Grazers: Cuisinière Community Dinners at SE Wine Collective

by Kerry Newberry

If you haven’t sipped at the SE Wine Collective yet, move this urban wine destination located just off of SE…

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One of British Columbia’s first premium/collectible wineries—before it was commonplace to seek out BC wine—Burrowing Owl Estate Winery has been popular since their first vintage in 1997. Also since that day, the Wyse family has been leaders in environmental stewardship. When they purchased the vineyard in 1993 they named it Burrowing Owl Vineyard, after learning that the little owl may have lived in the area at one time, but has since become an endangered species.

Koenig Distillery and Winery is a busy operation. For one thing, it is a distillery and winery. For another, the Caldwell, Idaho operation produce eight spirits (five brandies, two vodkas and one whiskey) and more than a dozen wines. To boot, the brothers Koenig (Andy and Greg) are classically trained in European fruit distillation (in their father’s hometown of Lustenau, Austria) and knew that growing in the Sunny Slope region of Idaho’s Snake River Valley was a sure bet.

Trying to forecast vintages that are still in progress is most assuredly a fool’s game, and yet here I am, writing something in June about wines that, for the most part, are still not even proper grapes yet. Yet it seems that the inescapable reality for the Pacific Northwest’s wine growing regions is that 2015 is going to be hot. Really, really hot. This is news that’s being greeted with resigned shrugs most places, enthusiasm in a few and a bit of concern in the rest.

The renovated vintage shop barn that Frichette Winery sits in is unique to the Red Mountain AVA of Washington. Its neighboring buildings are mostly those of grandeur—high caliber structures of stone and light installations, surrounded by the fruit that fuels them. But Frichette is a modest wine monument, an original building to the property that Greg and Shae Frichette purchased and bore the winery from in 2011.

An anthropologist known as Claude Levi-Strauss once said that mead marked the point in human history where we moved from nature to a developed culture. It is a drink that is often considered the ancestor to all of the fermented beverages that we enjoy so much currently, and yet, it seems unusually hard to find in today’s giant beverage market. Luckily, there are mead producers throughout the Northwest that are pushing for a return for civilization’s oldest alcoholic pleasure.

They say that everything old becomes new again, and few things in the world of winemaking are older than amphora. Thus, I suppose it’s fitting that this ancient means of storing and shipping wine has is now one of the newest trends in winemaking, spurred on by a few adventurous and enterprising folks in the Willamette Valley.
The revitalization of this ancient art started with Andrew Beckham, pottery teacher by day, winemaker by night.

Not many Northwest wineries stem their name in the mysterious tongue of the Celts. But with Sheila Nicholas’ Scottish heritage and Nick Nicholas’ California wine country upbringing, Anam Cara, meaning “friend of my soul,” was a natural title for the longtime couple to settle on. The two moved to Newberg, Oregon in 2001 with their two children, purchased a rundown orchard and reinvented it as Nicholas Vineyard and Anam Cara Cellars.

June is finally upon us and we could not be more ready for it. Vacations are being planned, schools are being released (is that a good thing?) and fun times are just around the corner. However, sometimes it can be difficult to track down all the exciting things that will be happening over the next few months. There are so many events taking place that you might not know where to start. As always, we’ve got your covered.

Ashley Trout crafts Malbecs of intention. “I think variety is the spice of life and no one is giving [Malbec] the credit it deserves,” Trout says of her star grape. “For me, making Malbec is making a statement in many ways.

 
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