Washington State Wine Competition returns this spring

By on May 2, 2017
Cabernet Sauvignon entries stand ready to be double-decanted for judges at the 2017 Cascadia Wine Competition in Hood River, Ore., at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel.

Cabernet Sauvignon entries stand ready to be double-decanted for judges at the 2017 Cascadia Wine Competition in Hood River, Ore., at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel. (Photo by Richard Duval Images)

GRANDVIEW, Wash. — After a two-year hiatus, the Washington State Wine Competition is returning next month.

Two years ago, the Central Washington State Fair discontinued its longtime competition after organizer Ruth Anglin retired from the fairgrounds staff after 34 years – 33 of them running the wine competition.

In its early days, the Washington State Wine Competition – known then as the Central Washington State Fair Wine Competition – had a goal of including every wine in the state. This was at a time when Washington had only a dozen wineries or so.

Through the years, entries in the competition ebbed and flowed, until the fair decided to shut it down after 30 years.

In its new iteration, the competition will be operated by Great Northwest Wine, a media company based in Richland – the heart of Washington wine country. It is operated by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue, two longtime Northwest wine journalists and newspapermen.

The competition, which will take place Tuesday, June 20, at Yakima Valley College on its Grandview campus. Judges have not yet been announced but will include wine professionals from throughout the state.

The format will be a blind tasting: Judges won’t know the producer or price of the wines until the competition is complete. They know only the variety or style.

The competition also will give to the next generation of Washington winemakers, as proceeds from the competition will go toward funding wine-related scholarships at Yakima Valley College, South Seattle  College, Washington State University and Walla Walla Community College.

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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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