Amazing Wine from Hard Row to Hoe

Hard Row to HoeHard Row to Hoe has been one of our favorite Washington wineries for years. If you ever get a chance to visit their tasting room in Lake Chelan Valley, take it! We first visited in 2016, and were delighted to go back this past summer.

First of all, the name of the winery itself has two meanings — one obviously related to vineyard management; the other is racy! For the full story, see our 2016 post. Above all, Hard Row to Hoe makes really good wine.

During our recent visit, co-owner and winemaker Judy Phelps poured many of her winning wines, whose names reflect those racy stories.
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Murrieta’s Well

We have been fortunate to taste new releases from Murrieta’s Well for the last three years, thanks to Snooth virtual tastings with the winery’s talented winemaker Robbie Meyer.

Unfortunately we couldn’t make the event this year, but the winery kindly sent us four bottles to sample. And thanks to Snooth, we also viewed the video of Robbie talking about how much fun he has making wine. Indeed, Robbie’s passion as a winemaker shines in each glass of his food-friendly wines.

You can read our thoughts about the four wines below. But first, it’s important to note Murrieta’s Well credentials. It is one of California’s original wineries, propagated in 1883 with vineyard cuttings from Chateau Margaux and Chateau d’Yquem in France. The Livermore valley winery is owned by Philip Wente of Wente Vineyards, the country’s oldest, continuously operated family-owned winery. You can read more of their history here.

And now, the wines.
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Summer Sippers and BBQ Reds

Oh summer! The time of crisp white wine or refreshing rosé during sultry warm afternoons or evenings on the deck or patio, or at the lake, ocean or pool. The time of rich reds at barbecues with family and friends. And the wines that pair well with a celebratory toast to Independence Day.

Here are some of our favorite whites and rosés to sip with a summer salad, or seafood such as prawns, scallops, sushi, crab or halibut. Or you can simply drink pink without food, watching the sunset reflected in its pretty color. In addition, here are some beautiful reds to pour at your BBQ.

There are so many wonderful wines to explore this summer. But we had to keep our lists short. As a result, these represent only wines that we have tasted in recent months, either at tasting rooms, events or in samples sent to us by wineries. Specifically, these wines are from Washington state, Oregon, California, New Zealand and Italy.

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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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