By Jan Jackson
Pete Buffington, owner of Abiqua Wind Vineyard in Scotts Mills won a Bronze medal this year for his 2007 Muller-Thurgau, at the 29th annual Oregon Wine Competition and Celebration Oregon!
Buffington enters the Oregon State Fair-hosted event every year.
Willamette Valley Vineyards
Willamette Valley Vineyards took
Best of Show for its 2006 Pinot noir,
and Best of Classification – Red Vinifera
for the same wine. Bronze Medals were
also awarded for its 2006 Pinot noir,
2007 Pinot gris and 2007 Riesling.
Pudding River Wine Cellars
Pudding River Wine Cellars received a
Gold Medal for its 2007 Pinot gris and
Bronze medals for its 2006 Pinot noir
and 2007 Viognier.
Vitus Ridge of Silverton was honored
with a Silver Medal for 2007 Riesling.
Bronze Medals were awarded for its
2006 Pinot noir, 2007 Marechal Foch
and 2007 Pinot gris.
“We bought the property here in 2001 and entered my first Oregon State Fair Wine Competition in 2003,” Buffington said. “I used to enter my animals at the State Fair when I was a kid in 4-H so it has been kind of fun to get back to it. We’ve won a couple of Silvers and Bronzes and in 2005 took an amateur Best of Show.
“Our bronze for our 2007 Muller-Thurgau, was a little disappointing this year though, because it took a double gold against 1,400 wineries in an international show in California, which means every judge there says it tasted gold. I enjoy doing it anyway, and whether or not I win, I will still participate.”
The Oregon State Fair saluted Oregon’s Wine Industry by hosting the 29th annual Oregon wine Competition and Celebration Oregon! on Friday, Aug. 22, at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem.
The Professional Wine competition tasted and scored 170 wines submitted by 48 wineries representing all appellations or districts where wine is produced in Oregon. Judges awarded 95 medals including six Gold Medals, Best of Show and Best of Class. The Amateur Wine Competition tasted and scored 140 wines entered by 51 winemakers who were awarded 85 blue, red and white ribbons.
Professional judges were Gino Cuneo, Gino Cuneo Cellars in Carlton, Ore.; Cole Danehower, co-publisher and editor-in-chief for Northwest Wine Palate Magazine; Brian Kemmerle, wine steward for Bentleys Grill in Salem; Toni Ketrenos, beer and wine buyer for Portland-based New Seasons Markets; Gary Kneski, owner of Thirst Wine Bar and Bistro in Portland and Lake Oswego; and David LeClaire, certified sommelier who also teaches at North Seattle Community College.
Though the Oregon wine industry typically looks to the 1960s as its origin, The Hudson Bay Company established Oregon’s first vineyard in Fort Vancouver around 1825. Now – as reported by the National Agricultural Statistic Service in the 2007 Winery Report – for the third year in a row,
Oregon produced and crushed a record amount of grapes, for the second year in a row Oregon grape growers planted a record number of new acres and Oregon’s 370 wineries reported producing wine under 442 labels (or brands).