Welcome to a Virtual Taste Washington!
As we all know, Taste Washington, the country’s largest single region wine event, was cancelled this year due to the outbreak of COVID-19. This weekend, we’ll be bringing you a taste of Taste Washington by posting information about some of the wineries that were planning to participate. This information was requested and collated by the Washington State Wine Commission, and is being shared in partnership with their ‘A Taste of (Taste) Washington’ digital showcase on various social media channels (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, New Epicenter site).
Wineries were asked: 1) How would you describe Washington wine in one word? You will see that word at the beginning of most of the posts below. 2) What makes you / your wine unique? They were also asked about promotional programs they were running. Below are some of their responses. This is not a comprehensive list of all wineries that were planning to participate. Just a taste. More to follow throughout the weekend.
Saturday and Sunday night we’ll also be doing a ‘Virtual Grand Tasting’ on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, drinking wines from 2020 Taste participants (see list here) starting at 6:30pm Pacific. Join us!
Pivotal. There’s a story behind that barn on the front of every bottle of Gård Vintners. It represents Gård, meaning “farm” or “estate” and is a tribute to our family’s Scandinavian heritage and farming tradition. For over 50 years we’ve built a farm, a family, a home, and a world-class estate vineyard – and with every sip of Gård wines we hope you’re cultivating memories, as well. We invite you to learn more @gardvintners Skål!
Goose Ridge Estates
Familial. As a third-generation farming family from the heart of Washington state, we believe that we don’t farm for this generation, but for the next one. (fourth generation is coming up the ranks). We have 2,200 acres of estate vineyards and an additional 800 acres of cherry and apple orchards. The Monson family exudes homegrown generosity and graciousness and they’ve extended that to each of our tasting rooms with a family-like setting that encourages our guests to relax with friends and family. It’s our goal to create a casual and inviting space where our guests can get to know our wine and cider offerings and take them home to share with their own family and friends. (build those #wawine ambassadors)
#stemsrule. Finding balance even in tumultuous times
Evolving. Walla Walla has become famous for powerful expressions of red grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. 82% of the plantings in Walla Walla consist of just those 3 varieties. We wanted to showcase some of the other styles that are also possible here, from crisp whites to sparkling wine to lighter-bodied reds and, in general, explore a style that is light and refreshing. We work with a number of less common varieties (such as Lemberger, Nebbiolo, Aglianico, Grenache, Carignan, Albariño) and have plans to plant a number of other varieties that will be new to our region. Our love of wine arose from exploring the numerous styles that exist in the world and we want our wines to reflect that.
Hard Row to Hoe
Exuberant. Hard Row to Hoe is unique because it is a pioneer vineyard in the new Lake Chelan AVA. Being in a new growing region allows us leeway to make wines in our own style, we make wines that we like to drink, so you will like to drink them too. Our wine style is innovative and unpretentious focused on drink-ability in the winery and sustainability in the vineyard. We work the vineyards, ourselves, by hand and are the only vineyard in north central Washington certified Salmon-safe and LIVE sustainable.
Hedges Family Estate
We are naturalists. We don’t try to control nature…we work with nature instead of against it. We believe in wine that is representative of time and place. That makes our wine authentic, which is more powerful than saying good or bad.
Vibrant. Co-winemakers Tim and Kelly Hightower have been handcrafting Bordeaux-inspired red wines together for 23 years, maintaining a firm commitment to quality, sustainability, and each other. Their thoughtful viticulture practices and meticulous winemaking result in a collection of well-balanced, nuanced wines that feature fruit from Red Mountain and Yakima Valley. These wines pair well with time spent enjoying good food, good friends, and good dogs.
I think Justin already answered this with the word balance or harmony. I always think of the word We. Kinda nerdy but winemaking/winegrowing/wineselling in Washington requires so many people working together collectively. We are WA Wine. The story goes that wine legend Andre Tchelistcheff was overheard saying “One day the greatest Cab Sauv will come from Washington.” We totally agree and we want to make those Cabernets that will stand the test of time and help solidify WA wine as some of the best in the world. Our wines are for today but perhaps more importantly our wines are for tomorrow. We believe in the unlimited potential of Washington grown wines, as a collective industry we are just beginning to find the perfect Cab Sauv growing sites and just beginning to push the limits on the possibilities of these wines.
Kiona Vineyard and Winery
Community. Our family grows high-end wine grapes for more than 60 of the best in #WaWine at our Red Mountain estate. We love this industry and the people in it, and we’re thrilled that so many have trusted us with their farming for the last forty years. Here’s to the next forty! 🥂
L’Ecole No. 41
L’Ecole is a family-owned winery, established in 1983. We were the 3rd commercial winery established in Walla Walla Valley and the 20th in the state of Washington; of more than 1,000 actively producing wine today. We are housed in the historic Frenchtown School, deeply rooted in the history of the industry and in our beautiful Valley. We are proud to have been instrumental in putting our region on the map for world-class wine. We are proud to be an ambassador for Walla Walla wine, distributed in 48 states and in over 20 countries.
Individuality. There is an amazing collaboration among Washington winemakers that provides a supportive community which helps push our wines to a higher level, but it’s our individuality that sets us apart from one another. With the ability to find support from the many brilliant people in our wine industry, but still forge a path that is completely our own
We have the opportunity to create something truly unique in wine, where the individuality of each winemaker is made to shine. To us, that’s what makes Washington wines so compelling. Lagana Cellars, a small boutique winery in Walla Walla, was brought about by the long friendship between Jason Fox, a scientist, and Todd Bernave, an artist. Our intensely collaborative approach to winemaking balances our intuitive creativity with the scientific boundaries of the grapes
Where different yeast combinations, levels of stem inclusion, and fermentation management are based on strengths and weaknesses of the varietal. Having two owners and two winemakers can be tricky, but our open and collaborative style allows us to push and pull one another to elevate our wines. At the end of the day we’re looking to produce terroir-driven wines that are elegant and unique. We’re small, we’re passionate, and we’d love to fill your glass with something delicious!