Since 1999, the Auction of Washington Wines has honored leaders for their contributions to the Washington wine industry. Each year, nominations are made by members of the industry and considerations include service, leadership and overall contribution to the Washington wine industry and their communities. The honorees represent the state’s more than 400 wine grape growers and more than 1,000 vintners.

KAREN MACNEIL, Wine Speed, The Wine Bible

2020/21 Honorary Chair

“For many years, Washington was considered an ‘emerging wine region. But as wine professionals know, the state has soared way beyond that. In the last few years, the sheer number of exciting wines coming out of Washington has solidified its place as one of the great American wine regions.”  

Marie-Eve Gilla, Valdemar Estates

2021 Honorary Vintner

“It is a great honor to be chosen by my peers to be Honorary Vintner. Being from the old world where things move slower, I have immensely enjoyed the epic growth of the Washington wine community. I am proud of what the state has accomplished and the caliber of wines now being produced. Our success is underscored by the interest of foreign wineries such as Valdemar, a five generations family owned winery from Rioja, who built a state-of-the-art winemaking facility in Walla Walla in 2018.”

ROB MERCER, Mercer Estates Winery and Mercer Ranches

2020/21 Honorary Grower

“I am humbled to be recognized by leaders in the Washington Wine Industry. This honor really belongs to my team, they have worked hard and worked smart to create high quality fruit we are proud to say is from Washington State and competes at the highest level with other world class fruit growing regions.”

Past Honorees

Past Honorary Chairs

Stephen Tanzer
Ray Isle
Thomas Matthews
Jeb Dunnuck
Andy Perdue
Leon Adams
Piero Antinori
Spencer Christian
Brian Croser
Ernest Gallo
William Hill
Hugh Johnson
Sarah Kemp
Robert Mondavi
Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Marvin Shanken
Harvey Steiman
Andre Tchelistcheff
W. Phillip Woodward

Past Honorary Vintners

Chris Gorman
Charlie Hoppes
Chris and Kelly Sparkman
Mike Januik
DeLille Cellars
Hedges Family Estate
Allen Shoup
Chateau Ste. Michelle
Chris Camarda
Rob Griffin
Bob Betz, MW
Kay Simon
Brian Carter
Marty Clubb
Gary Figgins
Doug Gore
David Lake
Alex Golitzin
Women in Wine
Rick Small
Mike & Gary Hogue

Past Honorary Growers

Scott Williams
Marshall Edwards
Tom Merkle
Todd Newhouse
Dick and Wendy Shaw
Olsen Brothers
Kent Waliser
Jerry Bookwalter
Dr. Wade Wolfe
Norm McKibben
Jim Holmes
Bill Den Hoed
Paul Champoux
Patricia Gelles
Mike Sauer
Mike Reed
Dick Boushey
Rick Small
Mike & Gary Hogue


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The Auction of Washington Wines is committed to supporting the growth and awareness of the Washington state wine industry through a series of celebrated events benefiting the community.

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