The Pacific Northwest sparkling wine scene is in a dynamic state right now, and it’s only going to get better and more interesting in the years to come.
At Michelle Sparkling Wines (formerly Domaine Ste. Michelle), longtime bubble master Rick Casqueiro retired this spring and was succeeded by Paula Eakin, who has worked for the company for more than 20 years.
On the south shore of Lake Chelan, Karma Vineyards’ focus on sparkling wine is paying off, as it is crafting some of the best anywhere.
We should expect a veritable explosion of sparkling wine in the Willamette Valley in the next few years, as Andrew Davis (formerly of Argyle Winery) has launched Radiant Sparkling Wine Co. In that role, Davis is helping several wineries make small lots of sparkling wine (minimum of 300 cases) by providing the expertise and equipment to riddle, disgorge, cork and label.
And in Idaho’s Snake River Valley, Coiled Wines owner Leslie Preston has crafted one of the first — and certainly the best — sparkling wines in the Gem State’s history. It is a stunning sparkling Riesling.
With the exception of Michelle, most Northwest sparkling wines are produced in tiny amounts and typically are most easily obtained through your favorite wine merchant or by contacting the wineries directly.
We recently conducted a comprehensive blind judging of Northwest sparkling wines for the summer issue of Wine Press Northwest magazine. Below are some of the finest we tasted. For the complete list, go to winepressnw.com.