Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers recognized achievements of
industry leaders at an Honor Reception held during their annual
Convention held in Kennewick last week. The
annual awards were for Grower of the Year, Industry Service, Lifetime
Achievement, and Restaurant Appreciation. About 2,000 state, national,
and international participants from the grape and wine industry
Mimi Nye,
of Ste Michelle’s Canoe Ridge Estate

received the
Erick Hanson Memorial Wine Grape Grower Award for demonstrated
viticultural skills that provide impact in the vineyard and in the
bottle. Nye is recognized throughout the industry as an iconic vineyard
manager, full of tenacity and a passion for growing
perfect grapes. Her wealth of experience in the wine industry and her
tireless dedication to quality have brought many accolades over the
years including three Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of the World. Amongst
colleagues, she is known for loyalty, perseverance,
and championing her vineyard and region.

Ken Eastwell,
recently retired from Washington State University as the Director of the Clean Plant Center Northwest, received the
Industry Service Award for his tireless dedication on behalf of
and for the continual improvement and benefit of the wine grape
industry. Eastwell has contributed significantly to the health of fruit
tree, grapevine, and hops production in Washington.
His commitment to the clean plant effort has improved the livelihood of
growers and those industries dependent on agriculture and has resulted
in thousands of virus-tested, clean vines being planted in our state.
John Williams and Jim Holmes,
both received a Lifetime Achievement Award
this year to recognize their work as pioneers of the Washington grape
and wine industry.  John Williams of Kiona Vineyards and Winery is known
for his gregarious spirit
and big heart.  In 1972 he saw potential in an open field and in the
years since built one of Washington’s greatest wineries.  Jim Holmes, of
Ancora Estate, Ciel du Cheval Vineyard and Cote du Ciel, is known for
his vision, optimism, and passion for innovation.
His commitment to excellence and quality has allowed him to garner a
level of respect for Red Mountain AVA that will have a lasting impact.

Each year a restaurant is selected from nominations submitted by growers
and vintners that does an exceptional job showcasing and educating
diners about Washington wines. This year’s recipient, the Woodinville
The Herbfarm, promotes the extraordinary foods and wines of the
Pacific Northwest by not only serving Washington wines, but growing,
harvesting, and even bottling them.


By Zen Chi

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