Bits and Pieces: Ridgefield vintner earns double gold

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Dan Andersen of Three Brothers Vineyard and Winery brought home high-ranking double gold from the 2012 American Wine Society Commercial Wine Competition in Portland in November.

The winning wine was its 2010 Dolcetto, a red wine made from an Italian grape variety that Andersen sourced from Washington's Columbia Valley.

Three Brothers also won silver medals for its 2010 vintages of Sono La Vite, Cabernet France and Barbera, along with a bronze medal for its 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon.

"We only enter major national and international competitions that do blind tastings, and that are recognized as top-notched," said Andersen, who prefers blind tastings as "more of a true representation of the wine."

The winery has entered 15 major competitions. In April, Three Brothers earned double gold and Best of Class from the prestigious U.S. National Wine Competition in San Francisco for its 2009 Tempranillo, a red wine made from a Spanish grape variety.

The Ridgefield vineyard began in 2006, with Andersen growing the majority of his grapes at two sites in Clark County.

The name of the winery stems from Andersen's three sons.

"We named it after them, when we started out (the vineyard). They were kids; now, they're teenagers and working at the winery," he said.

They do everything but taste the wine, from harvesting to setting up bird nets.

Three Brothers is considered a small winery and Andersen said he prefers to keep it that way, with about 25 wines on the market. It releases an average of 2,500 cases per year. Andersen said he strives to coax the best flavors from his wines.

"We use French and Hungarian oak barrels, which has the softest oak impartment to the wine," he said.

Three Brothers Vineyard and Winery has 10 different varieties of grapes, five red and five white. While the red wines rest in oak barrels for 12 to 24 months, the winery's whites are stored in stainless steel that Andersen said "imparts a crisp, clean, fruity taste" that his customers enjoy.

"We want to stay completely wine-focused," Andersen said, though the winery does a few select weddings as well as a summer concert series featuring bigger regional acts. "We're making wines that will compete anywhere."

The tasting room of Three Brothers Vineyard and Winery, 2411 N.E. 244th St., Ridgefield, is open Fridays through Sundays. Call 360-887-2085 or visit http://www.threebrotherswinery.com

—Ashley Swanson

After decades of performing, 'Lady in Red' releases CD

After years of singing onstage, as well as appearances as a TV personality, the "Lady in Red" has her first CD under her belt.

Linda Greep recently recorded "On This Christmas Eve." The CD single is available at Beacock Music and via 99-cent downloads at http://www.CDbaby.com and http://www.Amazon.com

Greep was a familiar leading lady in local musical theater productions during the 1980s and '90s.

But this is the Vancouver singer's first CD. Greep calls it "pretty exciting after all these decades of performing."

She wrote the music and lyrics for the Christmas ballad. Another well-known Vancouver musician, Jim Fischer, did the arrangement. Fischer also did the piano accompaniment on the recording.

Her most recent TV gig was just a few days ago, when Greep -- dressed in her trademark red silk jacket -- participated in a public broadcasting pledge drive. The pledge breaks were taped in Portland's OPB studio and aired during Sunday's broadcast of "Downton Abbey."

— Tom Vogt

Bits 'n' Pieces appears Fridays and Saturdays. If you have a story you'd like to share, email bits@columbian.com.