Syrah-Viognier co-ferment by Richard Duval.

Drumroll please. The 2024 Northwest Challenge Wine is…

Rhône style blends!

What you need to do to participate is open at least one bottle of a Rhône-style blend from the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia) each month in 2024. Note that these can be red, white, or rosé blends composed of Rhône varieties.

Typical red blends include Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre. However, they may also include other red varieties, such as Carignan and Cinsault, or even white varieties, such as Viognier.

White Rhône-style blends are typically composed of Viognier, Roussanne, and Marsanne, but may include other varieties, such as Picpoul. See a complete list of Rhône varieties at the Hospice du Rhône website.

In order for a wine to be considered a red, white, or rosé Rhône-style blend for this challenge, it must:

a) Be composed ONLY of the varieties on this list

b) Not be varietally labeled. That is to say, a Syrah that is labeled as Syrah but is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre is outside the bounds of this challenge. Conversely, a wine that is 97% Syrah and 3% Viognier but is labeled Red Blend, not Syrah, is in. (NB: Wines labeled as GSM are also in.)

c) Come from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, or British Columbia

To join the 2024 Northwest Rhône-style Blend Challenge, all you need to do is write “I accept the 2024 Northwest Wine Challenge.” in the comments here or on Facebook or Instagram. At the end of each month/beginning of the following month, I’ll post on social media asking what wine everyone had to keep us all accountable. (If you are not on social media, please feel to tell us what wine you had each month in a comment here.)

The intention of the Northwest Challenge wine is to highlight varieties and styles that are common in the Northwest but may not always fully appreciated by consumers, media, and/or trade. Previous years challenge wines have been Riesling (2019), Merlot (2020), Syrah (2021), Chardonnay (2022), and Cabernet Franc (2023).

Questions? Let me know. Join us!

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