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Results from the 7th Annual Bellingham Northwest Wine Competition

The 7th Annual Bellingham Northwest Wine Competition was another record-breaking event! 103 wineries from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho entered 482 wines in this year’s competition, held over a four-day period that concluded on July 9, 2022. The number of wines easily bested last year’s previous record total of 351 entries.

Twenty-six wineries joined the competition for the first time, including Great Northwest Wine Magazine’s 2022 Washington Winery of the Year, Westport Winery Garden Resort; 2022 Washington Winery to Watch, Liberty Lake Wine Cellars; 2022 Oregon Winery of the Year, Chris James Cellars; and multi-Platinum award-winner, Clearwater Canyon Cellars from Idaho.

Wineries were rewarded with an amazing and well-deserved 154 Double Gold medals. A Double Gold is achieved when each of the four judges on the tasting panel awards the wine a Gold medal, making it a unanimous choice.

Best in Show honors went to the Thurston Wolfe Winery 2021 PGV Pinot Gris-Viognier. Prosser, Washington Owner/Winemaker Dr. Wade Wolfe is no stranger to Best in Show awards; his 2016 Petit Verdot also took top honors in the competition three years ago.

Although he’s been making the Pinot Gris-Viognier blend since about 1998, Wolfe says he’s always hesitant to enter it in a competition because the blend (the 2021 vintage was 50/50) usually doesn’t fit neatly into a judging category.

But the wine has always been a favorite among consumers. In fact, it’s become so popular Wolfe has steadily expanded his original production of 100 cases to last year’s highest level: 3,500 cases.

With the 2021 PGV scored as a “favorite” of this year’s judging panel as well, it becomes the first white wine recognized as an outright Best in Show winner in the Competition’s history.

In addition to his 98-point Best in Show PGV, Wolfe also received a remarkable six Double Golds and three Golds for his other nine entries.

Other notable achievements in the 2022 Competition included a 97-point, Double Gold wine from five individual wineries: Chris James Cellars in Carlton, Oregon, Clearwater Canyon Cellars in Lewiston, Idaho, Bellingham, Washington’s Dynasty Cellars, Red Mountain’s Hedges Family Estate, and Zerba Cellars in Milton-Freewater, Oregon.

Several wineries earned multiple Double Gold medals including Chelan Ridge Winery (six), Succession Wines (five), CR Sandidge Wines (four), and Mellisoni Vineyards (four), all from the Lake Chelan area; Westport Winery Garden Resort from Aberdeen, Washington (five); L’atitude 47 from Walla Walla (four), and Chris James Cellars (four).

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