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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31st Auction of Washington Wines Raises More than $4M

The Auction of Washington Wines raised $4.1 million at their annual four-day extravaganza earlier this month, with proceeds benefiting Seattle Children’s Hospital and Washington State University’s (WSU) Viticulture & Enology Program.

We attended the Winemaker Picnic & Barrel Auction at Chateau Ste. Michellewhere $251,500 was raised for WSU’s program. This is a record, and an increase of 83% over last year. Attendance at this fun event also broke a record.

All the Washington wines we tasted at the picnic were amazing, but our two favorites came from Two Vintners and Fidelitas. And there were some other standouts that pleased our palates too.

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Rosé Round-up – The Perfect Summer Sipper

To us, the warm weather means it’s time to sip rosé on the deck or patio, lakeside, oceanside or poolside. Drink pink!

Rosé can be paired with seafood, shellfish, smoked salmon, salads, pasta and Asian dishes. Or simply drink rosé without food, watching the sunset reflected in its pretty color.

Here are seven summer sippers that we enjoyed, listed by price — five from Washington state, one from Spain and one from New Zealand.
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New Stottle Reds

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 12.07.40 PMStottle Winery, based in Lacey, just north of Olympia, has spring releases of some of its unique red wines, four of which we recently had the opportunity to taste.

Owner and winemaker Josh Stottlemyer is skilled at blending reds, as we experienced with the 2014 Stottle Big Eddie and Hombre. He also does well with the 2014 Tempranillo (100%) and Sangiovese (99%, topped with 1% Cabernet Sauvignon).

As in the past, our palates prefer Big Eddie, but all four wines will pair well with a late spring or summer dinner or barbecue on the deck or patio. Or sip them lakeside or poolside, with some tasty cheeses and charcuterie.
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