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SNOQUALMIE WINERY'S SOURCE GRAPES HAILED AS EXCELLENT

 SNOQUALMIE WINERY'S SOURCE GRAPES HAILED AS EXCELLENT
 SNOQUALMIE, Wash., Nov. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by Stimson Lane Wine & Spirits Ltd.:
 An unprecedented one-day temperature plunge last winter drastically reduced crop levels at many Eastern Washington vineyards. But Snoqualmie winemaker Joy Andersen said the surviving grapes were among the best she's ever seen.
 "The entire growing season was substantially cooler," Andersen said. But during August and September (the regular ripening period for the grapes), weather conditions were close to ideal.
 This year's vintage is characterized by its excellent sugar-acid balance and crisp, clean flavors, Andersen said. The wines have exceptional fruit and floral characteristics, she added, making them a great match for today's lighter, healthier foods. Varieties she predicts will yield particularly good quality are sauvignon blanc, riesling and gewurztraminer. Andersen compared the vintage to 1979, which featured a similarly frigid winter.
 The Columbia Valley, noted for long, sun-filled days and cool nights, has endured many cold winters, Andersen said, but never has she seen the temperatures drop so rapidly. On Dec. 28, 1990, temperatures plunged from a warm 60 degrees Fahrenheit to minus 11 in a 24-hour period.
 Andersen was named Snoqualmie winemaker in March shortly after the winery was acquired by Stimson Lane Wine & Spirits Ltd.
 Commenting on the year, Andersen said overall crop levels in the Columbia Valley were down about 30 percent, to 25,000 tons. That reduced the total Stimson Lane crush from 20,000 tons last year to 15,000 this year.
 Merlot, semillon and sauvignon blanc were generally the worst hit, with losses as high as 65 percent for merlot. Riesling, the state's most widely planted grape, flourished in comparison, and chardonnay losses were random.
 The Columbia Valley, at 46 degrees North, matches the latitude, climate and long growing season of Europe's best winegrowing regions. With 11,000 acres of vineyards, it is the nation's second-largest producer of classic vinifera grapes.
 SNOQUALMIE WINERY & MANAGER JANIE NURSE
 Situated on a gently sloping hillside just 30 minutes from downtown Seattle, Snoqualmie Winery boasts a breathtaking 135-degree view of Mount Si and the Cascade Mountain range.
 Thousands have enjoyed concerts in the amphitheater and impromptu picnics (sometimes joined by Bacchus, an orphaned cat who now makes his home at Snoqualmie). Others have used the winery to stage weddings, business gatherings, community events or other memorable occasions.
 The 7,500-square-foot facility is just a few miles from picturesque Snoqualmie Falls -- the state's second-most visited attraction. In addition to the 3,000-seat amphitheater, the 60-acre complex encompasses picnic areas and indoor meeting/reception facilities.
 Since harvesting its first grapes in 1983 and offering its initial bottlings in 1984, Snoqualmie has distinguished itself among wine enthusiasts. And probably no one is more enthusiastic about its accomplishments and its future than manager Janie Nurse, who oversees the tasting room and retail/gift shop operations, as well as special events.
 "If I could write my own job description," the vivacious manager said, "this would be it." Active in numerous tourism, industry and business groups, Nurse draws on an extensive background in the hospitality arena to promote an industry that she believes has enormous potential.
 Nurse traces her interest in wine to Europe, and in particular, Switzerland, where she spent her high school years. Following graduation from the University of Tennessee, she held various positions at ski resorts, hotels and other tourist attractions.
 Extensive experience, a flair for details and a thorough knowledge of wine mean visitors and event planners alike can rely on Nurse for assistance, from selecting a particular bottling for a special meal to arranging a gala celebration.
 PROFILE: WINEMAKER JOY ANDERSEN
 For someone who "never used to like wine," Joy Andersen has made a striking transformation. A veteran vintner with over 10 years' experience, Andersen is now head winemaker for Snoqualmie Winery, one of Washington's most-acclaimed wineries.
 Trained as a scientist, Andersen was attracted to the industry through her work as a researcher and lab technician. "Winemaking is fascinating," she said, "with endless opportunities to learn."
 She describes her position as more avocation than occupation, and likens her role to that of an orchestra conductor who is attuned to every detail. Working with the vineyard managers, Andersen follows the grapes as they mature. From the time the fruit is harvested until the fermented juice is bottled, she devotes long days to fashioning each particular style of wine.
 "I always feel like I'm the caretaker," she said. "There's only so much you're allowed to do. Mother Nature lets us oversee part of the process, but she never gives you the same thing year after year."
 Andersen attributes much of her success to on-the-job training. "I couldn't buy this education," she said of her career path, which began with a lab technician position at another premier Washington winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle.
 After graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in chemistry, Andersen worked in Wenatchee, Wash. as a fruit researcher for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Her chemistry training has left its mark: Andersen particularly enjoys the technical side of winemaking and is happy for any opportunity to experiment with blends and new winemaking techniques.
 In 1990, Snoqualmie became one of Washington state's most-awarded wineries, winning gold medals in several national competitions for its Chardonnay, Fume Blanc and Dry Riesling, among others.
 Andersen said she plans to continue that award-winning tradition. An avid cook who loves to entertain, she also aspires to make wines that complement food and can be enjoyed as an integral part of the mealtime ritual.
 Andersen lives in Prosser, Wash., with her husband and newborn son.
 -0- 11/26/91
 NOTE TO EDITORS:
 TASTING ROOM HOURS: Open daily, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
 DRIVING DIRECTIONS:
 -- I-90 eastbound from Seattle: Exit 27. Take an immediate right on Winery Road and proceed 1/4 mile to the winery.
 -- I-90 westbound from Ellensburg: Exit 31. Turn left in North Bend onto old Highway 90. Proceed 3 miles, then Y left under freeway. Continue 1/4 mile on Winery Road to the winery.
 /CONTACT: Kerry Godes of Stimson Lane Wine & Spirits Ltd., 206-488-4682/ CO: Stimson Lane Wine & Spirits Ltd.; Snoqualmie Winery ST: Washington IN: FOD SU:


JH-SC -- SE008 -- 7458 11/26/91 16:01 EST
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Date:Nov 26, 1991
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