Our research is almost complete! In June 2015 we will be hosting a very special Waterfalls & Wine tour in the Pacific Northwest. From the supple Pinot Noirs of Oregon’s Willamette Valley to the Powerful Merlots of Walla Walla Washington, we will cover the wonderful world of Pacific Northwest Wines. Our wine country travels take us along the Columbia River Valley where we will view amazing displays of easily accessible waterfalls. You do the packing and leave the rest to us.
While we are firming up plans with wineries and hotels – mark your calendars – full details are coming soon!
Washington state ranks second in the US in wine production, behind only California. Washington has twelve federally defined American Viticultural Areas (AVA) with all but one in Eastern Washington. The largest AVA is the Columbia Valley AVA, which extends into a bit of northern Oregon and encompasses most of the other Washington AVAs. These include Walla Walla , Horse Heaven Hills, Wahluke Slope, Lake Chelan, Naches Heights, and Yakima Valley, which in turn also encompasses Rattlesnake Hills, Snipes Mountain and Red Mountain. In our short trip to the area, we traveled through the majority of these locations!
Grapes were first planted in Walla Walla by Italian immigrants a very long time ago – it was in the 1950s and 1960s, the precursors of the state’s biggest wineries (Chateau Ste Michelle and Columbia Winery) began. While many grape varietals thrive throughout Washington, the dominant ones are Rieslings, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. In our opinion the big boy is the Merlot with bright intense flavor and lush texture. It is said that in California, Merlot is added to Cabernet Sauvignon to soften it, but in Washington, Cabernet Sauvignon is added to help soften the Merlot.
Columbia River Valley
Grapes ripening in Horse Heaven Hills
95 points of yum!
Barrels at Columbia Crest
L’Ecole converted school house
2011 Ferguson – sold out
Wino Crossing sign at Va Piano
Lavender in bloom
Blending classroom at Northstar
Adamant team – he makes wine, she does the artwork
Cute winery dog at Adamant
Horse Heaven Hills
Besides the wine, the state has gorgeous scenery. Check out our videos at Snoqualmie Falls and Mount Ranier below.