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Freeman tabbed as winemaker of the year

PROSSER - John Freeman of Waterbrook Winery has been selected as winemaker for the 2011 Legends of Washington Wine celebration on behalf of the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center.

Freeman began his wine industry journey long ago. Raised in Napa Valley, Calif., Freeman spent 12 years working in California at Franciscan Estate and then at Miner Family before moving to the Walla Walla Valley in 2002.

Each year, the Legends celebration features a special blend showcasing Washington state wine and the talents of a proven Washington winemaker.

Freeman chose a Malbec-based wine sourced from one of Waterbrook's estate vineyards, Canyon Ranch near Prosser, as a tribute to the on-going discovery and potential that define Washington.

The 2009 Legends blend is 90 percent Malbec and 10 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and was aged 20 months in American Appalachia oak, Freeman said.

"Malbec grown in Washington, although not heavily planted, is exceptional, very brambly and blackberry forward," Freeman added. "This is a powerful wine with beautiful color, medium tannins and bright acid."

The sixth annual Legends of Washington Wine Hall of Fame celebration will be held Friday, Aug. 12, at 6:30 p.m.

The event is an annual fundraising program in support of the Clore Center,

Legends honors those whose contributions to the community and the wine industry are of historical and lasting significance.

For the first time, this casual event will be held at the newly completed outdoor event facility on the grounds of the future Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center.

The evening program includes the announcement of the 2011 Legends inductee, live and silent auctions, sampling and purchase of the 2011 Legends red wine, Northwest cuisine food stations and Washington state wines.

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