The 39th Annual Tri-Cities Wine Festival is behind us! I want to thank all who supported and attended the event. This year 74 winery labels were represented with 373 wines entered for judging. The judging took place during the first week of November with a panel of 7 professional judges: Shelly Fitzgerald, Seattle; Tim McNally, New Orleans; Harry McWatters, Summerland, B.C.; Brad Smith, Grandview; Don Galleano, Mira Loma, California; Jerry Bookwalter and Coke Roth, Tri-Cities. This year’s judging resulted in a record number of silver medals – 205; 93 gold medals – a tie from a previous festival; and, with 46 double golds, another record. More information about the judges and the complete list of festival award winners are on the society’s website, www.tricitieswinesociety.com.
The festival culminated with the November 11 gala public tasting event at the Three Rivers Convention Center. Besides the wines entered for judging, the gala included food, a microbrew, live entertainment and a silent auction. The festival was simply an incredible event. Looking ahead, mark your calendars now for the 40th Tri-Cities Wine Festival, Three Rivers Convention Center. The date is being finalized, either November 10 or 17. Stay tuned.
Special thanks go out to the festival’s core team members: Dolly Ammann; Mary Binder; Blaine Hulse; Mary Peters; and, Debra Ticknor. Collectively, they worked tirelessly for months starting in January to prepare for the wine judging, public tasting and silent auction. Thanks also go out to the dozens of volunteers who supported everything from recruiting wineries, to getting donations for the silent auction, to assisting with the wine judging and preparations for Saturday’s public event. More thank yous to the wineries, businesses and individuals who donated items for the silent auction. And finally, a special thank you to our partners – the professional staff at the Three Rivers Convention Center. We could not have this quality event without them.