(Turner, Ore. – Dec. 9, 2009) – Willamette Valley Vineyards’ (WVV) (Nasdaq:WVVI) 2007 Riesling won the Gold Medal—Food & Wine Award at the 2009 Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Competition as the perfect wine to match with food. The Riesling competed against about 1,300 wine entries from 18 countries. The competition’s results were announced Nov. 4 in conjunction with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair.
Jim Bernau, Founder and President at WVV, said the award represents the many opportunities now available in Hong Kong and throughout China.
“The Gold Medal is a huge honor and I am thrilled about the potential the Hong Kong market brings to our WVV brand,” Bernau noted. “Now that Hong Kong has lifted its tariffs, we see it as our gateway into China.”
Toby Marion, Director at Golden Gate Wine Co., added: “by winning the Gold Medal, Willamette Valley Vineyards’ 2007 Riesling confirms what we have known for a long time, that fine Riesling is a great match for all kinds of food. The Willamette Valley Vineyards’ Riesling is so special because of its crispness and elegance, fruit intensity, high acid levels and low alcohol, at only 10 percent.”
Hong Kong lifted duties on US wine imports in February 2008. According to an article in “Wines & Vines,” Hong Kong imported $370 million in wine in 2008 – an 80 percent increase over the previous year. U.S. wine shipments to Hong Kong totaled $18 million, twice the value from 2007.
WVV started distributing its wines in Hong Kong with Golden Gate Wine Co. after the winery held a real-time Hong Kong Virtual Wine Tasting at the Willamette Valley Vineyards’ Tasting Room on June 25. In Hong Kong, virtual wine tasting participants included more than two dozen wine distributors, sommeliers and retailers, as well as U.S. government representatives.
Willamette Valley Vineyards was founded in 1983 by Bernau after an inspirational visit to the west-to-south facing slope of volcanic flow near the State Capitol, Salem, where the winery is now situated. Best known for its acclaimed Pinot Noir, WVV wines are distributed throughout the United States, Europe, and the Pacific Rim. WVV manages 300 acres of vines, which are all certified sustainable, LIVE and Salmon Safe. As Oregon’s only publicly held winery, the winery is listed on NASDAQ under the symbol WVVI. For more information, call (800) 344-9463 or visit www.wvv.com.