Friday, May 6, 2011

Thomas O’Neil Cellars - Brand Spanking New!

A Venue for Wine, Music and Celebrations.

Tom and Tricia O'Neil.
Last month I stopped by for the grand opening of Thomas O’Neil Cellars. They are the first production winery with a tasting room in North Richland. Arriving around 3 pm, on a cold and wet afternoon, I was warmly greeted by Mr. and Mrs. O'Neil and friends. Tom O'Neil took time to show me his facility and to take me through his entire lineup of Rhone style wines*.

Mr. O’Neil has been making wine for about 25 years. Originally from Michigan, he now resides in Richland, Washington with his lovely wife Tricia. Tom interned with Chateau Ste. Michelle and then became an assistant winemaker at Milbrandt Vineyards. He just opened his Richland winery on April 15, 2011.

 I found all of the Thomas O'Neil wines enjoyable and priced reasonably. Expect a detailed tasting review soon.

A Fahrenheit 100 Please.
One of the other interesting aspects of Thomas O’Neil Cellars is their outdoor venue for live music. Stop by the winery on Friday and Saturday evenings and you'll be treated to wine and live music. When you are in town this May and June, catch the sunset atThomas O'Neil Cellars, it is the new place to chill; live music, friends and some Thomas O’Neil Cellars wine for the good times.

While I missed the evening music and festivities at the grand opening last month, I heard from friends that it was well attended and a fantastic time. Thomas O'Neil Cellars has an impressive line-up of live music for Fridays and Saturdays (see below).

May Music Series
  • 6th Friday: Real Smooth as Jazz
  • 7th Saturday: Bluestone Trio, 7-10 pm
  • 13th Friday: Dara Quinn Project, 7-10 pm
  • 14th Saturday: Blue Mountain Spanish Sound, 7-10 pm
  • 20th Friday: Adrienne Bousquet
  • 21st Saturday: Adrienne Bousquet
  • 26th Thursday: Game Night, Please RSVP at 371-1900, 5-8pm
  • 27th Friday: Real Smooth as Jazz
  • 28th Saturday: Eddie Manzanares
June Music Series
  • 3rd Friday: Vicky and the Velvetones, 7-10 pm
  • 4th Saturday: Wayman Chapman, 7-10 pm
Please note the winery will be closed on Sunday, May 8th for Mother’s Day.

Thomas O’Neil Cellars,
Winery and Tasting Room
Live music, every Friday and Saturday evening.
Tasting Room open: 12 pm – 6 pm Wed – Sun.


Enticing Merlot.
*note: The red wines were recently bottled on my visit, and were noticeably “bottle shocked”. I will re-visit the red wines by summer, as they will certainly be drinking better by then. My initial impression is very positive and I’m looking forward to seeing how the Merlot and Fusion develop.

What is Bottle Shock?

“When a wine is bottled or subjected to other forms of handling and transport it goes through a temporary phase called bottle shock, also known as wine sickness.”

Bottle Shock is not an indicator of quality, it is a temporary condition.

“The aromatics may be muted; the flavor components disjointed and the alcohol and tannins can taste sharper and overwhelming. This is thought to be due to the agitation of the wine and or its exposure to excess levels of oxygen during the bottling process. If the wine is filtered, it needs even more time to come back together. “  From: http://www.winemakersdepot.com/Bottle-Shock-W98.aspx

I encourage you to visit Thomas O'Neil Cellars, tell them Wild 4 Washington Wine sent you.

Cheers!