written by Bronte Dod | photos by Renascent Photography
Of the 171 entries from across the Pacific Northwest, it was a small-batch pinot noir from a small town in southern Oregon that earned the title of “Best of Show.”
River’s Edge Winery, based in Elkton—a town on the Umpqua River with less than 200 people—won the commercial competition with its 2012 Black Oak Vineyard pinot noir. The vineyards that grew the winning grapes were planted in 1972 and are among the oldest in the state, according to River’s Edge staff. The winery’s focus is on small-batch fermentation and hand-harvesting grapes.
Jeffrey Daley from Seattle, Washington took home the “Best of Show” title for the amateur competition with his 50 percent syrah and 50 percent cabernet sauvignon blend.
The competition is part of the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival. Held annually on the last weekend in February, the coastal festival showcases the best wines from the Pacific Northwest, along with food pairings from Oregon’s chefs and restaurants.
Most wines entered into the competition will be available to taste during the four-day outdoor event. With the volume of food and wine to taste, festivalgoers can expect to spend two to three hours tasting their way through foods, wines and beers that represent the region.
The 21-and-over-only festival will take place February 25-28. Individual tasting tickets are $1 each, and there are also full meals available to purchase.
While you’re in Newport:
Be sure to check out the The Edge Glass Blowing Studio, where you can watch the hand-blown glass being made.
The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is also a must-see spot. Built in 1971, it is the only lighthouse in Oregon built with the living quarters attached to the same building as the light.
On your way home, be sure to stop at Oregon Oyster Farms, where you can pick up some seafood to take inland.
More on Newport:
Jill Keck, founder and owner of Calise Soapworks, tells 1859 why she loves living in Newport.