3rd annual Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition starts today

By on October 7, 2015
The historic Columbia Gorge Hotel is the site for three major Pacific Northwest wine competitions each year.

The historic Columbia Gorge Hotel is the site for the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition, which begins today. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine)

HOOD RIVER, Ore. – Twenty wine professionals have gathered in the heart of Pacific Northwest wine country to evaluate more than 550 wines for the third annual Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition.

The judging, which takes place at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel, is unique in the United States, as it is the only competition in which the judges nominate the wines that will be evaluated.

This year’s judging, which begins this morning, includes 20 of the most influential wine professionals in the Northwest, including retailers, wholesalers, sommeliers, restaurateurs and writers.

The third annual Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition drew about 560 entries from nearly 200 wineries in Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho.

At the inaugural Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition, which took place in 2013, the Seven Falls 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, a $15 red made by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, took the top prize. Last year, Wild Goose Vineyards’ 2012 God’s Mountain Vineyard Riesling from British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley won best of show.

The judging is conducted under blind conditions, meaning the judges know what variety or style of wine they are tasting but neither the producer nor the wine’s retail price.

Gold medals will be announced soon after they are awarded via Twitter (hashtag #greatnorthwestwine)

Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition judges

Yashar Shayan, owner of ImpulseWine.com in Seattle, tasted through red wines at the second annual Great Northwest Wine Competition in Hood River, Ore.

Yashar Shayan, owner of ImpulseWine.com in Seattle, tastes through red wines at the Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River, Ore.

Each judge at the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition is asked to nominate 100 wines from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho. All nominations are then compiled by the staff of Great Northwest Wine and sent to wineries. The wineries then choose if they would like to participate.

This year’s nominating judges for the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition are:

About Andy Perdue

Andy Perdue is the editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine. He is a third-generation journalist who has worked at newspapers since the mid-1980s and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 15 years. He is a frequent judge at international wine competitions. He is the author of "The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer's Handbook" (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books. He writes about wine for The Seattle Times. You can find him on Twitter and .

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