Planning for the 4th annual Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival, Aug. 10, 2019, is well underway and tickets for this popular event have been selling fast. The festival is the brainchild of Zacchoreli Frescobaldi-Grimaldi and Dan Radil and began in 2015 to promote Northwest wines.
“We felt like Northwest wines could use more representation in our corner of the Puget Sound area,” said Radil, president of the Whatcom Beer and Wine Foundation which is producing the festival, and a long-time wine writer and wine educator. Wineries from the Pacific Northwest, particularly those from Oregon and Eastern Washington, were eager to expand their footprint into Whatcom County. With their support and that of the City of Bellingham and Whatcom County Tourism, the festival was born.
This year’s event, held at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel ballroom, will feature over 150 wines from 55 Pacific Northwest wineries. Among the libations will be craft beer from a local brewery and spirits from two distilleries. Four Points’ Executive Chef Bryce Lamb will be at the helm of the appetizers, while small plates will be offered by eight Whatcom County restaurateurs including Cosmos Bistro, Pierside Restaurant at Semiahmoo, Acme Ice Cream, B-Town Restaurant, McKay’s Taphouse and Pizzeria, 9Restaurant, and Twin Sisters Brewery and Restaurant.
The Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival is the only adjudicated wine competition between Seattle and Vancouver, BC and the evening events includes a handout of medals for gold and double gold wines, along with the Best in Show trophy for the top-rated wine. Guests at the festival can taste all the medal-winning wines and will also have the opportunity to order wines for post-Festival purchase.
Radil said support from regional wineries and wine enthusiasts has been outstanding. “This has evolved into an event for wine tasters on every level, with a primary focus on exposing wine lovers to some of the terrific wines being produced in the area and, of course, to have fun.”
A $50 general admission provides three hours of tasting in the Grand Ballroom from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., with access to all wineries, passed appetizers, and small plates, and a souvenir wine glass, while $75 VIP tickets allow for an extra hour of tasting in the Ballroom beginning at 6:00 p.m. VIP Ticket holders also get access to the VIP lounge, where appetizers and hourly rotating wine pours not available in the Ballroom will be served.
“We’ve had people from all over the country and the world who attend the festival – from Japan to Vietnam, New York to Arizona and England,” Radil said. “This festival raises the profile of wines that folks might not have tried before. It also introduces people to the different wine appellations in the Northwest and inspires people who wouldn’t think of going to, say, Walla Walla to consider a wine-related visit to that area.”
Net proceeds from the Festival will be distributed to the Alzheimer’s Association and the Make.Shift Project, the Foundation’s designated beneficiary organizations for 2019. For ticket information and a complete list of participating wineries visit BellinghamNorthwestWineFestival.com.