Score Success for the Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla

More than 200 writers and media influencers gathered in Walla Walla this month to attend the annual Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC).

We are so proud of the Washington state wine community for hosting this successful major event, and introducing the latest wines to wine enthusiasts from all over the country and different parts of the world.

To our delight, we experienced four days of wine tasting, winery tours, live blogging, mystery dinners, and a delicious banquet.

One of the trickiest and fun events was live wine blogging, where we each tasted 10 wines in one hour.
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Grape Clones at Red Willow Vineyard

Red Willow Vineyard's stone chapel is one of the most recognizable buildings in Washington wine countryWe recently stopped by Red Willow Vineyard in the Yakima Valley and spent an incredible afternoon with the Sauer family, Washington wine royalty.

As mentioned in our previous post, one of the highlights of our visit was learning about Mike Sauer’s clone program, which he started with Master of Wine David Lake in 2005. The two Washington wine legends experimented with different cuttings certified from UC Davis Viticulture and Enology. Their clone program continues today.

 

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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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Quilceda Creek Cab Sauv and Full Pull Wines

Happy ninth anniversary to Full Pull Wines, an online wine retailer that offers fine wines of the northwest, and other parts of the world, to members of its mailing list.

What an amazing nine years of growth it has been for creator and owner Paul Zitarelli, who has also just released a new book, 36 Bottles of Wine. This easy-reading, fun and educational book provides information about 36 bottles of wine (three a month for a year) and recipes for seasonal meals for pairing.

As a nine-year member of Full Pull’s mailing list, I have long been a fan of Paul’s writing. (He also is the lead wine writer for Seattle Magazine.) Below are some excerpts of his recent Full Pull email about 2015 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley — “arguably the most decorated bottling in the history of Washington wine.”
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