Taste Washington features educational seminars led by top national wine personalities, sommeliers and producers, that dive headfirst into what makes Washington State a world class winegrowing region. From tastings to interactive panels, these events are entertaining, enlightening and in high demand. Join us!

Seminars run concurrently each day.

2017 details and ticket information coming soon. Sign up below so we can stay in touch.

2016 Seminars

10:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.

Washington vs the World 2016


France’s Rhône Valley is home to some of the world’s most sought-after and prized wines. Here in Washington, we believe our Rhône-style wines can compete with the best in the world. But can they really? There’s only one way to find out: by blind tasting a selection of the state’s finest against some of the best the world has to offer. How does Washington really stack up? Come decide for yourself.

Doug Charles, Compass Wines

Brennon Leighton, Charles Smith Wines & B. Leighton Wines
David O’Reilly, Owen Roe
Morgan Lee, Two Vintners & Covington Cellars
Jamie Brown, Waters Winery
Mike Macmorran, Mark Ryan Winery & Manu Propria Winery
Yannick Benjamin, University Club of New York

B. Leighton Syrah Olsen Vineyard Yakima Valley 2012
Mark Ryan Winery Crazy Mary Mourvèdre Red Mountain 2013
Mas de Boislauzon Cuvée de Quet Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2012
Owen Roe Syrah Chapel Block Red Willow Vineyard Yakima Valley 2013
Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle 2009
Sadie Columella Swartland 2013
Shafer Relentless Syrah Napa Valley 2012
Torbreck The Pict Mataro Barrosa Valley 2010
Two Vintners Grenache Boushey Vineyard Yakima Valley 2013
Waters Winery Old Stones Syrah Walla Walla Valley 2012

King Cab! An exploration of Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon


Cabernet Sauvignon is seen by serious collectors and everyday wine drinkers alike as the Rolls-Royce grape of the wine world. Once viewed as being in the shadows of California, Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon is increasingly being recognized in its own right by critics and wine professionals around the globe. What makes Washington Cabernet different? Can the state establish its own identity for the grape in a world crowded with Cabernet? We’ll find out while sampling a selection of top wines from around the state.

Sean P. Sullivan, Wine Enthusiast magazine

Josh Maloney, Maloney Wine & Milbrandt Vineyards
Katelyn Peil, Purple Wine Bar and Café
Linn Scott, Sparkman Cellars
Rick Small, Woodward Canyon Winery
Sarah Goedhart, Hedges Family Estate

Adams Bench Cabernet Sauvignon Red Willow Vineyard Yakima Valley 2012
Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley 2012
Fielding Hills Cabernet Sauvignon Riverbend Vineyard Wahluke Slope 2012
Hedges Family Estate La Haute Cuvée Red Mountain 2013
Maloney Wine Cabernet Sauvignon Elephant Mountain Vineyard Rattlesnake Hills 2012
Passing Time Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills 2013
Sparkman Cellars Evermore Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2012
Woodward Canyon Winery Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2013

Tasting Washington: Exploring what Washington wine tastes like and why


A skilled blind taster can identify where a wine is from based on certain clues that region is known for. For example, people will often say that a certain wine “tastes like Washington.” So, what is it that people are tasting? What is the common thread that connects the state’s wines? In this seminar, we will explore the idea of ‘Washington-ness’ and see if we can nail down exactly what those factors are that make the state’s wines so distinct and memorable.

Bruce Schoenfeld, Saveur magazine

Bob Betz, MW, Betz Family Winery
Jake Kosseff, Miller’s Guild Restaurant
Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Betz Family Winery Clos de Betz Red Wine Columbia Valley 2011
Cadence Camerata Red Wine Cara Mia Vineyard Red Mountain 2012
Co Dinn Cellars Chardonnay Roskamp Vineyard Snipes Mountain 2013
Hightower Cellars Reserve Red Wine Red Mountain 2012
L’Ecole No 41 Luminesce White Wine Seven Hills Vineyard Walla Walla Valley 2014
Milbrandt Vineyards Riesling Evergreen Vineyard Ancient Lakes 2013
Sleight of Hand Cellars Levitation Syrah Columbia Valley 2013
Spring Valley Vineyard Katherine Corkrum Cabernet Franc Walla Walla Valley 2012
Stevens Winery Merlot Yakima Valley 2012
Waitsburg Cellars Cheninieres Chenin Blanc Columbia Valley 2014

10:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.

