As I write this, rain is falling in Seattle, and it was snowing on the way over Snoqualmie Pass this afternoon. Winter has arrived in the Pacific Northwest.
Stops in the Walla Walla Valley yesterday included Gramercy, Trust, Chateau Rollat, Castillo de Feliciana, Reynvaan, and El Corazon. Gramercy Cellars was pouring wines in the Big Apple Wine Tasting Circus, a tent set up next to their vineyard which is adjacent to Waters Winery. In addition to a number of other wines, Gramercy was pouring their new releases, a 2007 Grenache and Walla Walla Valley Syrah. Trust Cellars poured a 2008 Ice Wine in addition to other recent releases. Chateau Rollat was pouring new vintages of the Rollat and Edouard, both Bordeaux-style blends. Rollat was also pouring new white wines under their Ardenvoir label. Castillo de Feliciana was having its grand opening weekend featuring wines made by winemaker Ryan Raber, formerly of Tertulia Cellars. Reynvaan Family Vineyards is another new Walla Walla winery. The winery was pouring syrah-dominant blends, all of which show the thumbprint of consulting winemaker Christophe Baron of Cayuse Vineyards. El Corazon has been open less than a year and was featuring a number of wines often used as blending grapes in Washington such as Carmenere, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec.
As always, the number of wineries I visited was exceeded by the number of wineries I hoped to visit. This number was greatly exceeded by the number of excellent wineries in the valley, part of the fun of any trip to the area. On each visit I focus on visiting a number of new wineries (or wineries that are new to me) as well as wineries I have visited previously. Each time I arrive home both exhilirated by wineries I have gone to and disappointed by all that I have missed.
More on the weekend shortly as well as a full report on the event in the future. See a write-up from Walla Walla’s 2009 Spring Release here (Note: opens .pdf).