Honorees

Since 1999, the Auction of Washington Wines has honored industry leaders for their contributions to the Washington wine industry. Each year, nominations are put forth by members of the industry and considerations include their service and/or leadership in any industry or affiliated organization(s) and overall contribution to the Washington wine industry and service to their communities. These honorees represent the state’s more than 350 wine grape growers and more than 900 vintners and this is a great honor selected by their peers.

HONORARY CHAIR

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AoWW Honoree - Thomas Matthews

THOMAS MATTHEWS

2017 Honorary Chair

Thomas Matthews, 63, joined Wine Spectator in 1988 as a reporter in the London office. At the time, he was freelancing from a small town near Bordeaux. In 1989, he moved to New York and was promoted to senior editor. In 1999 he became the magazine’s executive editor.

PAST HONOREES

Jeb Dunnuck
Andy Perdue
Leon Adams
Piero Antinori
Spencer Christian
Brian Croser
Ernest Gallo
William Hill
Hugh Johnson
Sarah Kemp
Robert Mondavi
Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Marvin Shanken
Harvey Steiman
Andre Tchelistcheff
W. Phillip Woodward

HONORARY VINTNER

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AoWW Honoree - Sparkman

SPARKMAN CELLARS

2017 Honorary Vintner

Kelly and Chris Sparkman launched Sparkman Cellars in Woodinville, Washington in 2004 to focus on their family.

“It all synced up with our family's vision: working with the finest raw ingredients this planet has to offer, crafting from it something real and living, and sharing it with folks who are literally thirsty for it.” says Chris.

PAST HONOREES

2016 - Mike Januik
2015 – DeLille Cellars
2014 – Hedges Family Estate
2013 – Allen Shoup
2012 – Chateau Ste. Michelle
2011 – Chris Camarda
2010 – Rob Griffin
2009 – Bob Betz, MW
2008 – Kay Simon
2007 – Brian Carter
2006 – Marty Clubb
2005 – Gary Figgins
2004 – Doug Gore
2003 – David Lake
2002 – Alex Golitzin
2001 – Women in Wine
2000 – Rick Small
1999 – Mike & Gary Hogue

HONORARY GROWER

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AoWW Honoree - Tom Merkle

TOM MERKLE

2017 Honorary Grower

Tom Merkle is a second-generation grape grower who began his career working with his father on family owned orchards in Outlook, WA. After being lured away by Boeing for a few years, he eventually returned to Eastern Washington to accept a management position for a local vineyard/orchard company.

PAST HONOREES

2016 - Todd Newhouse
2015 – Dick and Wendy Shaw
2014 – Olsen Brothers
2013 – Kent Waliser
2011 – Jerry Bookwalter
2010 – Dr. Wade Wolfe
2009 – Norm McKibben
2008 – Jim Holmes
2007 – Bill Den Hoed
2006 – Paul Champoux
2005 – Patricia Gelles
2004 – Mike Sauer
2003 – Mike Reed
2002 – Dick Boushey
2000 – Rick Small
1999 – Mike & Gary Hogue