Strong Willamette Valley Showing at TEXSOM

The results are in, and Willamette Valley wineries made an impressive showing at the prestigious TEXSOM International Wine Awards inFebruary at the Grapevine Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. Twelve gold awards went to Willamette Valley wines. In the Judges’ Selection category were Cristom’s 2015 Eileen Vineyard Pinot Noir, Johan’s 2014 Visdom Chardonnay, and Apolloni’s 2016 Pinot Gris, which also won gold for Best Value. Ponzi received a gold Judges’ Selection nomination for their 2015 Pinot Noir Classico.

A total of 149 Oregon wineries placed with gold, silver or bronze awards, 110 of them Willamette Valley AVA or one of its sub-appellations. View the full results here.

“TEXSOM IWA judges results have confirmed Oregon’s great reputation for quality Pinot noir from the Willamette Valley while identifying the quality among the nested AVAs,” says Bree Boskov, MW, consulting education manager to the Oregon Wine Board and a TEXSOM judge. “To the surprise and excitement of the judges and sommeliers was the increasing affinity the Willamette Valley is showing for Chardonnay and some lesser known white varieties like Gruner Veltliner.”

Established in 2005, the TEXSOM conference draws over 1,100 attendees, comprising sommeliers, buyers, and other beverage professionals. It acquired the International Wine Awards, one of the largest and most distinguished wine competitions in the country, in 2014.

“We were excited and surprised at the TEXSOM results, getting the Judges’ Selection especially,” says Alfredo Apolloni, whose 2016 Pinot Gris received gold for both Judges’ Selection and Judges’ Selection: Best Value. Apolloni’s Dolce Vino Viognier also took home a bronze award. He notes that in the sommelier competition segment of TEXSOM, two of the winning somms in recent years have been Oregon Pinot Camp alums, Rachel DelRocco and Andreas Blanco. “The relationship between Oregon and Texas continues to grow; TEXSOM’s support and recognition of the Willamette Valley is an example of that, and it makes us all very excited.”


By Julia Burke

Julia Burke is a wine lover originally from Buffalo, New York, who moved to Oregon in August 2017 to work a harvest and decided to stay. She is the Willamette Valley Wineries Association’s marketing and content coordinator and a fan of Riesling, peanut butter, and the Chicago Cubs.