Through the Grapevine: Lessons learned from a lifetime in Washington wine

Unlike Old World wine regions, many of Washington’s “pioneers” can still be found walking the vines and bottling their wines. The state is home to numerous wisdom-filled winegrowers and winemakers who have dedicated their lives to the state’s industry. In this seminar, we’ll tap the knowledge of a selection of these esteemed elder statespeople, learn how the industry has evolved, and hear what lessons they’ve gleaned in their journeys. And to top it all off, we’ll taste some of the most-prized fruits of their labors.

Sean P. Sullivan, Wine Enthusiast magazine

Bob Betz, MW, Betz Family Winery
Jim Holmes, Ciel du Cheval Vineyard
Allen Shoup, Long Shadows
Gary Figgins, Leonetti Cellar
Alex Golitzin, Quilceda Creek
Kay Simon, Chinook Wines

Betz Family Winery La Côte Patriarche Syrah Yakima Valley 2009
Chinook Wines Cabernet Franc Yakima Valley 2013
Leonetti Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley 2008
Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot Columbia Valley 2005
Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Galitzine Vineyard Red Mountain 2006
Tamarack Cellars Red Wine Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Mountain 2012

Riesling on the Rise


Riesling has turned many sommeliers and wine drinkers into life-long worshippers because of its versatility and inherent ability to express a sense of regional identity. Long one of Washington’s most popular and planted grape varieties, Riesling is known for its huge range of varied styles – from bone dry to dessert sweet. It is also known for its chameleon-like abilities to show varying expression across vineyard sites. Here, we’ll jump headfirst into the world of Washington Riesling and find out what makes the wines so distinct and why they’re snapping up more and more fans every day.

Chris Tanghe, MS, Vinum Wine Importing & Distributing

Christopher Bates, MS, Element & F.L.X.
David Rosenthal, Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
Peter Devison, EFESTE
Richard Grosche, Reichsrat von Buhl Estate

Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery & Dr. Loosen Eroica Single Berry Select Riesling Columbia Valley 2008
Dunham Cellars Late Harvest Riesling Columbia Valley 2014
EFESTE Riesling Evergreen Vineyard Ancient Lakes 2013
Element Riesling Finger Lakes 2012
FIGGINS Riesling Walla Walla Valley 2015
Mac Forbes Riesling Strathbogie Ranges RS 37 2013
Reichsrat von Buhl Brut Riesling Pfalz 2013
Savage Grace Wines Riesling Underwood Mountain Columbia Gorge 2013
Tempus Cellars Riesling Evergreen Vineyard Ancient Lakes 2013

A Sense of Place: The role of vines and man in the vineyard


While producers making vineyard-designated wines all say they are looking to express a particular site, wines from the same vineyard often taste quite different. Where does vineyard influence stop and winemaker influence begin? We’ll take a deep dive to the root of it with some of Washington’s finest winemakers who are making very different wines from the same vineyards.

Bruce Schoenfeld, Saveur magazine

Chris Camarda, Andrew Will Winery
Mike Januik, Januik Winery & Novelty Hill
Chris Upchurch, DeLille Cellars & Upchurch Vineyard

Andrew Will Winery Red Wine Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Mountain 2013
Andrew Will Winery Red Wine Champoux Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills 2013
DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Red Wine Red Mountain 2013
Fidelitas Cabernet Sauvignon Champoux Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills 2013
Januik Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Champoux Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills 2013
Januik Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills 2013
Seven Hills Winery Red Wine Ciel du Cheval Red Mountain 2013
Soos Creek Wine Cellars Red Wine Champoux Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills 2013