The Washington wine industry honored several long-time industry members for their pioneering involvement and advancement of the industry during the annual meeting of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers.
Dr. Ken Eastwell, recently retired Washington State University virologist and director and creator of the Clean Plant Center Northwest, received the Grape Growers’ Industry Service Award. Eastwell’s career in plant disease virology spanned 34 years.
He played a leadership role in the development of the National Clean Plant Network initiative, a plan to network existing clean plant centers in the country to facilitate the introduction, virus-testing and eventual release of clean plant materials to growers.
Mimi Nye, likely the state’s first female vineyard manager and long a role model for women in the industry, was named the Rick Hanson Memorial Grower of the Year.
Nye has served as vineyard manager at Canoe Ridge Estates Vineyard, owned by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, since the vineyard’s inception in 1981.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was bestowed on a pair of growers from Washington’s famed Red Mountain: Jim Holmes of Ciel du Cheval and John Williams of Kiona Vineyard and Winery.
Both men were pioneers in the development of Washington’s wine industry, the Yakima Valley appellation and Red Mountain, which is a sub-appellation of the Yakima Valley AVA.
The Herbfarm in Woodinville, Washington, was named Restaurant of the Year, an award given annually by the Grape Growers to a restaurant that’s done an exceptional job showcasing Washington wines.
The Herbfarm is known for showcasing both foods and wines of the Pacific Northwest, serving 9-course dinners, paired with wines, that draw inspiration from the seasons.