Get your wine on at Grape Cup Challenge

November 17, 2009

By Chantelle Lusebrink

As the season for Apple Cup ramps up, some of your favorite wineries and winemakers are coming to Pickering Barn Nov. 19 for the first Grape Cup Challenge.Winemakers hailing from the state’s two largest universities, the University of Washington and Washington State University, will square off to see what school’s alumni create the best wine.

The best part is you’re in charge of choosing. Community members are invited to join winemakers and cast their vote.

The Grape Cup Challenge is a fundraiser for Farmworkers Housing Trust, a nonprofit organization that provides adequate, safe and affordable housing for seasonal workers.

The event has Rock Meadow Winery owners ready to turn up the heat on their Husky competition, even if a couple of their owners are Huskies themselves.

“We are participating because the event location at Pickering Barn is right in our ‘wine’ neighborhood and recognize that we have a faithful community following,” owner Carolyn Rossi, a UW alumna, wrote in an e-mail. “With this thought in mind, we are hoping that we can lend support to the Farmworkers Housing Trust, which provides safe and affordable housing for migrant workers.

“Our support and participation provides us the opportunity to pause and focus upon the viticulture aspect of the Washington wine world, of which our state takes great pride,” she added.

Of the six couples that run the winery, Karen Buckingham, Jane Brown and Kathy Frame went to WSU and Peter Frame and Rossi are UW alumni.

“We need to value our farm workers who tend and harvest our exquisite grapes. This is one way that we can support the hands that ‘feed’ us,” Rossi wrote. “Besides, during this time of the Apple Cup, true quality tailgating begins with delicious Washington wine — from either side of the Cascades.”

In addition, Chefs Tom Black and Mark Huston will serve up tailgate-style food, while you’re sipping and cheering your team to victory, according to a press release.

The best part, if you like what you’re tasting, you can purchase wine at the event.

Participating wineries with UW alumni are: Anton Ville Winery, Brian Carter Cellars, DiStefano Winery, Ferraro Cellar, Gilbert Cellars, Lost River Winery, Nota Bene Cellars, Otis Kenyon Wine, Tefft Cellars, Two Mountain Winery, Waterbrook and Wilridge Winery.

Wineries with WSU alumni are: Basel Cellars, Coyote Canyon Winery, Edmonds Winery, Efeste Wine Cellars, Mercer Estates, Milbrandt Vineyards, Palouse Winery, Reininger, Rock Meadow Cellars, Samson Estates, Smasne Cellars & Skylight Cellars, and William Church Winery.

If you go

Grape Cup Challenge

6:30-9 p.m.

Nov. 19

Pickering Barn

1730 10th Ave. N.W.

Tickets: $35

www.farmworkerhousingtrust.org

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