August is Washington Wine Month, and as this 31-day celebration winds down, we wanted to look back on some of the bottles of splendid juice we’ve enjoyed in the last month or so. Most importantly, we celebrate Washington wine every month. But during August, there are even more reasons to rejoice. For example, many wineries, restaurants, bars and wine shops are holding “WAugust” promotions and discounts. Find details at the list of WA Wine events for this last week in August. Meanwhile, here are 12 excellent WA wines we’ve recently tasted.
Yellowstone Cellars is a must-stop visit, if you’re anywhere near Billings, Montana. We spent a party weekend at the winery, and were impressed with both the wines and the laid-back, warm atmosphere. Winery founder Clint Peck, and his daughter and son-in-law, Sarah and Brandon Skarsten, who now own the winery, kindly invited us to join their family members and friends to celebrate many milestone birthdays and anniversaries — including those of our good friends and neighbors, Jill and Ken Peck. So, after our June road trip through Washington wine country, we drove to Yellowstone Cellars. And we discovered the Skarstens and the Pecks treat friends like family, and customers like friends. Continue reading
We always make our first stop in Walla Walla at L’Ecole 41‘s historic schoolhouse, to visit talented winemaker Marcus Rafanelli and taste impressive L’Ecole wine. We also always enjoy seeing Marcus, whose skill and love for WA wine shines. Last month, we tasted 12 of his wines; half were tank samples because his team was bottling that week. L’Ecole is one of the most honored wineries in WA, and has generated national and international accolades for producing superior quality wines.
Superb winemaker Chris Peterson’s style remains consistent over the years, as we witnessed during our first time at Avennia Red Mountain estate winery last month. And we go back more than a decade. In 2012, we stopped by Avennia, then one of Woodinville’s newest wineries, and became immediate fans of Chris and managing partner Marty Taucher. At the time, we wrote that Avennia wines were “classic, complex, balanced, structured, true to varietal, and a showcase of the beauty of Washington grapes.” They still are. Read on for details of our visit and the wines we tasted.