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Last Day of Summer, Smoke, Goose Ridge Visit, Events

As we say goodbye to summer, the Columbia Valley is under a blanket of smoke. Thousands of firefighters are fighting dozens of wildfires. It's been a perfect growing season, a warm, dry summer, with no rain. Earlier this month, lightning started the fires on the east slope of the Cascade Mountains.

Locally, in the Tri-Cities and in Walla Walla, air quality has been listed as unsafe for sensitive groups.  In the Wenatchee area, closer to the fires, air quality is listed as "hazardous." Weather forecasters do not expect the smoke to clear any time soon. The forest fires rage on. Yuck.

August 2012 view
Photo: View east August 2012
Rattlesnake Mountain visible in background.
Smoky view
Photo: Smoky view east on 20 September 2012.
smoke obscures view
Photo: Today's smoky view on 21 September 2012.
Yesterday, in spite of the smoke, I made time for a brief visit at Goose Ridge Winery. The Goose Ridge tasting room is located on Dallas Road, in Richland. My visit was short, but I managed to take some photos of their lovely looking Malbec.

Photo: Goose Ridge Malbec Clusters.

Goose Ridge has made changes to their facility. While walking the grounds, I found four new Bocce Ball courts. Bocce Ball is a game I enjoy playing, and one of the few games I can actually win. They have added more outdoor seating with tables too, making a perfect setting for entertaining and hanging out.

bocce ball
Photo: Goose Ridge Bocce Ball Courts.

They no longer make wine at this facility. The former production area has been replaced with a fireplace and comfy seating, creating a relaxing lounge for sipping their lovely wines.

Photo: The perfect destination for relaxing and wine tasting.

As I did not have much time, while chatting with the friendly tasting room staff, I only sampled their very good, 2009 g3 red wine blend. I've been a fan of the Goose Ridge red wine blend for several years, even before they named it "g3." The 2009 Goose Ridge g3 is ready to drink now.

Red Wine
Photo: 2009 Goose Ridge g3.
I've been invited to attend several local Winery events. I cannot attend all of them, as much as I want to, so I'm sharing with you, in hopes you may be able to go. There are many winery events planned for October too. Check with your favorite Washington wineries to see what events they have schedule to celebrate the 2012 Harvest.

A few Winery Harvest Events you may want to consider attending.

Harvest Party in the Vines - Alexandria Nicole Cellars
Harvest Party 2012 is Saturday, September 29th
I just checked the website, there are 24 tickets remaining!

Red Mountain Block Party!
Saturday, September 29th from 10am - 6pm.
Red Mountain Wineries are pulling out all the stops and corks. A not to miss party.

2012 Harvest Blessing - Gordon Estate
Gordon Estate Harvest Blessing is Monday, October 8th, 11:00 AM
Contact the Winery to RSVP.

Thanks for stopping by and reading. I have more photos and notes on my Wild 4 Washington Wine facebook page. If you are in the area, stay indoors as much as possible. Be safe.



  1. A light rain yesterday cleared the air. This morning our air quality was rated "Good." By the afternoon I could smell smoke again. Here's a listing of regional fires.

    - Canyon Fire - 7,559 acres, no growth - 95% Contained
    - Byrd Fire – 14,160 acres, no growth - 90% Contained
    - Poison Canyon Fire - 5,910 acres, no growth - 70% Contained

    - Peavine Canyon Fire – 18,880 acres, growth of 254 acres - 40% Contained
    - First Creek Fire - 1,361 acres, growth of 103 acres - 90% Contained
    - Pyramid Fire – 1,068 acres, no growth - 0% Contained
    -Klone Fire – 1,323 acres, no growth - 0% Contained
    -Cashmere Fire – 1,452 acres, increase of 34 acres - 5% Contained
    - Basalt Fire - 793 acres, growth of 103 acres - 0% Contained
    -Sears Creek Fire - 368 acres, growth of 184 acres - 0% Contained
    -Maverick Fire - 22 acres, decrease of 8 acres - 100% Contained
    Other Fires within the complex – 242 acres, decrease of 170 acres - 20% Contained


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