Judging | Gala
Silent Auction Donors|
The Tri-Cities Wine Festival began in 1979 as
a fundraiser for a new copier for the Tri-Cities Visitor & Convention
Bureau. However, it was also envisioned as a vehicle for
promoting Northwest wines, and the Tri-Cities as a tourist
destination. The festival was held in July during Water Follies
weekend at the Hanford House Thunderbird Hotel in Richland. Modeled after the Seattle
Wine Festival, the event featured over 40 wines from
13 Northwest wineries. The only advertising was a sandwich board in
front of the hotel.
In 1990 the Tri-Cities Wine Society assumed sponsorship. Through the
help of several area supporters, the Society received enough seed money
to continue the festival. The festival has continued each year,
and as the Pacific Northwest wine
industry has grown and changed, so has the festival.
For a detailed history of the festival, click here.
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are invited to the Tri-Cities Wine Festival from Oregon,
Montana and Alaska.
the days before the Festival, a panel of well-qualified wine judges
sample all the entries. These judges are drawn from an experienced pool
of candidates from the United
States and sometimes worldwide. Past
judges have included well-recognized wine writers for major publications,
sommeliers, wine distributors or buyers for major chains, winemakers and
wine educators. Many have had extensive judging experience at such
prestigious events as the Los Angeles County Wine Competition, the Dallas
Wine Fair and international competitions.
the past, judging is to be conducted under strict and exacting
guidelines. Blind standards ensure an objective and unbiased examination
of all entered wines. We follow the Wine Institute’s guidelines for
objective competitions. The judges are told only the year and the
category of each wine, and in some cases the residual sugar.
wines are randomized within each tasting round — or
“flight” as they are called — to ensure that neither
alphabetical order nor entry order can be a revealing factor. Flights are
limited to no more than 20-24 wines. Should entries exceed that number
(as in popular varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot), pass/fail
flights first eliminate non-medal contenders. Wines that pass this round
then go into a final flight for possible medal winners. Bronze, silver
and gold medals are awarded, plus a best-of-show award. Best of show is
selected from among the gold medal winners.
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