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Our Carmenère soared high at the San Francisco Chronicle Competition!

Our Phinny Hill Carmenère just earned the distinction of top Carmenère at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the mother of all American wine competitions! It was the only Carmenère to receive a Double Gold medal, adding to its impressive pedigree.

Here are the other awards and ratings the 2014 Carmenère has received since its release:

  • #11 on The Seattle Times’ ‘Top 50 Wines of 2016’
  • 18.5+/20 points, Rand Sealey’s Review of Washington Wines
  • ‘Outstanding!’ (highest rating), Great Northwest Wine
  • Double Platinum, Wine Press Northwest Annual Platinum Judging
  • Double Gold, Idaho Wine Competition
  • Silver, Cascadia Wine Competition
  • Silver, Great Northwest Wine Invitational
  • Silver, San Francisco International Competition
  • Silver, Idaho Wine & Cider Award

We are sold out of this vintage of Carmenère, the 2015 will be available the first weekend in May for our Spring Release!


To see the full list of results from the 2017 San Francisco Chronicle Competition, click here.

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     We just won FIVE Double Platinum & Platinum Awards! Eric Degerman, moderator of the Platinum judging, recently congratulated us and commented, “I believe that is an unprecedented batting average for that many qualifiers.” We entered 5 wines and 5 were awarded Double Platinum or Platinum! There were only 4 wineries in the entire northwest (ID, WA, OR, BC) that won more than 5 platinums but none that could match our batting average!

     The following is a list of our Platinum award winners and their qualifying gold medals. All but one are still available for purchase until they too are sold out!;

2014 Phinny Hill Carmenere, Double Platinum
             Double Gold, Idaho Wine Competition

2014 Umiker Vineyard Estate Syrah, Platinum
             Double Gold, Idaho Wine Competition

2014 Verhey Vineyard Malbec, Platinum
             Gold/Best Malbec, Great Northwest Wine Invitational

2014 Petite Sirah, Platinum
             Gold, Cascadia Wine Competition

2013 Selway, Platinum
             Double Gold, San Francisco International Competition

     Wine Press Northwest put the spotlight on us in their recent article ‘Best of the Best: Platinum 2016’! Here’s what they said, “Clearwater Canyon Cellars in the historic Lewis-Clark Valley entered five wines into the judging. Each earned a Platinum, highlighted by Double Platinum for a Carménère that Coco Umiker makes from Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills.”

    We can’t imagine a better way to celebrate the end of 2016 and our move into our new winery building!


     The Platinum Judging is moderated by Wine Press Northwest at the end of each year. Wines must qualify to compete for platinum by winning a gold medal in a major domestic or international competition during the same calendar year.

     Platinum is one of the highest medal honors given to wines within the northwest wine competition scene. Clearwater Canyon has accumulated 2 double platinum and 7 platinum awards over the years, leaving us just ONE short of inclusion on the ‘Kings of the Platinum’ list (this requires 10 platinums). Currently there are 25 ‘Platinum Kings’ all of which are some of the Northwest’s most respected wineries such as Gehringer Brothers, Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards, Walla Walla Vintners and others. They may have to change the list to ‘Platinum Kings & Queens’ if we earn #10.

     A Double Platinum medal is given when all members in the panel of judges independently judge the wine as ‘Platinum’. There are typically around four judges in each panel at this wine competition. Judges taste and score each wine independently and then share their scores with each other. If there are differing opinions, then the score given by the majority of judges will be awarded. Sometimes judges discuss their scores to allow for sharing of perspectives on a given wine which can result in changing of a particular score.

     Platinum awards are not earned easily. Out of the 530 entries this year 44 earned Double Platinum and 125 Platinum. Remember, all 530 wines were already given top honors (double gold or gold) within the same year. The platinum judging is truly a competition of the best of the best of the Northwest!

     We are hoping for another exciting announcement soon…stay tuned, wine lovers!

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Our Carmenère made #11 on the Seattle Times ‘Top 50’!

Andy Perdue of Great Northwest Wine has rolled out his ‘Top 50 Regional Wines of 2016’ in The Seattle Times. For the third year in a row our Carmenère has made the list! It made #11! It’s great to see how many other Carmenères made the list.

The quality of this wine starts in the vineyard! We truly believe that the best Carmenère is being grown at Phinny Hill Vineyard by the Beightol family and their amazing team.

To our dear friend, Andy Perdue: stay strong and get better, buddy! Thank you for being such a great supporter for Idaho wines. We are forever grateful to you for that. We are so honored to be included on this list!

The full list of ‘Top 50 Regional Wines’ are here.

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Malbec: Your new favorite Thanksgiving wine.

