olson, $65
Tesoaria Vineyard & Winery 2012 Attila, John Olson, $52
Tesoaria Vineyard & Winery 2013 Sangiovese, John Olson, $45
Tesoaria Vineyard & Winery 2012 Dolcetto, John Olson, $22
Tesoaria Vineyard & Winery 2012 Coeur Noir Red Blend, John Olson, $45
Troon Vineyard 2013 Chardonnay, Herb Quady, $20
Troon Vineyard 2012 M*T Reserve Red Blend, Herb Quady, $40
Valley View Winery 2013 Anna Maria Sauvignon Blanc, John Guerrero, $24
Valley View Winery 2012 Anna Maria Syrah, John Guerrero, $24
Weisinger Family Winery 2012 Malbec, Eric Weisinger, $28

About Eric Degerman

Eric Degerman is the president and CEO of Great Northwest Wine. He is a journalist with more than 30 years of daily newspaper experience and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest with Andy Perdue and served as its managing editor for 15 years. He is a frequent wine judge along the West Coast and contributor to Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine, the region's longest-running golf publication.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Oregon Wine Experience posts Oregon Wine University class list - Great Northwest Wine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Anti-spam measure * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.