Wine festivals and some wine release weekends are canceled. Numerous wineries are shutting down tasting rooms or taking special measures to deal with COVID-19 Coronavirus. Below are some event and winery updates as of today (March 14). However, this list does not cover all local wineries. Overall, the situation is changing daily. Therefore, check directly with your favorite wineries to find out their status. And please support the industry by stocking up on wine during this difficult time.
We were delighted to hear that an exceptional Washington state wine event is happening right in our backyard near the Canadian border:We stayed at Semiahmoo many, many times before moving to this area last year, and it is spectacular.
On April 15-17. some of Washington state’s most talented winemakers will be holding seminars, tastings and attending a gala dinner:
- Bob Betz and Louis Skinner of Betz Family Winery
- Darel Allwine of Col Solare
- Chris Upchurch of DeLille Cellars and Upchurch Vineyard
- Joe Dobbes of Dobbes Family Estate of Oregon
The Master of Ceremonies is Andy Perdue of Wine Press Northwest, who is also a wine columnist for The Seattle Times.
“The inaugural Northwest Wine Encounter at Semiahmoo brings together some of the Pacific Northwest’s finest winemakers for an intimate event with wine lovers,” commented Perdue. “This will be a treat for all the senses.”
The event is packed with educational and fun times, opening on April 15 with a “Meet the Winemakers” tasting, followed by a private beach bonfire at the spectacular resort.
Saturday’s activities include an overview of Washington and Oregon wine country, with sessions on “Sublime World of Pinot Noir” (Dobbes Family Estate); “Succulent Syrah” (DeLille Cellars and Betz Family Winery); and Red Mountain Rising (DeLille Cellars and Col Solare).
There also is guided bird watching on the Semiahmoo Spit. What a great spot — we were recently there as part of the Northwest Birding Festival, Wings Over Water. (Yes, we’re bird nerds in addition to being wine enthusiasts.)
Saturday night caps off with a Winemaker Gala Dinner created by Executive Chef Bruno Feldeisen, held in the Peace Arch Tent. The special five-course dinner will be paired with wines from all attending wineries.
The event culminates on Sunday morning with an exploration of white wines from Betz, Chateau Ste. Michelle, DeLille and Dobbes.
The entire weekend package — including two nights at the gorgeous resort — starts at $375 per person. Details are available at.
We can’t wait! And we hope to see you there!
Margot and Dave
This is a continuation of our random thoughts from Taste Washington, held March 23-24 in Seattle. To start at the beginning, please read Part 1 first.
Another perennial favorite, 2010 Pere de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon, from Betz Family Winery, continues to showcase how this grape shines in Washington state.
Smart thinking from Col Solare — at their booth, they offered an educational (and tasty) experience of how wine develops over the years, with a side-by-side tasting of the 2007 and the 2003 vintages.
Somehow, we were lucky enough to taste Cooper Wine Company‘s stellar 2008 Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon. This standout wine wasn’t on the tasting list provided when we arrived at the event.
Thank you to all our friends who poured us a little-extra-special something from under the table!
Speaking of friends, Bob Silver noted in his blog WA|Wine|PR that the Double Canyon 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon was “the favorite wine that I met at 2013 Taste Washington.” He described it as “Big honkin’ fruit from Horse Heaven Hills, wonderful structure and balance” – so you know we’ll be checking this wine out in the near future. Our palates are similar to Bob’s – he’s never steered us wrong with his many recommendations over the years.
Efeste‘s 2009 Big Papa is drinking so well right now that we need to get to Woodinville to pick up more, stat! Just one taste underlined why Washington wine expert Paul Gregutt described this beauty as capturing the best of Washington in a single bottle.
As expected, we enjoyed JM Cellars’ 2010 Longevity and 2010 Tre. We can’t wait until May, when John Bigelow’s 2012 Red Mountain Sauvignon Blanc is released. We savored a pour at Taste Washington, and indeed, this wine demonstrates the true characteristics of the grape. A perfect summer sipper on the deck!
Another favorite was Sparkman Cellars 2010 Kingpin Cabernet Sauvignon, also sourced from Red Mountain. I adored Sparky’s tasting notes: “Will develop for many years and last well past the end of the world.”
There were so many more wineries that we did not have the time (or fortitude) to visit! And then there was the food!
Did you go to Taste Washington 2013? What were your standouts?