Are you stressing out about which wines you should serve with Thanksgiving dinner?  Well, Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman of Great Northwest Wine are helping you out this holiday season with some great ideas for wines to pair with your meal.  One of which is our 2014 Malbec, which just received a Gold medal at the Great Northwest Wine Invitational last month and was named ‘Best Malbec’ at the competition of nearly 600 wines that is the sole ‘invite only’ wine competition in the US.

Pairing-wise, our Malbec goes great with cranberry sauce and stuffing!  The dark fruit character of the varietal goes great with the cranberry sauce and its herbaceous notes nicely compliment stuffing.

Check out the article that was featured in the Tri-City Herald:

Great Northwest Wine: Selections for your Thanksgiving table


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The Eagle Food & Wine Festival will be featuring our wines!

Our wines will be featured at the 10th Annual Eagle Food & Wine Festival on Saturday, September 24th at the BanBury Golf Course in Eagle, Idaho. This event is benefitting the Idaho and Utah chapters of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Eagle Community Food Bank. Tickets are just $45!

This event will feature local restaurants, wineries and also 10 Barrel Brewing Company. All wines will be paired with culinary delights from local chefs. Clearwater Canyon wines will be paired with hors d’ oeuvres from Jakers Bar & Grill.

To find out more information and to purchase tickets, click here!

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Our Latest Reviews from Great Northwest Wine!

Our 2014 vintage is proving to be a winner! Great Northwest Wine recently reviewed and rated our 2014 Renaissance Red and 2014 Estate Syrah. They both received the Outstanding! rating, the highest rating given at Great Northwest Wine. Both of these wines are produced from Lewis-Clark Valley grown grapes.

Great Northwest Wine has always been a huge supporter of Idaho wines. In an industry that has been so skeptical of Idaho wine, they have always helped prove the naysayers wrong!

To read their review on 2014 Renaissance Red, click here.
To read their review on 2014 Estate Syrah, click here.

Thank you Eric, Andy and everyone else at Great Northwest Wine!

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Our results from the 36th Annual San Francisco International Wine Competition

There are so many exciting things happening right now at Clearwater Canyon! I’ll tell you a little story about one of those things…

Back in May we decided to enter a couple of wines in a little wine competition called the San Francisco International Wine Competition. This competition is the largest and most prestigious international wine competition in the United States. We chose to enter our 2014 Phinny Hill Carmenère and our 2013 Selway. About a month later we were given unexpected news: Our Carmenère received a Silver medal and our Selway received a Double Gold!

What’s the difference between a Gold and a Double Gold? In a wine competition like the San Francisco International, judging is done blind; meaning the wines are tasted without knowing what the specific wine is. They are only told what the grape varietal is. Judges are broken up into panels and given a number of wines to judge. They rate the wine by medal (Bronze, Silver or Gold). If all of the judges in the panel give the wine a Gold, then the wine receives a Double Gold.

In this specific competition, wines rated Gold and Double Gold are also scored on a 100 point scale. The Selway was rated 97 points! Upon finding this out, we were curious as to how that put us in the standing amongst other wines scored in the competition. For what seemed like weeks, we finally found out. Selway tied for 19th in the competition overall! That’s right. A wine made from grapes 100% grown in the Lewis-Clark Valley was placed in the top 20 wines in the world. Selway was the only Non-Bordeaux blend from the Northwest to receive a Double Gold.

For Idaho wine skeptics, this is further proof that our wines can stand up against wines from around the globe!

For a complete list of this year’s results, click here.

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Eric Degerman’s recent visit to Clearwater Canyon Cellars

Century Farm

Eric Degerman of Great Northwest Wine made a recent visit to the Lewis-Clark Valley to observe the 100th birthday of our farm and to check on our winery construction project. He wrote a great article, click here


Read this article to learn about the…

– ‘Idaho Century Farm Award’ that our family farm received!

– new winery we have under construction!

– civic legacy Coco’s grandfather left to the Lewis-Clark Valley community!




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How to find us at the winery this summer!

Hello everyone! The Port of Lewiston is undergoing road construction at the moment. If you would like to visit us at the winery before we move up to Umiker Vineyard, here are the directions:

Turn at the stoplight at 3rd Ave N (heading west)
Continue on 3rd Ave N
Turn right on 15th St N
Then turn right onto 6th Ave N
Drive around the ‘road closed’ sign and you will be at the winery!

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We are featured in Good Fruit Grower Magazine!

We are featured in the current issue of Good Fruit Grower magazine! It is one of the best articles written to date about our new Lewis-Clark Valley AVA. It includes interviews with Coco and Karl, Jim Arnett (of Arnett Vineyards), and Alan Busacca, geologist author of our AVA petition. Good Fruit Grower is one of the most highly regarded magazines read by grape growers and enthusiasts alike. The full article is available to read here.