Greatest of the Gourmet Grape

The Umpqua Valley Wineries Association hosted its 43rd annual Greatest of the Grape on March 2 at Seven Feathers Hotel Resort & Casino in Canyonville. 

In all, 28 wineries and 14 restaurants from Southern Oregon and the Umpqua Valley were paired — by random draw — to compete for the highly coveted Professional Judges’ and People’s Choice awards. 

An elegant crowd of nearly 900 wine and food enthusiasts from the Northwest and beyond attended Oregon’s oldest wine gala — and one of the few in the region focusing on the pairing of a specially prepared dish with each wine served. 

Throughout the event, guests savored the pairings while enjoying music by local groups Dylan James, and Mickey Beach and the Other Brothers Band. 

Proceeds from the event are used to promote the Umpqua Valley region and the wine industry of Southern Oregon. Proceeds from the popular “Wheel of Wine” — for a small donation, guests spin the wheel for a chance to win a high-priced bottle of wine — support the UVWA Heritage Scholarship Fund, providing financial aid to students in the viticulture and enology program at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg.    

The evening culminated in guests voting on a variety of winners:  

Greatest of the Grape Awards  

Professional Wine Judges’ Award Winners

J. Scott Cellars (Eugene) – 2011 Grenache  

Pyrenees Vineyard & Cellars 2011 Riesling
Season Cellars 2012 “Transparency” White Blend
Triple Oak Vineyard 2010 Tempranillo
Delfino Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Toon Vineyard 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Sarver Winery (Eugene) 2011 Pinot Gris
South Stage Cellars 2009 Early Muscat
Henry Estate 2008 “Barrel Select” Pinot Noir
Bradley Vineyards 2011 Baco Noir
Daisy Creek 2010 Malbec
Chateau Nonchalant Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon

Professional Food Judges’ Award / Best Booth Presentation
Seven Feathers
First Runner Up: Cornucopia Restaurant (Eugene)

Professional Food Judges’ Award / Best Food and Wine Pairing
River’s Edge Restaurant (Grants Pass) Braised Short Rib with Wasabi-Sunchoke Purée paired with Spangler Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
First Runner Up: River’s Edge Restaurant Smoked Salmon Chopped Salad paired with Season Cellars 2012 Transparency

The People's Choice Award / Best Food
The Vine Restaurant (Grants Pass)

Flourless Chocolate Dream Cake with Blackberry Baco Noir Wine Reduction Sauce paired with Bradley Vineyards 2011 Baco Noir

Pepper-Crusted Filet with a Gorgonzola Cream Sauce paired with Abacela 2009 Syrah Estate

First Runner Up: River’s Edge Restaurant (Grants Pass)

(Entrées stated above)

The People’s Choice Award / Best Red Wine
Hillcrest Winery & Distillery 2009 Umpqua Ribera
First Runner Up: Troon Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

The People’s Choice Award / Best White Wine 
TIE: Girardet 2012 Estate Grown Cayuga
TIE: Season Cellars 2012 Transparency
First Runner Up: Palotai 2012 Bianca

The People’s Choice “Greatest of the Grape” 
Abacela 2009 E

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