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Apr 24, 2012 12:47 AM by Jeanette Trompeter

Washington State Governor calls Calfornia wines "Jug Wine"

A lot of California wine-drinkers and wine-producers would call them "fightin' words". But the governor of Washington state didn't mince them today when she called California wines "jug wine".

Gov. Chris Gregoire says no other state can compete with the quality of Washington's wine. She underlined the point, recalling a trade mission to Europe in which someone asked her about California wine. Her response was: "They make jug wine. We make fine wine."

Central Coast winemakers beg to disagree. Gary Eberle, owner of Eberle Winery in Paso Robles is kind of considered the unofficial Godfather of the Paso Robles wine region. He didn't flinch at the governor's quote. "From the many, many blind wine competitions, California has proven itself as one of the premier wine producing regions of the world." and he added "Washington does buy a lot of California grapes...."

Gary Stemper, owner of Eagle Castle Winery in Paso Robles found it hard to believe the Washington leader would say something like that. "Remember it was California wines that scored over French wines at the French Connection blind tasting, not Washington wines."

And Christopher Taranto of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance had a tongue-in-cheek response. "Well, I wonder what that says about her exposure to wines of California that hasn't been encumbered by what is available through the great state of Washington's liquor control board? Just kidding there Gov! Love me some WA pinots"

Gregoire's remarks came as she signed a capital construction budget that includes $5 million toward a Wine Science Center in Richland

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