Oregon Wine Experience judging looks for wines to represent where they're from

One of the six judges for the Oregon Wine Experience tastes one of 70 wines submitted to the competition. (KTVL/Mike Marut)

Jacksonville, Ore. - Six judges from the United States, Canada and Australia gathered in Jacksonville on Saturday to search for Oregon's best wine.

351 wines were submitted this year to the Oregon Wine Experience to be judged - the most that have been submitted to the competition to date. OWE takes pride in the few wines selected to participate. One organizer mentioned many other wine competitions may have judges taste upwards of 150 wines in a day. The competition limits the number of wines entered to allow the judges to fairly and accurately access the wines. Judges, working in two panels are accessing up to 88 wines each day, so they get the time they need to give thoughtful feedback on each one and decide which are the best.

"It's funny because you taste a lot of wines, and you think 'These are really good. You know they're taking all the points for they smell good, they taste good, they're silky on the pallet,'" Barbara Philip, the judge from Canada, said. "Every once in awhile you taste a wine where you think, 'Yes. That's representative of the place and the grape variety, it's an excellent wine.'"

Philip has traveled the world judging wines and is the only woman who has earned the Master of Wine honor in Canada.

Judges will taste 45 wines on Saturday and the rest on Sunday, but winners will not be announced until August 23rd.

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