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Summer Update

Pottery, New Zealand Wine, WBC12 and Vines, oh my!
It's another beautiful day in the sunny SE corner of Washington State. Daytime highs will be in the lows 90's for the rest of the week. With 27% humidity, that's actually pretty comfortable. Wonderful weather, and a full schedule has seen this summer zip past me. It's already August 1st and my month is booked.

Pottery Studio
What have I been up to this summer? Well, I returned to the pottery studio for one. It's been four years since I last threw a pot on the wheel, so I've been making the most of my time in the studio (which is also a partial explanation for so few Washington wine reviews). It took most of the summer quarter to get my mojo back, but finally, I feel more comfortable on the wheel, it's fun again and not work. We unloaded the electric kiln today and I have a finished plate or two that I actually like.

Checking on the gas kiln yesterday.
You can expect to see some of my new pottery in upcoming bottle and food photos. Tomorrow we unload the gas kiln. My fingers are crossed. I hope to score some lovely plates and bowls from the reduction firing too; never a certain thing with glaze firings.

Kiwi Daydreaming
You may, or may not know, that I started a New Zealand wine blog in June. Yes, I'm now writing about New Zealand wine. If you read my May 4th review of two New Zealand wines, then you know how excited and impressed I was by those wines. Taking that initial excitement, and new obsession, I have recruited a fellow New Zealand wine enthusiast, Juli Crompe. Together, Juli and I are now Kiwi Daydreaming – a blog about New Zealand wine and wine country travel. I think that's pretty cool. Juli and I connected on twitter and since June, she's turned out to be a natural wine blogger.

Consequently, I've been drinking primarily New Zealand wine this summer – they make stunning Sauvignon Blanc. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has become the summer wine to drink in my home. Another consequence of having a New Zealand wine blog? Drinking New Zealand Pinot Noir of course! I've never been a Pinot Noir drinker, until now. Gradually, I'm developing a sense of what New Zealand Pinot Noir smells and tastes like. Turns out I really do like New Zealand Pinot Noir. I already have a couple of favorites: Goldwater and Saint Clair. On September 19th I will be hosting #winechat on twitter. The #winechat topic will be, “The Wines of New Zealand”. I told you I was obsessed.

FYI: I interviewed a New Zealand Winery Recruiter and she told me that New Zealand is actively recruiting winemakers from Oregon with Pinot Noir experience! Many wineries are also in need of cellar rats too. Anyone interested in working for a New Zealand winery? Here's the direct link to my interview.

Wine Bloggers Conference
My new affinity for New Zealand Pinot Noir is just in time too. This month I will be attending the 5th annual Wine Bloggers Conference (#WBC12) in Portland, Oregon. Oregon is best know for producing world-class Pinot Noir. So, I'm quite excited to compare Oregon vs. New Zealand Pinot Noir. Rest assured, I will continue drinking New Zealand Pinot Noir up until #WBC12. This will be my third Wine Bloggers Conference. I have made many friends in the wine industry and look forward to re-connecting with them. You can follow along virtually via twitter and the hashtag, #wbc12 - this is a sold out event.

Vineyard in Zillah - from my photo library.
Vineyard Visits
A couple of my winery friends have invited me to visit local vineyards just as véraison is occurring. Véraison is a French term, but has been adopted into English. The official definition of véraison is "change of color of the grape berries." Véraison signifies the change from berry growth to berry ripening in grapevines. I'm juggling my schedule to make time for these vineyard visits. Another change this summer is my new Canon DSLR and f1.4 prime lens. My photos have gone up a notch in quality. I hope you appreciate the improvement, I can tell the difference.

I will make an effort to post some Washington wine reviews before heading to Portland for #WBC12. Red Mountain is one of the local AVA's some of my Wine Blogger friends have asked about. So I will be visiting and tasting at Red Mountain soon.

Columbia River and Seagulls.
If you have yet to visit this part of the wine world, wait no longer. We are reveling in perfect weather and wonderful wines. It's lovely down by the Columbia river too.


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