Thursday, March 10, 2011

Walla Walla Wine Weekend - On Our Way!

Finally the day had arrived.  All the planning had been done, reservations made, money saved, the car was packed and we were ready to go.  We also were taking Walla Walla newbies with us and that made even more exciting.  After an uneventful (thankfully) trip across the pass we were soon in wine country.  We wanted to stop at a few wineries on the way.

Cleverly tagged "Syrache" Wineglass' Syrah/Grenache Blend
Our first stop was Wineglass Cellars in Zillah.  The handwritten sign on the tasting room door directed us to building in the back as they were bottling today.  Winemaker David Lowe greeted us and enthusiastically brought us back to show us what he was bottling. It was a yet to be named Syrah Grenache blend that even straight out of the tank was drinking fabulous.  Back in the tasting room our favorites were the Zinfindel, Sangiovese and the '05 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

Hamilton Cellars' mascot Milton greets you at the bar
Next, was a new winery in Richland - Hamilton Cellars.  I love discovering new wineries.  I had read all the things they were doing with Malbec, plus Charlie Hoppes (Fidelitas) is their winemaker so I knew I couldn't go wrong.  It's a very nice tasting room, with a great curved solid surface bar that has their mascot "Milton" laser etched and illuminated in it.  Great touch.  I absolutely loved the Rose' of Malbec, summertime in a glass! An added bonus to our visit was meeting Ben Simons, a recent transplant to Washington and the author of Vinotology.

Back on the road, our last stop before we hit Walla Walla was Cougar Crest just west of town.  As we entered the tasting room, we were greeted with a Jimmy Buffett concert playing over the sound system.  I am diggin it already.  Their everyday blend called Dedication 4 (Syrah, Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv) is lush and a spectacular value at $20.

It was a great start to our wine-filled weekend.  Stay tuned for the rest of the highlights!

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