Magazine says L'Ecole No 41 is its No. 1 pick

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Readers of Wine & Spirits Magazine can drink in coverage of Walla Walla winery L'Ecole No 41, named "Winery of the Year" for the eighth consecutive time.

The Lowden-based schoolhouse winery continued its run in the magazine's coveted "Hall of Fame." The inclusion, as well as the list of 99 other wineries to receive the "Winery of the Year" designation, is detailed in the magazine's 2010 Annual Buying Guide.

Known for its rigid tasting standards, Wine & Spirits received more than 10,200 tasting submissions for consideration. From those wines, the award-winners were selected.

"This is truly a great honor from such a respected wine publication," Marty Clubb, L'Ecole No 41 owner and managing winemaker, said in a prepared statement. "What is even more rewarding is Wine & Spirits' recognition of our dedication to quality and intense commitment to our vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley..."

Only one other Washington winery -- Chateau Ste. Michelle -- has won the award more often, but not consecutively. Wine & Spirit's Patrick J. Comiskey wrote specifically about L'Ecole's estate "Perigee" and "Apogee" red blends in the 2010 Annual Buying Guide.

He described them as "models of how a Walla Walla blend is supposed to taste."

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Pepper Bridge and Amavi Cellars are the latest Walla Walla wineries to hit the road for expansion in Woodinville, Wash.

CoEfficient Consulting announced the sister wineries will share a tasting room to open late next spring in the Hollywood Schoolhouse.

The multi-generational, family-owned operations -- a partnership of the Goff, McKibben and Pellet families -- are the latest Walla Walla wineries to flock to Woodinville, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.

About 50 wineries, mainly from Eastern Washington, have reportedly opened tasting rooms there in recent years.

The business journal said winery owners are hoping the tasting rooms will boost sales, exposing their wines to more Puget Sound-area consumers and tourists not able to cross the mountains to buy direct.

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