More than 600 attendees wined and dined at the Seven Feathers Casino Resort last Saturday for the 48th Annual Greatest of the Grape wine festival. The Umpqua Valley Winegrowers Association hosted the event where 31 Umpqua Valley and broader Southern Oregon wineries poured a selection of wine, while 15 local restaurants/caterers presented food pairings.

UVWA Board President, Terry Brandborg said, “The event was a great success, drawing visitors from around the Pacific Northwest to enjoy fine wine from our region, delicious food pairings accompanied by the band Timberwolf from the Oregon coast.”

Professional wine judges spent the day before the event tasting all the wines. Gold, silver and bronze medals were given out, as well as wine/food pairing awards and people’s choice. Food judges also handed out awards.

Receiving the highest honor, gold medals were: Cliff Creek Cellars, 2016 MRV; Becker Vineyard, 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon; Chateau Nonchalant, 2015 Malbec. Silver medals went to: Paul O’Brien Winery, 2016 Fume Blanc; Cooper Ridge Vineyard, 2016 Riesling; Spire Mountain Cellars, 2014 Tempranillo; Triple Oak Wine Vineyard, 2015 Temptanillo; Spangler Vineyards, 2015 Dolcetto. Bronze awards were: Foris Vineyards, 2016 Pinot Blanc; Henry Estate Winery, 2015 Pinot Noir; Marsh Anne Landing, 2015 GSM; Misty Oaks, 2015 BN2.

For food, the first-place winner was True Kitchen and Bar for its Spanish spiced Lamb croquette w/romesco topped with tri-colored peppers and queso fresco. The runner-up was Fuel Mobile Kitchen for their Goat Cheese tamale poblano romesco and roasted corn charred spring onion relish.

The People’s Choice awards voted Hillcrest Vineyard’s 2015 Malbec-Tempranillo and Cooper Ridge Vineyard’s 2016 Riesling best, while Bradley Vineyards’ 2016 Ruby’s Red and Delfino Vineyards’ 2016 SuBerwein got runners up. For food, the people choose Cow Creek Restaurant’s oven braised pork belly, asparagus-corn relish, and pimento oil their favorite.

The best wine and food pairing was awarded to Bradley Vineyards’ 2016 Ruby’s Red and Tomaselli’s Pastry Mill and Cafe’s cherry and blackberry braised beef brisket.

The Greatest of the Grape winner was Abacela’s 2014 Tempranillo-Malbec “Fifty-Fifty.”

Brittany Arnold can be reached at barnold@nrtoday.com.

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