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Sip Northwest Best of the Northwest Competition Results!

The results are in and we are proud to say team Clearwater Canyon Cellars did really well…2 gold metals and 2 judge’s picks!

Sip Northwest is both a printed and online magazine that focuses exclusively on beverages. If you geek out on all the beautiful liquid assets (wine, craft beer, cider, cocktails, soda, mead, tea, coffee etc.) of the Pacific Northwest then you need to start reading this page turner.

Sip Northwest runs one big competition, ‘Best of the Northwest’, each year. The structure of this competition is unique and has lured us back again this year to battle for notoriety. Generally each wine in a competition is awarded either gold, silver, bronze or no metal. In the Sip Northwest Competition, wines are grouped by varietal and then judged against each other! This makes it darn hard to bring home a metal but really exciting when you do! There could be 50 wines entered into one category but only 1 wine will earn each of the metals (in some cases there are ties). Wines that came very close to winning a metal are awarded ‘judge’s pick’ to acknowledge that the judges truly loved them but just didn’t have room for them on the podium. 

Here’s what Sip Northwest had to say about ‘Best of the Northwest’…

“An open call for submissions last spring drafted 667 wines, 282 beers, 145 spirits and 145 ciders that were sampled blind and judged by nearly 100 leading beverage experts, from master sommeliers and cicerones to certified spirit judges and cider buyers, who determined the top four in each respective beverage category.

The tastings led to an all-inclusive, encyclopedic catalog of winners that now have a proven track record of greatness and are splayed out on the pages of the fall print issue, with tasting notes, price tags and more.”

We submitted 4 wines and all 4 came home with top honors! Here’s a link to the full list of awards at Sip Northwest.


2015 Petite Sirah, Columbia Valley


2017 Albariño, Crawford Vineyard, Yakima Valley


2016 Merlot, Lewis-Clark Valley


2016 Malbec, Verhey Vineyard, Rattlesnake Hills

All of these wines mentioned above are still available with the exception of the 2017 Albariño! No worries though, our 2018 Albariño is settling in the tank right now!





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The 536th!

    Thank you to the Alumni Association Board of Directors for deciding to bestow onto me the 536th Washington State University Alumni Achievement Award. Someone out there nominated me. To you, whoever you are, I’ll be forever grateful for your show of support for my personal journey through graduate school and beyond. To Karl, this award is as much mine as it is yours. We’ve been a team for 18 years. It’s your steady hand and wisdom that has kept us on track and always pushing to see around the next bend in the road.

     The microphone at our most recent wine club release event was suddenly taken over by the WSU Alumni Association and I was left basically speechless (rare occurrence for me) with their presentation. I’ve had time now to reflect and understand more about this longstanding award and I’m truly humbled to be included among so many great Cougs. This list has been compiling since 1970 and includes a kaleidoscope of alumni that have pursued their passions in coaching, music, science etc. There are a handful of ‘wine folks’ on the list, two of which (Rick Small & Ted Baseler) we’ve admired for a long time. The Alumni Association wrote a nice article to explain why in the world they would award such a thing to an Idahoan! Click here or on the picture below to check it out.

Cheers! Coco


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Enthusiast Club Vineyard Dinner


Available exclusively to Enthusiast Club members.

You can learn more about the club and how to join here.

July 27th, 28th & 29th!

 RSVP by July 14th!

     Our 5th Annual Enthusiast Club Dinner in the Vineyard is upon us!  This event is offered to you, our Enthusiast Club members, as a ‘thank you’ for your loyal support of our winemaking efforts.  This year we are celebrating the completion of our new winery building! What a joy to finally bring winemaking operations home to the vineyard!
     The theme for this momentous occasion is ‘Passport to Your Palate’, inspired by Rachel Riddle, our Sales & Marketing Manager, and her recent trip to Western Europe.  A different country is represented in each course. The menu is heavily influenced by North African cuisine, a popular theme in Amsterdam. We will also enjoy a variety of memorable Western European eats from her travels.
     Temperatures are likely to be hot at the beginning of the evening and will cool off as night falls upon the vineyard.  Dress comfortably so that you can enjoy the natural beauty of the vineyard (no high heels ladies!)

See you ‘In the Vineyard’
     Karl, Coco & Rachel

P.S. — Last call! 2016 Lolo, 2015 Reserve Chardonnay, 2014 Reserve Cabernet, 2014 Petite Sirah!  These and other wines can be reserved now and may still be available for purchase the night of the dinner.  Please let us know if you would like to order any wine before your visit.  We can charge the card on file and have the wines waiting for you after the dinner.  See for a full list of available wines.

