L’Ecole 41 in Walla Walla

L'Ecole 41 historic schoolhouse is a must stop on the way into Walla Walla.A trip to Walla Walla is not complete without stopping at L’Ecole 41 on the way into town. L’Ecole is the third oldest winery in the area, founded in 1983 in an historic schoolhouse. The restored tasting room is in a classroom, with original chalkboards, light fixtures, fir floors and moldings.

L’Ecole has been honored 14 times by Wine & Spirits Magazine as Winery of the Year. The wines we tasted last month underlined the many reasons why this recognition, and many other accolades, are so well-deserved.
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Tribute to Doug Long of Obelisco Estate, R.I.P.

It is with both tears and smiles that we write this tribute to our friend, Doug Long, who lost his 18-month fight against leukemia on November 29, 2017 at his home in Gig Harbor, surrounded by his loving family. Tears, because we miss him. Smiles because he brought such joy to so many people, including us.

Washington state’s wine industry lost a great man and we lost a friend. Doug was so warm, welcoming, gracious and passionate, with a wonderful smile and lots of entertaining stories to share.
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Va Piano Vineyards

We’ve been fans of Va Piano Vineyards and owner/winemaker Justin Wiley since we met him in 2010 after the Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla. How can you not like a winemaker who says, “My winemaking philosophy is very simple: Grow the best grapes we can and don’t screw it up in the cellar.”

More recently, Justin also founded Eritage Resort, located on 300 acres in the rolling fields of wheat and vineyards about six miles north of Walla Walla. Scheduled to open early next year, the resort will offer 10 luxury suites and a restaurant headed up by James Beard award-winning Seattle chef Jason Wilson.
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Thanksgiving Reds

Thanksgiving is only three days away, and we’re trying to decide what wines to pour. Do you know yet? Perhaps you’re looking for a good pairing for your turkey feast, or a special bottle to take to a family dinner or an evening with good friends.

Some people prefer whites such as Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling; others would rather sip on reds. Some pair well with turkey or sides, and others are best at parties. There is no right or wrong!

Here are some special-occasion red wines that we recently tasted and consider the Top 10 for our Thanksgiving festivities. They were crafted in Washington state, Oregon, California, British Columbia and New Zealand, with prices ranging from $30-$60. Continue reading