Our enjoyment of summer white wines increases every year. Until recently, our palates preferred Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris/Grigio. But these days, we also appreciate the refreshing, wallet-friendly Turbiana grape from Lugana, Italy and Marsanne from here in Washington state. Most importantly, there are so many wonderful summer white wines. For example, here are 25 that we have enjoyed from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, Italy, France, South Africa and New Zealand. Most of them are everyday, good-value porch pounders or deck wines, but a few shine with an elegant meal.
We first tasted Troon wines in 2012 at the Portland Wine Media Conference. In an Oregon wine world of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Troon stood out, enticing us with other varieties to experience from Applegate Valley. Four years later, Craig Camp became Troon’s general manager. And that’s when Troon started its journey to become a champion for organic farming and regenerative agriculture. Next, at the 2018 wine media conference, Craig introduced us to Troon’s latest high-quality lineup. Finally, fast-forward to this summer. Of course, we visited Troon during our 2021 trip to Oregon wine country. And we discovered that Troon wines have emerged as unique, natural and exceptional. We also admire Troon because it now is officially a Demeter Biodynamic® and Regenerative Organic Certified™ farm. Read on for details.
It’s that time again – our favorite wine event of the year – the annual Harvest Party in the Vines, held by Alexandria Nicole Cellars at their Destiny Ridge Vineyard in Horse Heaven Hills in central Washington.
Let me tell you, Ali and Jarrod Boyle know how to throw a party! This is our fourth, and we just keep having more and more fun each year.
This event is so well planned – from the special hotel rate at the Marriott in Richland, to the party buses to take us on the 45-minute drive to the Estate vineyard, to the amazing “surf and turf” menu created by awesome chef Frank Magana. In addition, there’s live music and harvest hoopla, including a skeet-shooting contest, wine balloon toss, grape stomping, barrel rolling and much more.
And let’s not forget the incredible wines. ANC’s Estate Vineyard, Destiny Ridge, contains 263 acres of planted vines with 23 varietals. Believe me, 23 varietals is huge in Washington state:
White Wines: Crawford Viognier, a2 Pinot Gris, Shepherds Mark southern Rhone white blend, Sauvignon Blanc, Late Harvest Riesling, Cabernet Franc Rosé.
Red Wines: Quarry Butte Red Table Wine, Gravity Merlot, Alderdale Cabernet Sauvignon, a2 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Syrah, Jet Black Syrah.
In addition, wine club members (like us) can also enjoy:
White Wines: Reserve Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne.
Red Wines: Block 17 Syrah, Destiny Bordeaux Blend, Member’s Only, Grenache, Mackay Duck Press Red, Lemberger, Malbec, Rock Star Red, Tempranillo, Mr. Big Petite Syrah, Primativo
We became wine club members in 2007, the same year I started this blog and when ANC first moved to Woodinville. Over the years, Ali and Jarrod became our good friends. But it all began with the wine.
We have not missed this event ever, because Bordeaux blends have been some of our favorite wines for years. I was asked to be a judge at this year’s BLEND blind tasting, but it’s during the day when I work at my “day job,” unfortunately.
But thankfully we can attend the event, which not only showcases Washington’s hottest blends, but also enticing gourmet food samples from some award-winning hotel restaurants.
Specifically, BLEND features more than 40 Washington wineries, barrel blending stations and international tasting stations, in addition to a “Bubble Lounge” with champagne, sparkling wines and cider and oysters.
While both of our palates favor Bordeaux-style blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot, others prefer southern Rhone-style blends of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre.
Some of our favorites are unique-to-Washington blends of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, such as William Church 2008 2 Spires and Gorman 2009 Evil Twin. Unfortunately, neither will be at this event, but some of our other favorites, such as DiStefano 2007 Sogno (Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) will be definite pours for us.
Some white blends – perfect summer sippers — will also be available, such as the award-winning Shepherd’s Mark southern Rhone blend (Roussanne, Viognier and Marsanne) from Alexandria Nicole Cellar and Optu White Bordeaux blend (Sauvignon Blanc and Semillion) from Fidelitas.
For a full list of wineries pouring at BLEND, in addition to tickets, visit the website. Net proceeds from the $49-per-person admission will benefit the Washington Wine Industry Foundation.
We hope to see you there!