Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pete Hedges Injured at Winery

Pete Hedges, head winemaker for Hedges Family Estate on Red Mountain, was injured Monday morning while repairing the grape press.

Pete, head winemaker for the family owned winery since 2002, fell while repairing a leak in the press, said Sarah Hedges Goedhart, assistant winemaker. He was taken to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland with a fractured vertebrae, punctured lung and broken ribs.
Our prayers are with you and your family Pete, get well.

Update: Pete is doing well, two titanium rods and twelve pins have straightened his spine.
Follow Hedges Winery news here:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2007 Col Solare Release

An Evening at Col Solare

Evening View of Col Solare

What a lovely time we had last Saturday. My wife and I were at Col Solare for the release of their 2007 Col Solare red wine. We ran into friends and ended up staying longer than planned. A strong crowd attended the event, happy to sample the newly released 2007 vintage and to barrel sample the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon from Klipsun Vineyards. Indeed, there were many cheerful faces. I found the facility quite striking; along with the live music and plentiful finger food, everyone was kept entertained.

Afternoon View of Col Solare from the Vineyards

Col Solare Vineyards in Front of the Winery

Since Col Solare is typically not open to the general public, this was one of the few opportunities to visit the facility and sample their wine. Interestingly, Col Solare is a collaboration between Tuscany’s Marchesi Antinori and Washington State’s Chateau Ste. Michelle. The winery is located on Red Mountain, in the Red Mountain AVA. In 2007 the winery opened and their estate vineyard on Red Mountain was planted. They are producing some excellent wines.

Winemaker Marcus Notaro Pouring the 2007 Col Solare

The 2007 Col Solare is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. A full fact sheet on the 2007 vintage is available here. Marcus Notaro is doing a terrific job as winemaker. He's been the winemaker since the 2003 vintage, you can read his bio here.

Tasting Room Wine Bar

Darel Allwine, Assistant Winemaker, Surrounded by the Crowd
Barrel Sampling 2009 Klipsun Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Patricia Gelles of Klipsun Vineyards Poses for Me

Tasty Glass of 2006 Col Solare

I'm happy to report that we were warmly welcomed by Col Solare and their staff. Everyone seemed pleased to see us and eager to share the story of Col Solare. Wendi Warner, Tasting Room Manager, did a fantastic job Saturday and is excited about upcoming events. Thanks Wendi, it was a pleasure meeting you. I look forward to future visits.

If you are not on the Col Solare mailing list, sign up now.

I'm sorry the photos are not better. I shoot best with a tripod - but I'm unwilling to drag a tripod around with me - I suspect my wife would refuse to go with me if I did.

Klipsun Vineyards:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ryan Patrick 2009 Naked Chardonnay

Ready to get naked?

Once again, my wife brought home a wine I would not have selected. A wine I’m going to buy again and again. The Ryan Patrick 2009 Naked Chardonnay was fermented in stainless tanks, not touched by oak and no malolactic fermentation. The first thing I noticed was the color, a pale yellow with a hint of green. Ah, this is a crisp, crisp wine, with a butter-lemon and honey finish. This wine has qualities reminiscent of a dry Sauvignon Blanc, a really good Sauvignon Blanc. I totally enjoyed this wine, tart, crisp, thoroughly refreshing.

Amazing value at $6.99 at the local Costco. Go buy some.

Winemaker for Ryan Patrick is Craig Mitrakul, who joined Ryan Patrick Vineyards as Head Winemaker in 2004. Craig also instructs winemaking classes at the Wenatchee Valley Community College. I’d sign up for those classes if I lived closer.

Ryan Patrick Vineyards has two Estate Vineyards providing the majority of the grapes for their wines. The 20 acre Bishops Vineyard is situated west of Quincy, Washington on the Babcock Bench. Established in 1998 on the Flanagan Family Estate near Quincy, Washington, Homestead Vineyard consists of over 25 acres of Chardonnay vines. With vineyards in North Central Washington on lands near the banks of the Columbia River. They are in the region which is soon to be listed as the Ancient Lakes AVA; when granted, it will be Washington’s newest viticulture area.

They have two tasting rooms:

Leavenworth Tasting Room – open daily
636 Front Street, Leavenworth, Washington
Ph 509.888.2236

Cashmere Tasting Room and Winery
open Friday-Sunday 12-5pm
Aplets Way, Cashmere, Washington
Ph 509.888.2236


Crush Weekend Photos

Gordon Brothers Winery Tasting Last Saturday

I'm making time today to share some photos from my visit to Gordon Brothers Winery last weekend. The winery is located off of the Pasco Kahlotus Highway, above the Snake River and Levy Park. It's about a ten minute drive from Pasco, Washington. While it's not the most exciting drive, it's worth the trip for the view and the fantastic wines. The Gordon Brothers winery is only open to the public twice a year, Crush weekend and in December (contact the winery for date and time).

Enjoy the view of the Snake River from the winery.

Freshly harvested Syrah grapes.

Katie Nelson pouring while Winemaker Tim Henley gives a tour in back.

Winemaker Tim Henley gives a barrel tasting tour.

The newly released 2005 Tradition - my favorite of the weekend.

2005 Tradition - Estate Grown: This is a just released vintage. It's been in the bottle for 1.5 years. As I've mentioned before, 2005 is one of my favorite years. This wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 8% Syrah. Truly my favorite tasting of the weekend - luscious blend, with a beautiful finish. I have a bottle to sample/savor/and possibly review at a later date.

Lovely Sauvignon Blanc, layers of flavor and food friendly.

Beautiful example of Washington Merlot - puts me in the wine cellar.

Lucky me, Gordon Brothers had generous discounts on the last of their 2008 Sauvignon Blanc and 2007 Merlot. Both of these are lovely examples of the varietal and showcase well crafted Washington State wines. Sorry if you missed out, there's always next year.

In September of 2008, Gordon Brothers opened a tasting room in Woodinville, WA. Located in Woodinville’s warehouse district. I have not had the opportunity to visit Woodinville.

Location: 19501 144th Ave. NE #A-800, Woodinville, WA 98072
Hours: Friday & Saturday, Noon-7PM, Sunday Noon-5PM and by appointment
Phone: (425) 398-9323


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Visit Gordon Brothers Winery Crush Weekend!

Taste at the Gordon Brothers Winery on CRUSH WEEKEND 2010 
The winery is located above the Snake River near Pasco, Washington
October 1 - 3, 2010

They're only open for tasting twice per year, so come on out and taste their new releases and take advantage of vintage closeout specials! If you are in the Tri-Cities, passing by on the way to or from Walla Walla, then this is your chance to sample some fantastic wines at the Gordon Brothers winery. Enjoy our great weather and the view from the winery.

Friday, October 1: 2PM-6PM (sorry I'm late posting)
Saturday, October 2: Noon-6PM
Sunday, October 3: Noon-4PM

Directions: From Pasco, take I-182 East towards Walla Walla. Take the Kahlotus Exit and head NE on the Pasco-Kahlotus highway 10.2 miles. Turn right on Levey Road. The winery is about a mile ahead on your left.

I'm going out there today, hope to see you. Cheers!