A Milton-Freewater winery with a taste for grapes and an eye for marketing has been named Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year.
Zerba Cellars received the 2011 honor from "Wine Press Northwest," a quarterly magazine focusing on the wine regions of Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho and owned by the Tri-City Herald.
The winery, which has tasting rooms on Highway 11 in Milton-Freewater, Woodinville, Wash., and Dundee, Ore., was chosen from more than 1,200 wineries in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia.
"Wine Press Northwest" editor in chief Andy Perdue said the selection was not a difficult one.
"Winemaker Doug Nierman has been crafting superb, world-class wines since arriving at Zerba Cellars. (Owners) Cecil and Marilyn Zerba are the epitome of progressive by opening three tasting rooms in two states to take advantage of direct-to-consumer marketing and sales.
And the ability to grow some of the finest grapes in the Northwest shows Zerba Cellars is the complete package," Perdue said in the announcement.
Zerba Cellars launched in 2002 and has grown into a 7,000-case-a-year winery. Operators also farm more than 70 acres of Walla Walla Valley vineyards.
"We are honored to be selected by Wine Press Northwest," said Cecil Zerba in a prepared statement.
"Marilyn and I are humbled to have been chosen amid so many great wineries, not only in our valley but also throughout the Great Northwest."