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Auction of Washington Wines Names 2015 Honorary Chair, Honorary Growers & Honorary Vintner

Greg Lill, Pat Lill Jorgenson, Chris Upchurch, Jay Soloff

SEATTLE (February 18, 2015) – The Auction of Washington Wines is pleased to announce the lineup of honorees for its 28th annual weekend of events August 13-15, 2015. Andy Perdue, who’s been covering the wine industry as a journalist for many years, is Honorary Chair; Dick Shaw, founder of Shaw Vineyards, is Honorary Grower; and DeLille Cellars, a leading winemaker in Washington state for more than 20 years, is Honorary Vintner.

“The Auction of Washington Wines is very pleased to have such an impressive group of leaders in the wine industry as this year’s honorees,” said Sam Baker, Board President and partner with Oles Morrison Rinker & Baker. “They have each made significant contributions that have elevated the state as a wine-growing region, and advocated our quality wines around the world.”

The role of honorary chair is reserved for leaders in the field of wine who have demonstrated a sincere appreciation for Washington’s industry. The annual roles of honorary vintner and honorary grower are peer-nominated, bestowed upon individuals within the Washington wine industry who have or are making an impact.

“This year’s honorees have not only been witness to incredible growth in our industry for many years but have each contributed to our collective success,” said Marty Clubb of L’Ecole No. 41 and co-chair of this year’s Auction of Washington Wines. “Their leadership in the vineyards, in the winery and in the media have set the standard for all of us.”

Andy Perdue, 2015 Honorary Chair:

Andy Perdue, who has been covering the wine industry for 18 years, is a third-generation journalist and Washington native who writes about Pacific Northwest wine on a full-time basis. Andy co-founded Wine Press Northwest Magazine in 1998 with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 16 years. Today, he is the editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine, a news and information company, which he co-owns with Eric.

In addition, Andy is a celebrated wine columnist who regularly contributes to The Seattle Times. He also co-authors a   weekly wine column that is syndicated in 21 newspapers in Washington and Idaho. Andy wrote the bestselling book “The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer’s Handbook” (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books about Northwest wine and travel.

Andy continues to write for Wine Press Northwest, as well as other notable periodicals including Wine Business Monthly, Vineyard & Winery Management, Walla Walla Lifestyles and Foothills Magazine. He also judges wine at professional competitions throughout North America. Andy is known for his insatiable curiosity, incredible memory recall with wineries, growers and varietals, as well as his desire to bring the winemaking experience to life through his stories and tasting seminars.

DeLille Cellars, 2015 Honorary Vintner:
DeLille Cellars is a boutique artisan winery located in Woodinville, Washington. The winery was founded in 1992 by Charles and Greg Lill, Pat Lill Jorgenson, Jay Soloff and celebrated winemaker Chris Upchurch. From the beginning, the winery has looked towards the prestigious Red Mountain AVA as the foundation of its wines, using grapes from its own vineyard in combination with fruit from other top sites in the Yakima Valley.

The Seattle Times named DeLille Cellars 2011 Four Flags as Wine of the Year in their 2014 Top 50 wines of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia and DeLille Cellars was privileged to also have its wines requested at the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Awards.

DeLille Cellars was honored to recently be nominated as “Winery of the Year 2014” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine and is the only Washington State winery to receive recognition in the “Top 100 Wines” by both Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast for two consecutive years.

Dick Shaw, 2015 Honorary Grower:
Dick Shaw started in the vineyard industry in 1981, planting about 100 acres near Mattawa, Wash. His wife Wendy got involved in the years following, by working in the vineyards and starting a harvesting business when they had about 300 acres planted. Today, the Shaws have about 2,200 acres planted in eastern Washington, which include about 420 acres on Red Mountain.

The Shaws have strong ties to fellow wine industry partners including, Quintessence and Obelisco wineries, as well as Jack Jones in J&S, a 20,000-ton crushing facility in Mattawa. Dick and Wendy finally got into the winemaking business in 2010 with a winery named Henry Earl, named for their fathers. They opened a tasting room in Walla Walla in 2014.

But even after more than 30 years as growers, harvesters and wine makers, The Shaws are eager to launch new ventures. This summer they will open the Shaw Island Event Center near Bremerton. It will be a destination event center with 15 guest rooms, each with a fireplace and deck and plenty of open space for wine tastings, weddings and corporate events.

About the Auction of Washington Wines

Since its inception in 1988, the Auction of Washington Wines has raised more than $31 million, with a majority benefitting uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s Hospital. This distinguished event gives wine lovers the chance to help the Washington wine industry bridge a critical funding gap for children across the Northwest. The 2015 Auction of Washington Wines will take place August 13-15, 2015. Co-chairs are Frank and Charlene Blethen of The Seattle Times and Marty and Megan Clubb of L’Ecole No. 41 winery. Major sponsors have included Chateau Ste. Michelle, John L. Scott Foundation, King 5 TV, iHeart Media, Tulalip Resort Casino, Northern Trust, Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card, and Wine Spectator. www.auctionofwashingtonwines.org.

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