The lineup for the second annual Northwest Wine Encounter has been finalized and the program is set. Chris Figgins of Leonetti Cellar and Tony Rynders of Panther Creek are two of the weekend’s headliners, representing the Washington and Oregon wine regions. Canada’s Okanagan Valley of British Columbia will be represented by Walter Gehringer of Gehringer Brothers. The event will take place April 28-30, 2017, at the acclaimed Semiahmoo Resort, just south of the Canadian border, on the shores of Birch Bay, the Cascade and Olympic Mountains in view. Two days of wine education and appreciation will include tastings, seminars, and a gala dinner as well as birdwatching on the Semiahmoo peninsula, a beach bonfire and golf on the resort’s top rated courses. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature and Talking Rain are participating sponsors of the weekend.
Led by wine writer and columnist for the Seattle Times Andy Perdue, and Eric Degerman, of Great Northwest Wine, program topics and events will include: The Siren Song of Pinot Noir, Walla Walla, Wine Speed Dating and The Importance of Place.
- Chris Figgins, winemaker and president of Figgins Family Wine Estates, including Leonetti Cellar, Figgins Family Estate and his new Toil Oregon brand.
- David “Merf” Merfeld, winemaker for Northstar Winery, a Merlot-focused winery south of Walla Walla that is owned by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.
- Chris Upchurch, winemaker and cofounder for acclaimed DeLille Cellars in Woodinville, Wash. Upchurch also is the owner of Upchurch Vineyard on Red Mountain in Eastern Washington.
- Tony Rynders, winemaker for Panther Creek Cellars in Dundee, Ore. Rynders also is owner of Tendril Wine Cellars in Gaston, Ore. Rynders was head winemaker for Domaine Serene from 1998 to 2008 after spending a few years working in the Washington wine industry.
- Walter Gehringer, winemaker and co-owner of Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery in Oliver, B.C.
- Doug Charles, owner of Compass Wines in Anacortes, Wash. Charles has been involved in the Washington wine industry as a retailer or restaurateur since 1978. He also owns Ded Reckoning, a Washington wine label whose wines are made in the tradition of France’s negoçiant businesses.
- Roy Breiman, celebrity chef and author. Breiman, culinary director for Cedarbrook Lodge, gained fame last year when he went up against famed chef Bobby Flay on national TV– and beat him on the Food Network show.
- Mike Sauer is the owner of famed Red Willow Vineyard in the western Yakima Valley. Sauer is perhaps best known for his work with the late David Lake, the longtime Washington winemaker and Master of Wine. In 1986, Sauer planted the first Syrah in Washington. The red Rhône grape has gone on to grow into Washington’s No. 3 red grape.
The weekend event cost is $475 per person which includes:
- Two nights in a beautifully renovated guestroom at the Semiahmoo Resort
- Friday night wine tasting followed by a beach bonfire (weather permitting)
- Vintner-hosted tasting seminars
- Saturday evening Gala Dinner with winemakers
- Resort fee for two nights
- 15% off spa treatments and golf rounds during each stay