Ridgefield’s Stavalaura Vineyard Wins Three Medals at Seattle Wine Awards

RIDGEFIELD — Stavalaura Vineyard and Winery in Ridgefield recently won gold medals at the Seattle Wine Awards for three wines bottled with grape varieties that might be unfamiliar to Northwest wine lovers.

Stavalaura, which has its winery and tasting room at 29503 NW 41st Ave., won top honors for its 2014 golubok, 2016 golubok and 2014 Zweigelt wines.

Golubok and Zweigelt aren’t as well-known as Pinot Noir or Chardonnay, but Stavalaura owners Joe and Beverly Leadingham hope the awards will encourage people to try the wine made from the two grapes grown on their land in Ridgefield. .

The Leadinghams started their vineyard in 2003 when their daughter, Laura, decided to grow pinot noir as part of a high school science project. The fruit thrived, inspiring Joe Leadingham to learn more about winemaking. He enrolled in a two-year viticulture course and a two-year winemaking course at Washington State University.

A professor introduced him to botanist Tom Thorton of Cloud Mountain Nurseries, who encouraged Leadingham to grow golubok grapes and Zweigelt-rebe grapes to suit the climate and soils on his property. Golubok grapes are native to Russia and Ukraine, and Zweigelt-rebe grapes are a northern European grape variety. Both are grown in areas with similar weather conditions to Ridgefield.

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