Left to right: Tyson Schiffner, Betz Family Winery; Lisa Baer, Baer Winery; Chef Bobby Moore, Barking Frog; Tracey LaPierre, DiStefano Winery; Chris Peterson, Avennia // (c) 2013 Willows Lodge
Willows Lodge, a Northwest accommodation in the heart of Woodinville Wine Country, announced details for its fourth annual Iron Vintner Challenge. During the month-long charitable event, acclaimed Woodinville winemakers compete for the title of Iron Vintner.
The Iron Vintner Challenge takes place on four consecutive Wednesdays in June, concluding with a four-course Championship Winemaker Dinner prepared by Barking Frog chef Bobby Moore and his culinary team.
Now in its fourth year, the Iron Vintner Challenge raises funds for the nearby Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, whose mission is to improve the bodies, minds and spirits of children and adults with disabilities through equine-assisted therapy.
With Moore leading the charge as emcee, the following winemakers put their cooking skills to the test in front of a panel of celebrity foodie judges:
• Chris Peterson, Avennia
• Lisa Baer, Baer Winery
• Tyson Schiffner, Betz Family Winery
• Tracey LaPierre, DiStefano Winery
Competition rounds take place on the patio outside Fireside Cellars at Willows Lodge. Attendees can watch the action as it unfolds on two opposing Viking grills, observing contestants’ cooking techniques, execution and how they react under pressure against their rivals. Celebrity judges taste and critique each contestant’s dishes and name a winner based on presentation, flavor and creativity.
Each competition round also presents an opportunity for guests to bid on rare magnums and other culinary and wine experiences donated by the winemakers, Willows Lodge and Barking Frog, such as private wine dinners and tastings and overnights at Willows Lodge.
Completing the Iron Vintner Challenge is a four-course meal and an auction, with experiences donated by the winemakers and Willows Lodge.
Tickets for Iron Vintner Challenge cost $50 per person for each competition round, which includes a tasting from each winery competing that evening. The four-course Championship Winemaker Dinner is $135 per person, including wine pairings. For attendees who wish to stay overnight on the Wednesday evenings of competition, Willows Lodge is extending a special 15 percent discount on the best available room rate.