Todd Newhouse, a wine grape grower near Sunnyside, was named the 2022 Erick Hanson Memorial Winegrape Grower of the Year at today’s culmination of WineVit, the Washington Winegrowers Association annual meeting in Kennewick.
“I love growing grapes,” said a surprised Newhouse standing on the podium as he accepted the award from Sadie Drury, the 2021 award recipient.
Newhouse is the owner of Upland Vineyards and is the former chair of Washington Winegrowers and Winegrape Growers of America. The married father of five was lauded for his openness to different perspectives, humility and willingness to try new varieties and techniques. The history major from Whitman College once planted dozens of acres of Spanish and Portuguese varieties after a conversation with a relatively new Spanish winemaker.
The awards luncheon capped the four-day conference and trade show.
Vince and Carol Bryan, the married couple who established Cave B Estate Winery in the Ancient Lakes region, were presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Vicky Scharlau, executive director of Washington Winegrowers. Vince, a former U.S. Navy physician and neurosurgeon from Brooklyn, and Carol, who grew up in Indiana, also established the concert grounds overlooking the Columbia River south of Quincy that later became the Gorge Amphitheater.
The Grand Vin Award went to Bob Bertheau, senior director of winemaking at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. He has also worked for Ste. Chapelle Winery in Idaho, Hanzell Vineyards in Sonoma, California, and Chalk Hill Estate Winery in Healdsburg, California.
David Forsyth, winemaker for Four Feathers Wine Estates of Prosser, took the Industry Service Award. Forsyth was also the general manager and winemaker for Mercer Estates and general manager and director of winemaking for The Hogue Cellars.
The awards luncheon was preceded by educational presentations, including the annual State of the Industry session, where industry leaders painted a picture of increasing demand for Washington wine and shrinking excess supply. Adam Schulz, owner of Incredible Bulk Wine Co. of Richland, Washington, said prices for bulk wines have been increasing over the past year. However, he was unsure whether it was because of an increase in consumer demand or a reaction to shorter crops the past two years.
Other presentations focused on smoke taint, shifting contract dynamics and Washington’s labor market.
—by Ross Courtney