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Seattle Museum Hosts Exhibit on Washington Wines

Dana Nigro
Posted: October 23, 1999

Taking note of the incredible growth in the Washington wine industry, Seattle's Museum of History and Industry will unveil its first-ever exhibit honoring the state's grapegrowers and winemakers next month. "Master Work: Washington Wines" runs from Nov. 5 through Jan. 30.

Today, Washington is home to more than 125 wineries and ranks second in the United States in total wine production, according to the Washington Wine Commission.

The exhibit of photographs and artifacts will tell the history of Washington wine, from the first plantings of vinifera in the territory back in 1825 through the modern wine industry's growth over the past 40 years. Displays will look at the harvest and other aspects of winemaking, as well as at the state's various grapegrowing regions.

A special focus of the exhibit will be Columbia Winery, based in Woodinville, one of the two oldest wineries in the state, and its longtime winemaker, David Lake, who is celebrating his 20th anniversary there. Columbia (originally called Associated Vintners) was founded in 1962 by 10 friends who experimented with classic European grape varieties in Washington's cold weather, making their first wines out of a garage.

In 1979, Lake joined Columbia, now based in Woodinville, launching a program of vineyard-designated wines and producing new varietals, such as Syrah, Pinot Gris, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. He was the first winemaker in North America to earn the prestigious title of "Master of Wine."

"Lake's career bookends the exhibits," explained Lorraine McConaghy, a historian with the museum. "The show uses his career as a lens to look at the larger issues in the indsutry, examining the themes of cooperation and competition, agriculture, industry, art and more."

Museum of History and Industry
2700 24th Ave. E.
Seattle, Wash. 98112
Tel: (206) 324-1126
Hours: MondayFriday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: general, $5.50; $1 for children ages 2 to 5; $3 for seniors age 55 and over and children ages 6 to 12

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To learn more about Washington wine, read senior editor Harvey Steiman's reports:

  • Sept. 30, 1999
    Holding Pattern

  • Nov. 15, 1998
    Team Walla Walla

  • Nov. 15, 1998
    What to Buy Now

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