Washington Governor Christine Gregoire
At Seattle Taste Washington
husband (Mike) and I are fond of red wine,” said Gregoire
after she attended her first Taste Washington event recently. “For
whatever reason, when we arrived at the mansion, there was a
policy that the only wine to be served had to be white. I think
it was due to the difficulty of removing red wine from the carpet.”
seems to me that some of the finest wines from Washington State
are red, and we plan to
Steve Burns, interim director of the Washington Wine Commission,
pointed out to the governor that Wine Away, a new red wine stain
remover, comes from Evergreen Labs, based in Walla Walla, Wash.
“The technology has changed and we now have a Washington
state product that removes red wine spills and drips from carpets,” Burns
Gregoire also tasted the bounty of
Washington - oysters from Hood Canal and other Washington State
delicacies while attending Taste Washington. She said she had the
opportunity to "truely taste Washington".
Besides attending Taste Washington, Gregoire has plans to involve
the wine industry in at least two upcoming trade missions to Paris,
Germany and England in one tour, and China and Japan on another
trip. The previous governor, Gary Locke, opened frequent dialogue
with China and Japan, including the import of Washington State
Brent Heinemann, the governor’s
director of international relations and protocol, said wine will
be on the agenda of both
“We want to talk about tourism and use Washington’s
wine country as a great example to come to Washington,” Heinemann
said. “Right now, the European dollar is strong in the U.S.
market, so the timing to come and try our wines and see our wineries
Gregoire also believes strongly in food and wine pairing, and
sees an emerging synergy between all the wineries opening in the
state with the growth of fine-dining restaurants.
She sites Walla Walla for example.
“(For a long time), the Walla Walla economy was struggling,
and was known mostly for the state penitentiary,” Gregoire
said in a phone interview after Taste Washington. “Today,
it has a reputation for quality wine and quality restaurants. It
has a walking wine tour. It is building up its art community. We
can do that elsewhere in the state.”
To do that, Gregoire said the
state’s community trade and
economic development department will partner with local communities
to help them with a vision for their communities. She cited the
Lake Chelan area, the Hood Canal and the Olympic Peninsula, where
wineries are working with local chambers of commerce to bring a
tourism destination to those areas. With a vision, communities
can build up supporting businesses.
“The state will be a partner in this,” she
Doug McCrea, winemaker, with
When asked if she had a favorite Washington State wine, the governor
clearly indicated she was a fan of many wines produced in the state.
She said when she was president of the National Association of
Attorneys General a few years back, she insisted that Washington
wines be poured at official functions.
“When they (the attorney generals) got a taste of the quality
of Washington wines, they were absolutely fans,” she said.
As for taste, Gov. Gregoire said she had an opportunity to sample
wines at Taste Washington, and the taste was good.
Governor Gregoire with Jamie Peha, Organizer for Taste Washington
About Christina Kelly
Christina Kelly has been
a reporter for West Coast newspapers for more than
25 years. She left daily journalism in 2001 and now writes for northwest-wine.com.
She is also the wine columnist for the Spokesman-Review in Spokane,
WA. In addition, Christina is currently the marketing/communications
specialist for a global company based in Spokane. Her passion for
the Northwest wine industry spans her journalism career.
April 18, 2005