Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A Vintage Wine Weekend in Walla Walla

It’s so appropriate that the weekend of Vintage Walla Walla is also the weekend for me to celebrate my very vintage birthday. Believe it or not, I have finally reached a point in my life where I am comfortable with my age. And thankfully, I can always lean towards the old quote of “Women are like fine wine. They all start out fresh, fruity and intoxicating to the mind and then turn full-bodied with age...” However, I will skip the rest of that old quote. Of course, it doesn't pertain to me (she said in denial) “...until they go all sour and vinegary and give you a headache."

Anywhooo - The seventh annual nation's premier vintage tasting experience, Vintage Walla Walla is once again upon us! And besides a weekend of great wines flowing in abundance, there will also be wine education. Now, don't be all groaning when you read the word, "education." Let’s face it, how tough is it anyways to sit in a class room knowing you'll be sipping on a glass of wine? Contact Walla Walla Wine Alliance for more information on how you can be part of a terroir tour (Wear those comfy shoes. Seriously, we don’t care how glamorous you think your legs look with heels - - and I’m not just talking to the women, either), a panel discussion on vintage syrah, and even a wine tailgating party to a vineyard complete with a session on blending your own wines and a picnic brunch with the winemakers!

The Walla Walla Wine Alliance plans on keep you busy in the evenings, too! Friday, June 5 is an evening of “Vintage Pour” held at the Marcus Whitman Hotel Renaissance Ballroom. Over twenty Walla Walla winemakers are going to peruse through their private libraries and bring out their finest releases from 2002 or earlier for you to taste! Amuse your palate with culinary treats by guest chefs from the Northwest. And take a chance by bidding on exclusive rare wines, not available anywhere else in the world, besides an opportunity for a chauffeured wine tasting planned just for you the next day!

"Dinner with the Wineries" package is also available. Dine and have conversation with the proprietors, winemakers, and growers of the Walla Walla Valley. Arrive to-and-from in chauffeured transportation to the world of the vintner’s own “pad.”

And last but not least, Saturday, June 6 is the Grand Pavilion Pour on the creek side lawns of the Whitman College Campus. Featuring an opportunity to taste the current releases of the valley from 50 wineries all in one convenient location. You’ll be entertained with a “battle of the grills” between regional guest chefs (and of course, with a sampling). And don’t forget to check out the silent auction with a special focus on large format bottles. After all that wine tasting, can you say, “Methuselah”?

Of course, the Walla Walla Wine Alliance’s Vintage Walla Walla events are going to drive you to wanting more of Walla Walla, so check out the new tasting room of Sweet Valley Wines. They will hopefully open their doors for the first time this weekend (upon clearance of the liquor board and a new dishwasher) at their new location at 12 N. Second St. (Right in the middle of Vintage Cellars and Ash Hollow tasting room). Or as winemaker, Josh McDaniel points out “Granted I get the dishwasher put in!”

Also, take the opportunity to visit the new Waterbrook Winery, located on 10518 West Hwy 12, just west of Walla Walla for their Grand Opening weekend. Check out their 53,000 sq. ft. wine making facility and 5,000 sq. ft. tasting room. Sip wine on the patio. Tasting fee is $5 and visitors will receive a souvenir wine glass.

And once you are out on the highway, listen up pardners. there’s a new winery in the valley. Friday, June 5, Glencorrie Winery will be opening its tasting room at 8052 West Highway 12. Glencorrie will be featuring small lots (645 cases) of 2006 Bordeaux-style varietals from Walla Walla and Columbia Valley. Stay tuned next week for my blog about Glencorrie Winery, as I will be visiting tomorrow with Ronn Coldiron, co-owner of Glencorrie Winery and the Coldiron Family Vineyards of California and Washington State.

As the spokeswoman from Overstock.com use to purr, "It's all about the 'O'." Well, in Walla Walla, this weekend it's all about "Vintage." Welcome to Walla Walla and our Vintage Wine Walla wine events! Welcome to our Vintage downtown! If you see me out and about, say "hello." I'll be at the Vintage Pour and the Grand Pavilion Pour - - tasting wine, and taking notes of course!

Over and out from your soon-to-be Vintage Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman!

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