Okay folks, another year, another challenge. The variety for 2022 will be Chardonnay!

In recognition of my new role at Wine Enthusiast covering Oregon and Canada in addition to Washington and Idaho, I’m expanding the challenge to include the entire Pacific Northwest – Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia.

Why Chardonnay? Because although it is ubiquitous, it is also a somewhat underappreciated grape variety.

In Washington, it’s the state’s second most produced grape variety, yet never quite gets its due. There’s also been increased interest in working with Chardonnay from producers around the state lately. Meanwhile what’s happening with Willamette Valley Chardonnay is in my opinion the most exciting story in American wine in the last decade. The variety is also quite popular in Idaho and British Columbia.

You’re welcome to focus on one particular state or area or explore the region in full as you see fit. As in previous challenges, I invite everyone to explore and taste beyond your usual favorite producers.

If you’re up for the challenge, leave a comment here or on my Washington Wine Report Facebook page stating, “I accept the 2022 Northwest Chardonnay Challenge.” During the month, have at least one bottle of Northwest Chardonnay of your choice. At the end of each month/beginning of the next, I will post to my Facebook page asking what wine people had to keep us all accountable.

Here’s to more Northwest Chardonnay in 2022! Who’s with me?

Image by Richard Duval.