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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Refreshing Sauvignon Blanc

Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 1.26.51 PMWe love Sauvignon Blanc with seafood all year round; but in the summer months, we absolutely adore the crisp, refreshing flavors even more. Sauvignon Blanc pairs perfectly with hot sun on the deck or warm summer nights. This wine drinks well alone, but it also pairs nicely with prawns, scallops and oysters, in addition to other seafood dishes, sushi, some cheeses, and grilled veggies such as asparagus.

While the most popular style is “light and crisp,” other styles include “fruity and smooth,”  “rich and creamy” and “elegant.” And some winemakers combine more than one style. The flavors can range from grassy to tropical.

Sauvignon Blanc is both an old-world and new-world wine, grown and produced in Washington state, California, British Columbia, France, New Zealand and other wine regions. What many people don’t realize is that Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc are the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon. During the 18th century in Bordeaux, the Sauvignon Blanc vine paired with Cabernet Franc to parent the Cabernet Sauvignon vine.

Here are some excellent Sauvignon Blancs that we recently tasted, ranging in price from $18-$25 MRP. Let’s start out with some Washington State wines, before turning to New Zealand. Continue reading

Another Success for Taste Washington

Congratulations to the Washington State Wine Commission and Visit Seattle for another successful Taste Washington March 22-25, 2018. Thousands of people participated in the annual celebration of the excellent wine made in this state — at the Grand Tasting, educational seminars, lunches on local farms, and other events.

Every year, we hope that people did more than taste the fine wine of Washington. We hope they appreciated it, and the hard work by people in our state’s wine industry – from farmers to vineyard managers to those in the production facilities, winemakers, distributors, tasting room staff and more. In particular, we applaud the workers in the vineyards who toil over the grapes and the terroir; the winemakers who balance creativity and science in every barrel and bottle; and their families who support this extreme effort. We definitely appreciated every taste that was poured for us at the Grand Tasting. Our top 25 favorites are listed below. ((Note, some were “under the table” pours!)
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Our Top 50 Washington Wineries

NYE WineHappy New Year! As we begin 2018, it’s time for our annual Top Washington Wineries List. We have returned to our original list of 50, after it climbed up to 65 wineries last year. Why? As time goes on, our palates change, and our wine experiences become more focused. In addition, in 2017 we visited Walla Walla again for the first time in a few years, which shone the light on some new favorites.
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