Skip to main content

Two Mountain Winery - Vineyard Club Seminars

Summer Thinning

Two Mountain Winery in Zillah, Washington, is once again offering seminars on growing and managing grape vines. This Saturday I spent almost two hours thinning Riesling and Syrah vines with about 20 other students. Matt Rawn was our instructor. He discussed the importance of controlling vine vigor by thinning vines and leaves.

Air flow is necessary to reduce the chance of mold/mildew, and excess vines and leaves need to be removed to focus the energy into the grapes. The vineyard we “worked” in is planted on rocky soil in Zillah, Washington, part of the Rattlesnake Hills appellation. The vineyard is in a scenic location, mountains are visible above the vineyards, birds sing in the background, and this weekend we were lucky to have a pleasant, slightly overcast morning to work in – we missed the 100 degree heat of the previous week, and the few rain drops which fell Saturday did not bother us.

Matt seemed to like the work I did thinning my vines, he jokingly offered me a job, but I suspect a week of thinning would be more work than fun. Some of the seminar attendees were from Seattle and the Tri-Cities area. A few already have vines growing at home and others were planning on planting vines soon. All of us were interested in techniques to improve growth and vigor. Everyone, except for me, plan on making their own wine at home. If I make some friends at these classes I’d love to report back on the home wines being made.

After class we drove back to the winery and were greeted with crusty bread, olive oil for dipping, and vegetable/mint skewers. And there was plenty of wine to wet our whistles. The first glass of wine was my favorite. Two Mountain Winery released their 2005 Chardonnay just for us… A gorgeous barrel fermented Chardonnay with lots of flavor. Crisp, citrus and vanilla, a perfect wine for after work and would pair well with seafood and chicken. Other wines poured included, a Rose, Merlot, Syrah (I have a bottle of their Syrah at home for future research), Red Table, Cabernet Franc, Lemberger, and a Dry Riesling I missed tasting – it will have to wait until next time. The 2005 Chardonnay is $17 at the winery.

If you have considered growing your own grapes, or would like to spend a little time in the vineyard, there are still two seminars remaining.
  • August 18th at 10 am is Verasion (color change) and on
  • October 6th at noon is Harvest!
Yours truly will be at both of these sessions.
I highly recommend these classes as well as the winery.

Check out their Web site for summer activities including, Dinner and a Movie series, July 14, August 11 and September 8,

These guys know how to have fun. Matt told me that they opened their doors to the public in 2003. You’ll find cherry trees outside the tasting room as well as 2 or 3 sleepy dogs lounging about.

To register contact Nikki at Two Mountain Winery, (509-829-3900) or email


Popular posts from this blog

Review: Sho Chiku Bai, Unfiltered Sake

Last month in Seattle, I purchased a bottle of Nigori sake at Uwajimaya. Uwajimaya is one of the largest Asian grocery retailers in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been visiting Uwajimaya for almost 40 years. When I was much younger, I’d buy model ship and plane kits, Japanese comic books (manga) and I never left without at least one steaming Humbow in hand. Today I buy the manga for my son; while I still enjoy the tasty steamed Humbows, now I never leave without at least one bottle of Sake in hand. Uwajimaya has a terrific selection of imported sake. This most recent visit, I left with a bottle of Sho Chiku Bai Nigori sake. Nigori sake is generally the sweetest of all sakes, with a fruity nose and a mild flavor, making a great drink to complement spicy foods or as a dessert wine. Typical sake is usually filtered to remove grain solids left behind after the fermentation process; however Nigori sake remains unfiltered, resulting in a cloudier beverage. Before serving, the bottle must

Spirit Review: Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine White Lightnin' @OleSmoky

Today I have crossed the line from wine to spirits. At 100 proof the Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine is definitely turning up the volume (ABV 50%). "Moonshine, white lightning, mountain dew, hooch, and Tennessee white whiskey are terms used to describe high-proof distilled spirits, generally produced illicitly...The word "moonshine" is believed to derive from the term "moonrakers" used for early English smugglers and the clandestine (i.e., by the light of the moon) nature of the operations of illegal Appalachian distillers who produced and distributed whiskey." Source Wikipedia My family is no stranger to Moonshine.  That is, my great-grandfather and grandfather were not strangers. Evidently the family occasionally produced their own spirits on their Oregon ranch. My grandfather told me about his younger brother getting into his dads stash with predictable results. Grandmother also told me stories about midnight runs and secretive deliveries d

A Special Oregon Pinot Noir with Eastern North Carolina Inspired Ribs #OTBN #winePW 10

Open That Bottle Night - A great excuse for a Wine Pairing Weekend.  February 28th was Open That Bottle Night - I selected a bottle of wine I helped blend using barrel samples of Pinot Noir from R. Stuart winery in McMinville, Oregon. I was saving this bottle for a special occasion and knew it was likely time to open and drink. I hoped it had improved. "Blending wine is no task for mere mortals."   - William Pollard Jr.  Our Wine Pairing Weekend group decided Open That Bottle Night would be an appropriate occasion to pair our selected bottle of wine with something special as well. After some consideration, I decided North Carolina ribs would likely pair well with my special bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir. For this post I'll review the wine first, then provide the recipe, and wrap up with the results of this wine + food pairing. *Note: What is Open That Bottle Night? Wife and Husband columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher invented Open That Bottle