Photo by David Witthaus,
Northwest Media Productions
Nightfall in the vines


Vineyard Dinner Details

Thursday, July 27th
Friday, July 28th
Saturday, July 29th 


$150/person (tax & gratuity is included)



Format: Beginning at 6:30pm, the passed appetizer will be served as participants arrive and explore the vineyard looking for hidden wine bottles! Yes, you can keep what you find!
Join us back at the table for plated dinner service at 7:15pm.

 Passed Appetizer (England)

2016 Lolo, Lewis-Clark Valley
Tea sandwiches with cucumber cream cheese & chives

Plated Dinner
1st Course (Spain)
2015 Coco’s Reserve Estate Chardonnay, Umiker Vineyard, Lewis-Clark Valley
Chorizo & green olive flatbread with
fresh tomatoes, parsley & quail egg


2nd Course (Belgium)
 2016 Lochsa Chardonnay, Lewis-Clark Valley
Goat cheese & heirloom tomato salad
with micro greens, fresh ground pepper & parmesan cracker

3rd Course (Tunisia)
2015 Phinny Hill Carmenère, Horse Heaven Hills
Butter basted cod with harissa over creamy polenta

4th Course (France)
2015 Verhey Malbec, Rattlesnake Hills
Peppered Muscovy duck breast in Verhey Malbec reduction
with duck fat Brussels sprout hash
Intermezzo (Persia)
 Cold cantaloupe soup with edible flower


5th Course (Morocco)
2014 Selway, Lewis-Clark Valley, Horse Heaven Hills, Rattlesnake Hills
Aromatic lamb meatballs with nutty couscous
drizzled with creamy saffron sauce


6th Course (Italy)
2015 Merlot , Lewis-Clark Valley
Mascarpone stuffed figs with honey drizzle
garnished with dark chocolate

How to reserve a seat;
     Limited space is available so please contact us as soon as possible if you’re interested in attending. No refunds are possible after July 14th due to food ordering limitations.

     The Dinner will be held at Clearwater Canyon’s Estate Winery and Vineyard, located at 3143 10th St., Lewiston, ID at the corner of 10th & Preston in the Lewiston Orchards;

Seating begins at 6:30pm on the following days,
Thursday, July 27th
Friday, July 28th
Saturday, July 29th

Price per seat is $150 (tax & gratuity is included)

Reserve now by contacting us: or (208) 816-4679 


Photo by David Witthaus, Northwest Media Productions


We’ll see you there!

Karl, Coco & Rachel




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Join us for a “Taste of Peru”!

Join us for a “Taste of Peru”!  Chef Gustavo Ramirez of Happy Day Catering will be pairing five delectable courses with our wines. Chef Gustavo moved here eight years ago from Peru and will sharing the cuisines of his home country with our valley for the first time on May 21. We will be holding this amazing dinner at Clarkston Event Center at 6pm. Tickets are $100 (plus taxes) per person and can be purchased by calling Happy Day Catering at (208) 743-0179.

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Featured Artists at the Winery

Jason Goldammer & Lynne Guillot will exhibit photographs from their collections during our upcoming Fall Release.

Jason Goldammer

Photo 1

Jason has been a professional video producer and photographer in Lewiston, Idaho for more than 20 years.  He has earned 4 Telly Awards and 3 Aurora Awards including Best of Show for his work on “From This Corner”; the story of LCSC’s Center for Arts and History building, originally known as the Vollmer building.  His other award winning works include a series of videos documenting 4 of the 6 Native American Tribes in Idaho.  Jason has also expanded his love for the visual arts into still photography, winning a national Nikon Challenge award.  His creative imagery has been seen throughout the Northwest region on PBS and local television.  He has also worked with Janet Kern, a New York based film maker in the creation of, “Horse Tribe”, a story about the Nez Perce horses.  To him, taking photographs is more than capturing a moment in time — it’s sharing an experience without words. Jason will be exhibiting select photographs from his eclectic collection.

Lynne Guillot

Lynne and Karl at the Center for Arts and History. Lynne is our dear friend and a serious wine lover!
Lynne and Karl at the Center for Arts and History. Lynne is our dear friend and a serious wine lover!

