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Showing posts from May, 2012

AWARD WINNING Washington Wines poured locally.

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MAY 2012 : Spokane-area wineries have recently received a cellar full of awards from both the 2012 Seattle Wine Awards and the 2012 NorthWest Wine Summit. So nice to see Spokane-area wineries bring home the well-deserved hardware. Here's an all inclusive list of who-won-what that can also be used as your what-to-taste-next list.   2012 Latah Creek Wine Cellars Double Gold 2011 Moscato d'Latah,  Yakima Valley Double Gold 2008 Monarch Petite Sirah #2, Zephyr Ridge Gold 2011 Muscat, Yakima Valley Gold 2011 Pinot Gris, Yakima Valley Silver NV Monarch Red, Columbia Valley Liberty Lake Wine Cellars Double Gold 2009 Tempranillo, Red Mountain Silver 2008 Syrah, Red Mountain Nodland Cellars Bronze 2008 Private Reserve Cabernet, Columbia Valley Robert Karl Cellars Double Gold 2009 Merlot, Horse Heaven Hills Double Gold 2009 Syrah, Horse Heaven Hills Silver 2009 Claret, Horse Heaven Hills Silver 2008 Gunselman Bench Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills

Arbor Crest Wine Cellars

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The wine story: At Arbor Crest wine making is a family tradition. Born into a family that had farmed in Washington State for over a century, brothers Harold and David Mielke discovered in the late 70's their land had enormous potential to grow grapes for producing fine wines. Their dream became a reality in 1982 when they, along with Harold's wife Marcia, established Arbor Crest Wine Cellars. Arbor Crest was the 29th winery established in Washington State. Today, there are well over 650 wineries in Washington State, making Arbor Crest Wine Cellars a Washington wine industry pioneer. Tasting with an awe-inspiring view: Two years later in 1984, the Mielke family purchased the Riblet Estate and relocated the winery to the estate's Cliff House, perched high atop cliffs overlooking the Spokane River 450 feet below and providing outstanding views. The Cliff House, a National Historic Landmark was built in the Florentine-style in 1924 is a picturesque winery complete with

Barrister Winery

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RAISING THE BAR:    Greg Lipsker and Michael White, two local attorneys that became winemakers on impulse, after purchasing home wine making kit in 1997.  After a few classes, a lot of mistakes, and mainly because they outgrew their garages, Barrister Winery was launched in 2001.  Back in the early days, friends raved about their wine but it wasn’t until they started winning prestigious awards, that they knew they may be on to something. Today, wine drinkers everywhere are happy this little hobby got so out of control. Barrister Winery’s 100 year-old historic tasting room is a perfect place to rent for a soiree. The tall exposed brick walls, uneven hardwood floors and the aroma of the wine provide an ambiance that’s rustically elegant and timelessly romantic. With expansive production space including a single stack barrel room down the rickety freight elevator, everything happens on premise. Behind the tasting bar, there’s a window to the railroad tracks allowing wine tasters to w

Whitestone Winery

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A legacy of good grapes: Off the shores of the majestic Lake Roosevelt, it was discovered that over a century ago the original use of the land was for grape growing. Washington State University viticulturists declared the area to be an ideal place to grow French Bordeaux grape varietals, including Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Whitestone Vineyard was founded by Walter and Judy Haig in 1992.  With the help of Washington State University, the vineyard site was prepped and made ready for planting.  In the spring of 1994, the vineyard was planted, officially re-introducing grape vines to the area. 1996 witnessed the first harvest at the vineyard, with the grapes purchased by some of the fine wineries with obvious good taste.  After a decade of experience growing wine grapes in the shadow of Whitestone Rock, Walter and Judy decided to start making wine themselves in 2001 by keeping a small amount of their Merlot grapes. The following year the winery produced wine from all three of

Thought we'd re-open up the great debate...Cork or Screw?

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Call me a traditionalist, but it just seams wrong, even cheap/slutty to have a screw-top on fine wine. Oh, I can see the purpose or at least the ease of it. Screw tops are easy to open and close, with no additional equipment required. Admittedly, I have had some good wine from fine winemakers who have chosen screw top enclosures. This makes me wonder; Is my future is cork-free? After long deliberation, I can appreciate the screw top closure for certain occasions. Nowadays, one cannot carry a corkscrew just anywhere, so the use of a screw top could be necessary under certain circumstances. Maybe it's all in a the name; "Screw" top. That even sounds dirty and cheap (and not in a intriguing way). But am I just resisting inevitable change? Let's look into some alternative closures. Wine consumers buy wine sealed with natural cork over any other closures. In the competitive wine industry that may be enough right there to stick with the norm. I see I'm not the

SIPPING in Spokane - Spring Releases

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PHOTO CREDIT: HANOVER SIPPING in Spokane GRAPE EXPECTATIONS: In 1986, the Spokane Winery Association (SWA) was formed with  Arbor Crest Wine Cellars, Latah Creek Wine Cellars, Mountain Dome Winery, Caterina Winery and the no longer Worden Winery. Four of the five founding wineries are still blazing the Washington Wine trail and actively contributing to our bustling wine scene. There are currently over 700 wineries in Washington State and at the time of the inception of the SWA in the mid 80’s there were less than 25 Washington wineries. Spokane has become a destination for WINE and local winemakers are thrilled to invite you to taste why. 2012 marks the 26 th annual Spring Release Tasting event. This highly anticipated indulgence takes place on Mother’s Day Weekend (May 11-13) from 12-6pm at 18 local wineries and  2 affiliate tasting rooms. Spring finds wineries everywhere celebrating the releases of their liquid art, which marks the finale of wine making se

Newer-ish Spokane Wine Bars

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GRAPE EXPECTATIONS   Our wine scene is flourishing with evidence to that by the addition of places to wine about. Have you been to these newer-ish wine bars? If not, get there already.  (Photo by Sip. Pens from recycled wine barrels by Ammo-head Design. Perfect for wine notes). SOUTH HILL Mezzo Pazzo Wine Bar & Market 2718 E 57 th Suite 105 mezzopazzowinebar.net 509.863.9313  facebook: Mezzo Pazzo Wine bar Sometimes a dream one sets aside persistently pops up until the universe aligns all the elements making it almost inevitable. Nita and Ron Martinez envisioned a South Hill Wine Bar almost 6-years ago but various circumstances kept getting in the way. Almost on their own all the roadblocks just worked themselves out like this was something that was truly meant to be. The reality of a warm-hearted, neighborhood place to enjoy wines from around the world opened mid September 2011.  Mezzo Pazzo will pair wines with small plates & appetizers, sandwiches &a