It is obvious. Self taught in many ways and tutored by some of the worlds best Winemakers in others, Ray Sandidge is considered one of the top Winemakers in the Pacific Northwest. A quarter century of internationally and nationally acclaimed results back up this humble fact. It is obvious Ray loves his work. He respects the marriage between vineyard and the art of winemaking.
The Right Stuff. Ray has produced wines rated 90 pts. or higher on more than 50 occasions in the Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines not to mention countless Best of Show, Best of Class, Double Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in competitions such as the San Francisco International Wine Competition, Jerry D. Mead International Wine Competition, and the Seattle Wine Awards. The highest score to date is 97 points awarded the 1989 Trockenbeerenauslese Riesling wine made for the German winery Georg Breuer. The Right Stuff includes great grapes, skilled winemaking and listening to you the consumer. This combination has worked for more than a quarter century. Nurture it.
Starting at Pindar Vineyards in 1985 on Long Island, Ray co-authored two wines which were ultimately selected to be served at President George Bush's January 1989 inaugural ball. During the summer of 1987 Ray was recruited to move to Germany by 127 year old winery Georg Breuer. Germany is a country with approximately 12,000 wineries. Within three years, the wines Ray produced for Georg Breuer placed this winery on that countries TOP 50 list. A feat never before achieved by this respected estate.
Ray returned to Washington State in the fall of 1990 where he hooked up with Brian Carter to make the Apex and Washington Hills Cellars wines. Over the next ten years Ray was employed first by Hyatt Vineyards to make their reserve red and white wines. Later he became Kestrel Vintners sole winemaker from 1996 through 2004. Lake Chelan Winery and numerous other Lake Chelan Valley wineries are Ray's current employers.
While he considers all of his wines wonderful, Ray would say that his greatest wines made to date are his 2002 C. R. Sandidge Tri*Umph which was rated the best Bordeaux style red wine made in all of North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa by the highly regarded New World International Wine Competition (held annually in San Diego going on 25 years) and his 1989 Georg Breuer Berg Rottland Trockenbeerenauslese which scored an amazing 97 points in Chicago's International Wine Competition and Wine Enthusiast magazine. Ray's wines also score extremely well in our nations toughest judging namely the Seattle Wine Awards.
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