Lynne is our dear friend and fellow wine lover. She is an award-winning, fine art photographer living in Lewiston,
Idaho. She exhibits and sells her work in galleries throughout the Pacific
Northwest. Lynne has been selected to participate in many juried, mixed media
exhibitions where she has received Best of Show, Best of Class and People’s
Choice awards.

Lynne specializes in travel, scenic, nature, abstract and macro photography and
has traveled extensively throughout this country and many others. Her travels
have influenced her work by the diversity of subjects she has seen and her
desire to share them with others. She looks to capture subjects when they reveal
something about themselves that is unknown or may be easily missed. She
strives to expose the beauty and nature of a subject. Photographic medium is her
tool she uses to enable a subject to express itself with vivid color and dynamic
symmetry and create a connection between the subject and the viewer.

Lynne’s latest project focuses on photographing the life cycle of the Umiker Vineyard, Clearwater Canyon Cellars’ estate vineyard.  The interest in this project comes from her appreciation for all aspects of wine and wine making. Many people drink and enjoy wine but most people never see the birth of wine. Her ‘In the Vineyard’ exhibit visually demonstrates the development of the grapes we enjoy in a glass of wine. Her exhibit is presented on a variety of printed media that best showcases the subject.

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We’re Topping the Charts!

Great Northwest Wines recently evaluated 4 of our newly released wines with a blind panel of experts. We are pleased to share that all 4 wines received glowing reviews!Print

2012 Merlot and 2012 Malbec received the highest rating of ‘Outstanding’!

2013 Lochsa received a ‘Best Buy’rating!

2012 Carmenere received their second highest rating of ‘Excellent’!

Along with ratings they published detailed tasting notes at

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Clearwater Canyon Baskets for Mother’s Day or any occasion!

GIMG_1624ift baskets filled with Clearwater Canyon Cellars wine and goodies for Mother’s Day or any occasion are now available! The items we use for baskets have primary functions that loved ones will continue to enjoy for days to come! For example some of our baskets are actually flower pots, serving trays, and grill grates to name a few!

We can deliver anywhere in the LC Valley for $5! Shipping is also available. If you’re interested contact us via email, phone or just stop by the winery on a Saturday! Let us know if you have something special in mind as we can build a basket to your taste and budget


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Valentine’s Day Fundraiser for CASA

 Feb. 14th 5:00-8:00pm at the winery!

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Children Fundraiser

Come share a fun-filled evening of wine, food and friends with us! Bring your Valentine or we can be your Valentine.

With a $25.00 donation to CASA you will have the opportunity to taste several of our newly released wines while enjoying hors d’oeuvores and live entertainment. The first 100 people through the door will receive a commemorative wine glass.

We recommend purchasing tickets prior to the event from CASA (208-746-3378) or you can purchase tickets at the door as well.

CASA will receive 100% of the donations collected at the door and 10% of all wine sales during the event!  Come help us raise money for CASA.

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‘Platinum’ and ‘Double Gold’ @ Wine Press Northwest Platinum Judging!


2011 Phinny Hill Vineyard Carmenère won ‘Platinum’!
2010 Selway won ‘Double Gold’!

This is a best of the best judging. Only gold medal winning wines from specific international, national, and regional wine competitions and Wine Press Northwest’s own peer-group blind judgings are eligible to enter the Platinum Competition. This year 634 gold medal winning wines were judged for platinum status and only 151 made Platinum and about 250 were awarded ‘Double Gold’.

We were really intimidated by this unique varietal when we made our first Carmenere in 2006. Since then we have found our style and confidence and fallen head over heels in love with Phinny Hill Vineyards Carmenere. These awards along with the ‘TOP 100’ rating help validate the feeling that we are heading in the right direction!

This photo was published in the December issue of Wine Press Northwest and shows our bottle alongside other Platinum winners. It’s an honor to be pictured next to the likes of Reininger and Walla Walla Vintners!

Read more about the platinum judging at

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Top 100 Wines of 2013!


2011 Phinny Hill Vineyard Carmenère has been selected as one of Great Northwest Wine’s top 100 wines of 2013!

Great Northwest Wine 5,000+ wines from across Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and British Columbia this year as part of the many wine competitions they organize across the Pacific Northwest. Their competitions are always blind. The ‘TOP 100’ are the 100 best wines they tasted in 2013 under blind conditions.
Karl and I did a ‘happy dance’ when we learned the news. There are so many wonderful wines being produced in the Pacific Northwest. It is thrilling to see one of ours listed in ‘The Top 100’!

Thank you Phinny Hill Vineyards for growing the very best Carmenère we could ask for!