Well folks, another Reader Survey – the fourth annual – has come and gone. I want to thank everyone who nominated wines this year and who voted in the survey. We had a great list of wines this year.

As I have written previously, my intention starting the Reader Survey four years ago was to hear about what Washington wines my readers thought were most exciting from the year gone by and what wines they were most excited about being released in the coming year. It was to get people talking about wines that excite them. That goal has remained.

The Preliminary Voting saw some challenges this year with ballot stuffing unfortunately leading to a disqualification of one of the wines. I’m sorry to say that Final Voting for Reader Survey 2011 Wine of the Year had similar issues, with a few individuals finding ways to vote scores of time for a particular wine to put it on top.

With no indication that this was done by individuals at the winery and not wishing to reflect negatively on this winery by disqualifying them and naming the runner up winner, I have rather decided to nullify the voting for the 2011 Reader Survey Wine of the Year completely.

This is disappointing, and I would like to apologize to the wineries that were finalists as well as to my readers. Please know that this was only done after an extensive analysis of voting patterns and the survey results.

I am, however, happy to say that I did not see any indication that similar machinations occurred in the Reader Survey 2012 Wine to Watch so those results will stand.

Given the difficulties of the survey this year, and the amount of time I took investigating them, I am sorry to say that, unless I can ensure that similar problems will not arise in the future, this will be the last Reader Survey. I’ll see if I can find another way to promote similar conversations next year to keep the idea behind the survey alive in some way.

Look for a separate post about the 2012 Reader Survey Wine to Watch.