Phelps Creek wins top honors in first Gorge wine contest

THE MAIN dining room at Columbia Gorge Hotel was filled Thursday and Friday with hundreds of bottles of wine, in the second annual Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition. The inaugural Gorge judging event, with 97 bottles judged, was held in conjunction with the event. Following the judging, guests of the hotel and members of the community met with Gorge wine makers Friday night, sampling open bottles from throughout the competition, and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres by chef Paul Robinson.

A Hood River winery’s Pinot Noir crafted from Columbia Gorge grapes earned top honors at the inaugural Columbia Gorge Wine Competition. The competition was conducted by Great Northwest Wine at the Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River, and was done in conjunction with the second annual Great Northwest Wine Invitational, which included close to 400 wines from Oregon, Washington, Idaho and British Columbia.

The judges included wine professionals from Oregon, Washington and California.

Best of show in the second annual Northwest Wine Competition went to Wild Goose Vineyards’ 2012 God’s Mountain Riesling, Okanagan Valley.

Phelps Creek Vineyards‘ 2012 Pinot Noir earned the nod for best of show out of 95 wines from 20 wineries. Mt. Hood Winery‘s 2013 Riesling won the title of best white wine.

Bob Morus, owner of Phelps Creek, began planting his vines in 1990 above the town of Hood River with a view of Mount Hood to the south. He said the winning Pinot, while labeled a Gorge wine, is in fact an estate vintage, as all the grapes were grown at his west Hood River vineyard. He now farms 30 acres of vineyards, the majority of which are Pinot Noir. His wines are made by Alexandrine Roy, a fourth-generation winemaker from Burgundy, France.

Other gold medal winners came from nearby Cathedral Ridge Winery and Maryhill Winery.

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