Willows Lodge: Golden Grape Awards Results

by Shona Milne on March 5, 2013

The 3rd Annual Golden Grape Awards were held at Willows Lodge on Sunday. And the winner of the King’s Cup is………………Pondera Winery!


Pondera Winery takes King’s Cup with 2009 SVS Number One Bordeaux Blend

Willows Lodge, a Northwest-style retreat in Woodinville Wine Country, and its restaurant Barking Frog announce the winners of its third annual Golden Grapes Awards held on Sunday, March 3rd. 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

o   Winner:  Di Stefano, CV, 2011

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

o   Runner Up: Woodinville Wine Cellars, CV, 2011

  • Chardonnay

o   Winner:  Array, CV, 2010

o   Pondera, Chardonnay, CV, 2011

o   Gorman Winery, Big Sissy, CV, 2010

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

o   Winner:  William Church, CV, 2009

o   Sparkman, Rainmaker, CV, 2010

o   Alta Vineyards, CV, 2009

  • Bordeaux Style Blends

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

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

o   Runner Up: Tenor, 1:1, CV, 2009

  • Syrah

o   Winner: Guardian Cellars, informant, Wahluke Slope, 2010

o   William Church, CV, 2009

o   Stevens Winery, Black Tongue, Yakima Valley, 2010

  • Rhone Style Red Varieties

o   Winner:  Darby Winery, Flipside, CV, 2011

o   DeLille Cellars, Métier, Yakima Valley, 2010

o   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 on Sunday, March 3 for a special awards presentation and wine tasting event in the Sammamish Ballroom at Willows Lodge in which the winners and two runners up in each category were announced.  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.

About Willows Lodge

Willows Lodge, a Northwest style lodge located in Woodinville Wine Country just outside of Seattle, features 84 luxury guestrooms, a full-service spa and high-tech equipped meeting space.  Executive Chef Bobby Moore’s American regional cuisine at Barking Frog reflects the seasonal and organic produce found in Puget Sound, and is artfully paired with an extensive list of Washington wines.  Willows Lodge also boasts Fireside Cellars, offering a casual and sophisticated atmosphere tucked away in the lobby with an outdoor patio overlooking the expansive surrounding landscape.  www.willowslodge.com.

About Benchmark Hospitality International

Benchmark Hospitality International is a leader in the management and marketing of resorts, conference centers, hotels, and Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels.  The independent company, launched in 1980, is a worldwide organization operating properties in major metropolitan and resort destinations.  Benchmark’s international headquarters is located in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston. Benchmark Hospitality is also a founding member of the International Association of Conference Centers.  The company’s eastern regional office is in New Jersey, western regional office is in Washington, with international offices in Tokyo, Japan, and Santiago, Chile. For the location of Benchmark’s properties and additional information, visit www.benchmarkhospitality.com.

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