The renowned wine expert and AWW 2020-2021 Honorary Chair will be joined by a handful of Washington state winemakers and vintners to host four virtual wine tastings throughout the 2021 summer months.
Each session will explore a different focus of Washington wine and include key players from the industry to share their insights while guiding participants through a virtual wine tasting. The series begins on June 30 and wraps up Aug. 4, just before AWW's annual August weekend of events, taking place Aug. 10-16, 2021.
The 2021 Virtual Wine Tasting Series kicks off on Wednesday, June 30, with a focus on the geographic region of Horse Heaven Hills. MacNeil will be joined by winemakers Ray McKee from Trothe, Damon Huard from Passing Time and Katie Nelson from Chateau Ste. Michelle to showcase three vintages from Horse Heaven Hills and discuss the individuality of this American Viticultural Area (AVA).
The theme of the second session is Exploring Washington's Syrah blends; it will feature Will Wiles from Columbia Crest, Noah Fox-Reed from Tinte Cellars and Christian Grieb from Treveri Cellars. Guided by MacNeil, they'll discuss the differences of the dark-skinned Syrah grape compared to other Washington varietals and how it makes this wine style one of Washington's best. This session will be held on July 14.
On July 21, MacNeil will host a third session all about Bordeaux-style wines. Tastings will include Cabernet blends and tasting notes from Greg Frichette from Frichette Winery, Dennis Cakebread from Mullan Road Cellars and Coman Dinn from Co Dinn Cellars.
The series will conclude on Aug. 4 with a second tasting exploring the Cabernet blends of Washington Wine Country. Brian Carter from Brian Carter Cellars, David O'Reilly from Owen Roe and AWW Honorary Vintner, Marie-Eve Gilla from Valdemar Estates, will lead participants through a tasting of some of the industry's best Cabernet Sauvignon's while they discuss what makes Washington state a great wine region.
June 30 | 4:00 p.m. | Exploring the Wines of Horse Heaven Hill
July 14 | 4:00 p.m. | Exploring Washington's Syrah Blends
July 21 | 4:00 p.m. | Exploring Washington's Bordeaux-style Wines
August 4 | 4:00 p.m. | Exploring Washington's Cabernet Blends
The Virtual Tasting Series will be held via Zoom. There is no charge to attend the virtual tastings. Prior to the sessions in July and August, participants can purchase the select wines from Esquin Wine & Spirits. More information and registration can be found at https://auctionofwawines.org.
About the Auction of Washington Wines (AWW)
Since its inception in 1988, AWW has raised more than $52 million to benefit Washington State University Viticulture & Enology Research, Seattle Children's and the AWW Industry Grant. AWW is listed in the top five wine charity auctions in the U.S. by Wine Spectator. AWW's mission is to support the growth and awareness of the Washington state wine industry through a series of celebrated events benefiting the community. The annual Auction of Washington Wines weekend will take place August 10–16, 2021. Key supporters for the 2021 season of events include John L. Scott Foundation, Ste Michelle Wine Estates, The Seattle Times, and Winebow Fine Wine & Spirits.
About Karen MacNeil
MacNeil is the author of the award-winning and best-selling book about wine, The Wine Bible. She has won every major wine award given in the English language, including the James Beard Foundation's Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year. She is an Emmy-winning broadcast journalist for her role as host and lead writer of Wine, Food, and Friends with Karen MacNeil on PBS. Her firm, Karen MacNeil & Company, creates customized corporate events and wine tours around the world for companies and individual groups such as Disney, Merrill Lynch, Singapore Airlines and General Electric. In 2018, she was named "100 Most Influential People in Wine."