The Washington Wine Industry Foundation announced today that two legendary names will develop the next wine in their “Collaboration Series”. Todd Newhouse of Upland Vineyards and retired winemaker Bob Betz of Betz Family Winery agreed to create a one-of-a-kind wine for the fifth wine in the series.
The Collaboration Series salutes pioneers of Washington State Wine. Each year only 20 cases of exclusive wine is made to showcase the collaboration between grower and vintner.
Newhouse of Upland Vineyards is on Sunnyside’s Snipes Mountain with more than 800 acres of winegrapes grown in some of the most unique soils in the world. In the Snipes Mountain American Viticulture Area, Grenache grapes for the unique Collaboration Series were planted in 2000 on the south side of the mountain.
Betz, founder of Betz Family Winery in Woodinville, is considered a legend in the Washington wine industry starting in the early 1970’s. Steve and Bridgit Griessel now have the winery with Betz serving as consultant.
For five years, first a grower is selected who chooses a winemaker to “collaborate” and Newhouse had no trouble deciding, “Bob is incredible to work with and is very humble. He understands a grower’s point of view and is a true talent”. Newhouse added that, “we learned a lot over the years through trial and error together”.
The Washington State Collaboration Series began in 2018 with Sagemoor Vineyard and Kent Waliser who partnered with Sparkman Cellars and Chris Sparkman , then Red Willow Vineyard and Mike Sauer with Delille Cellars and Jason Gorski; Ciel Du Cheval with Jim and Richard Holmes and Cadence Winery and Ben Smith set to release in August; and Seven Hills Vineyard with Norm McKibben and L’Ecole No. 41 with Marty Clubb are tapped for 2021. Bottles donated by Shara Green and Chelsey Hill of Universal Packaging and designed by Jim Carey of Doubleknot Creative.
All proceeds support scholarships and efforts to secure grants that meet industry needs.
To date, the Foundation awarded over $350,000 to over 220 students in the grape and wine industry; funded four sabbaticals for industry professionals to travel throughout the world; and secured over $2.8 million in grants for educational tools and resources addressing risk management, sustainable best practices, winery and vineyard safety, access to bilingual resources, and more.