We first met Neil Cooper last spring at the Fidelitas wine club event in Seattle. I had read a little about him online - I knew that he had bought the old Seth Ryan location on Red Mt and that he had enlisted the help of his neighbor, winemaker Charlie Hoppes. Neil was helping pour for the Fidelitas event and we introduced ourselves and had a great conversation. What struck me first about Neil is the sparkle in his eyes when he talked about his project. His enthusiasm is contagious.
Throughout the summer, I read Neil’s Facebook updates about the progress being made on the winery and when he announced his Grand Opening date I was ecstatic. It was the same date as our wedding anniversary. I knew exactly what we were doing; we were going to Red Mountain!
Saturday morning we awoke to perfect wine country weather. We hadn’t been to Red Mountain for three years and when we turned onto Sunset Road, we were blown away. The location looks amazing. The big red building is a fitting welcome to Red Mountain.
The grand opening was such a resounding success. At one point I witnessed people parking up on Sunset Road. This was the event to be at. With good reason, the wines speak for themselves. Included in the lineup are two whites: a Pinot Gris and an estate grown Chardonnay, and three reds: a Bordeaux style blend called L’inizio (which fittingly means “the beginning”), a Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon. All of them are fabulous; however my favorite is the Walla Walla Cab. It is lush with a perfect balance of oak and fruit and a lingering finish reminiscent of Walla Walla.
We both agree that this was one of the best anniversaries we have had. We ate
fantastic food, drank amazing wine and even busted a few moves on the dance floor. Most importantly we forged some genuine and lasting friendships. A huge thank you goes out to Neil, Cyndy, Tim, Cheryl and LeAnn. Thank you so much for making our anniversary memorable!