Wines with Soul – Soul Growers

In March, we visited Soul Growers in Australia’s Barossa Valley and discovered two things. First, Soul Growers wines are fantastic. Second, the guys behind Soul Growers are as hilarious as they are dedicated to making fine wine. Soul Growers has a unique concept, with winemaking revolving around the growers who create the fruit. It all began in 1998 when four friends in the corporate world — Stu, Paul, Tom and Leigh — decided to join forces and create wines and a brand that spoke to the Barossa.

Stu hosted our visit, which was simultaneously fun and educational. And wow, we love Soul Growers wines. We are not surprised that renowned Australian wine critic James Halliday gave Soul Growers five stars. And the good news – their wines are available in the U.S. and Canada.
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David Phinney’s Department 66

D66 Wine by David PhinneyWinemaker David Phinney made his mark with The Prisoner, a best-selling and widely recognized Napa Valley red blend of Zinfandel with the unlikely mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Charbono.

A couple of years ago, Phinney sold The Prisoner to beverage giant Constellation Brands for $285 million. He then turned more attention to another grape.
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Score Success for the Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla

More than 200 writers and media influencers gathered in Walla Walla this month to attend the annual Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC).

We are so proud of the Washington state wine community for hosting this successful major event, and introducing the latest wines to wine enthusiasts from all over the country and different parts of the world.

To our delight, we experienced four days of wine tasting, winery tours, live blogging, mystery dinners, and a delicious banquet.

One of the trickiest and fun events was live wine blogging, where we each tasted 10 wines in one hour.
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Red Willow Vineyard and WA Wine Royalty

Jon Sauer, Karen Sauer and Mike Sauer stand in front of signs from Red Willow Vineyard.Last week, we had the honor of visiting Red Willow Vineyard and spending an afternoon with the incredible Sauer family, Washington wine royalty.

We toured part of the vineyard with Mike, Karen and their son, Jon, and later were joined by Jon’s wonderful wife Kelly and their five lovely children. In this photo, (from left) Jon, Karen and Mike stand in front of old signs of grapes planted at Red Willow. Of note, the sign for the 1986 Syrah represents the first grape planted in Washington state.

During our visit, Mike told us about the harvest, which was almost but not quite over. He also discussed his clone project, and we tasted three wines made from some of those clones.

Although we spent time with Mike and Karen at a wine event in 2017, we hadn’t been to Red Willow in nine years. It was an amazing experience.
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