QUINCY - Wine hailing from the Columbia Basin was recently put in the spotlight after Jones of Washington was named the 2012 Washington Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest.
The regional wine magazine also gave top awards to several wines from the Quincy winery including their 2011 Chardonnay, their 2011 Sauvignon Blanc and their 2011 Pinot Gris.
Jones of Washington is a family-owned winery based in Quincy. They operate vineyards above Crescent Bar and in the Mattawa area.
Allan Williams, director of sales and marketing for Jones of Washington, said the annual award is given to a winery based on their wine's performance throughout the year.
"It's sort of a culmination of the year," he said. "They track the different wine competitions and follow which Washington wines do well."
Williams said several Jones of Washington varieties were ranked high in competitions like the Washington State Wine Competition and the Seattle Wine Awards.
"You have to have a minimum of a gold medal in one of these wine competitions in order to even have your wine submitted for tasting," he said.
Williams said the winery's 2011 Riesling won a double gold medal in the Seattle Wine awards and was named the best white wine in the Washington State Wine Competition.
Williams said their Riesling's performance, along with a handful of other awards for different wines helped land the winery the top award.
Since the magazine also covers Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia, Williams said similar awards are handed out to wineries in those areas as well.
"They name a winery of the year in each place, and we were fortunate enough to be named the Washington winery of the year," said Williams.
Jones of Washington is one of more than an estimated 700 wineries in the state, he said. Receiving the top distinction from Wine Press Northwest was a big deal, he said.
"It's been a very humbling and successful year for us," he said. "We're very excited."
Williams said that while Jones of Washington was named Winery of the Year in 2012, other wineries in the state should still celebrate an excellent year for Washington wine.
"Everyone is making really great wines, and we're just fortunate to have won that particular designation," he said. "But there are so many good wines in Washington and especially in this region."
Williams said the winery is gearing up to begin bottling white wine from their 2012 harvest and red wine from their 2010 harvest.
"It's an exciting time for us," he said.
Since red wines take longer to ferment, Williams said reds from the 2012 harvest won't be ready for a couple of years.
Bottling begins in late February, he said, and sales should begin in March.
Wine Press Northwest awarded the winery's 2011 Riesling with a platinum medal. According to the review, the wine won the award because of its apple, Asian pear and lemon flavor.
The 2011 Riesling would go well with Southeast Asian cuisine, read the review.
The winery's 2011 Chardonnay and 2011 Sauvignon Blanc each won a double gold medal. Their 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008 Barrel Select, 2011 Pinot Gris and 2011 Late Harvest Riesling also received gold medals from the publication.
Jones of Washington has a tasting room located at 2101 F St. SW in Quincy.