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Willows Lodge announces Golden Grapes award winners

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Golden Grapes
Courtesy Photo. Winemaker Shane Howard of Pondera Winery accepts Golden Grapes King’s Cup Award from Barking Frog Wine Director and GGA host, Matt Davis, at the third annual Golden Grapes awards ceremony and tasting at Willows Lodge on Sunday, March 3.
Willows Lodge in Woodinville Wine Country, and its restaurant, Barking Frog, announced the winners of the third annual Golden Grapes awards held on Sunday, March 3.

The sold-out event celebrated the “best of the best” wines made in Woodinville Wine Country determined by the winemakers themselves.  The winners and two runners up in each of the seven eligible categories were:

• King’s Cup Winner

Pondera Winery, SVS Number One, Bordeaux Blend, Conner Lee Vineyard, 2009

• Sauvignon Blanc

Winner:  Di Stefano, CV, 2011

Runner Up: DeLille Cellars, Chaleur Blanc, CV, 2011

Runner Up: Woodinville Wine Cellars, CV, 2011

• Chardonnay

Winner: Brian Carter, Array, CV, 2010

Pondera, Chardonnay, CV, 2011

Gorman Winery, Big Sissy, CV, 2010

• Cabernet Sauvignon

Winner:  William Church, CV, 2009

Sparkman, Rainmaker, CV, 2010

Alta Vineyards, CV, 2009

• Bordeaux Style Blends

Winner: Pondera Winery, SVS Number One, Conner Lee Vineyard, CV, 2009

Runner Up: Woodinville Wine Cellars, Indomitable, CV, 2009

Runner Up: Tenor, 1:1, CV, 2009

• Syrah

Winner: Guardian Cellars, informant, Wahluke Slope, 2010

William Church, CV, 2009

Stevens Winery, Black Tongue, Yakima Valley, 2010

• Rhone Style Red Varieties

Winner:  Darby Winery, Flipside, CV, 2011

DeLille Cellars, Métier, Yakima Valley, 2010

Brian Carter Cellars, Byzance, CV, 2009

The Golden Grapes Awards were hosted by Barking Frog Wine Director Matt Davis, who invited more than 50 Woodinville wineries to compete this year.

More than 30 winemakers participated. Judging took place during three private events in February and all GGA entries were reviewed in a side-by-side, blind tasting by category.

Judges ranked each wine on six qualities:  Appearance (1 point), Aroma (5 points), Flavor (5 points), Body (4 points), Balance (4 points), Overall Impression (6 points) – for a total of 25 points.

“Only winemakers and winemaking staff were allowed to be judges, and the scale is weighted toward their overall impression,” said Matt Davis, wine director, Barking Frog. “These are truly the wines winemakers believe exemplify Woodinville wines.”


The public joined the Woodinville winemakers March 3 for a special awards presentation and wine tasting event in the Sammamish Ballroom at Willows Lodge.  Guests also had the chance to taste many of the outstanding wines made in Woodinville Wine Country, as well as to meet and mingle with the winemakers themselves.

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