We have finally done it! Jay and I planted a real test block of grapes vines! At the end of April we headed over to Inland Dessert in Benton City WA to pick up our vines. 100 in total: 25 Malbec, 25 Cabernet Franc, 25 Pinot Noir and 25 Pinot Blanc. Then, the following week, in early May, we finally planted them, about
one month late, but luckily the ground is still quite moist and plants are still dormant. I had no idea how long it would take to plant them, but we finished in just 6 hours! Now, I have an idea of what it will be like to plant the next planting. But what to plant next?
At our next visit, a month later, a fairly large percentage of the vines had started to break bud or just plain leafed out and started to “vine up”! The straglers of the bunch, oddly enough, were the Malbec. Strange, becuase of all the varities we planted, the Malbec had the largest, beefiest root systems.
Our next visit, which will be Fourth of July weekend, is greatly anticipated as the weather has heated up a bit, with a few days already reaching up into the low eighties!
In July, we are taking a much needed vacation in Canada, just over the border, up the Canadian side of the Okanagan Valley to check out their many wineries. I see lots of both Pinot Noir and Blanc listed, as well as some lesser know varities like Kerner, a German hybrid. Ice wines and late harvest are also on the list of wines to check out!
Hopefully, the next time I post, I will have even more growth to show off, provided I have set the irrigation to enough time and frequency. We shall see!
A few weeks ago Antoine and myself got the opportunity to interview Cameron Fries of White Heron Cellars which is located in the ghost town of Trinidad, between Quincy and Wenatchee, above the Columbia River in Washington State. We got to taste through his Chardonnay, Roussanne, Pinot Noir (2005), Mariposa Vineyard Red Wine, and Syrah. I have to say, his Pinot Noir is the biggest and best Washington state I have ever had. We also got a nice tour of his 14 acre vineyard. He had recently planted some Petit Verdot so I can’t wait for them to grow on and get bottled! This is a variety I am very interested in growing my self!
It’s gonna be hard to find White Heron Cellars on this side of the mountains, so if you are ever in the Quincy area – it’s totally worth making a visit! And the prices are very moderate!
Thanks Cameron for being such an excellent host!
Here are some pictures of some Pinot Noir vines we planted last September. Finally, buds are starting to swell on April 3rd.
The second to last photo is of the area where our future vineyard will be planted in Brewster WA, which is located at the beginning of the Okanogan valley, in North Central WA.
At last, a happy hour with a pretty good wine by the glass selection!
They had 5 or 6 red and whites to choose from, with varying price ranges. They also offer quite a selection of wine flights.
We started off with a sparkler from Gloria Ferrer, “Va de Vi” N/V, extra dry for $3.75. Not bad for a cheap American bubbly! Then I ordered a Louis Latour Pinot Noir, “Valmoissine”, 06′ for $4.75. It had well concentrated flavors for a Pinot, with cherry and earth flavors, balanced, with a touch of light oak. My husband a glass of Mark Ryan “Long Haul” for $7.00, very nice as always from Mister Ryan!
The food menu was nicely priced too! We started with Lobster bisque for $3.95. Then we had the scallop sashimi and manilla clams for$ 5.95 and the crab ravioli for $4.95. They were all excellent with the ravioli and the sashimi being my favorites!
On the last night of our “intro to Washington State Wines”, we sampled quite a few wines from the Columbia Gorge AVA.
My 2 favorites were a Pinot Noir from The Pines 1852. It was a 2006. Both aroma and flavors are of earth and cherry. Very nice and pretty big for a P. noir, although a bit sweet for my personal taste. Didn’t get a price on this one.
The other was a Symphony, which a cross of Muscat of Alexandria and Grenache gris. Sorry, didn’t get the producer, will try to post it later. (there was so much going on and I was trying to keep notes and keep up!) The aroma was a huge tropical bomb and the flavor was of pineapple, citrus, and green apple. This is a great one to sip chilled on a hot summer day!