Montinore Estate 2012 Reserve Gewürztraminer

by Erin James

Among the wineries of Oregon’s Washington County—Willamette Valley’s closest cluster of wineries and tasting rooms to Portland—is Forest Grove’s Montinore…


Last week we checked out your favorite winery’s favorite local coffee shop, with winery teams’ choices ranging from Newberg, Oregon’s Caravan Coffee to Sandpoint, Idaho’s Evans Brothers to Vancouver’s Caffè Artigiano.

The Lake Chelan AVA encompasses the southernmost and easternmost areas of the famed vacation destination lake and the majority of its surrounding land. In other words, the AVA begins at the town of Chelan and continues up-lake for 12 miles. What isn’t included is nearby Orondo, a Columbia River-front location for vineyards that is slotted to the general Columbia Valley AVA designation.

If you’re reading this, odds are you’ve thought at least once of how awesome it would be to open a winery, brewery, distillery or cidery. To pack up the box from the boring 9-5 job you hate, and start doing the thing you love: making amazing booze.
With the number of breweries in the United States breaking the 3,000 mark last summer, and hundreds of more to come, it is clear that the craft beer market is ripe for the plucking.

Every single year, I do the same thing. I make a plan of attack, prioritize and carefully craft a strategy for getting the most out of Taste Washington: which wineries I most want to taste, when I’ll go get a much-needed espresso, and so forth. And then every year, it goes to hell in 10 minutes.

When the frogs are barkin’, peace and harmony has come a’knockin’. According to Native American folklore, when frogs are croaking (or barking), it speaks of an euphonic balance in nature. Bringing this essential consonance to the dinner table and locally-flush wine list, the Barking Frog at Willows Lodge in Woodinville, Washington is a long way from lore.

Native Oregonian Jim Prosser’s path to wine was a lengthy one. After graduating from Oregon State, the owner and winemaker of Newberg, Oregon’s J.K. Carriere did everything from real estate and business advising for the Peace Corps to selling Christmas trees and touring the United States by bike before he was re-routed to Pinot Noir.

It’s been awhile since we explored your favorite breweries’ and distilleries’ favorite coffee shops, but wineries of course had to have their turn. As is true of any profession where cognizance of flavor and aroma is important, that knowledge carries directly over to appreciation of great coffees based on similarities in how we understand flavor profile, balance and terroir.

From the slopes of Skaha Bench, south of Penticton and Naramata Bench, rests Pentâge, the under-the-radar, always impressing, boutique winery. Nestled on 23 acres overlooking Skaha Lake, the winery was founded in 1996 by Paul Gardner and Julie Rennie, and they have been producing small lots of quality, handcrafted wine since then. Their 2013 Gamay Noir is a deeper ruby/bricking hue, opening with crushed cassis and black cherry, soft baking spice and bramble twine on the nose and palate.

Taste Washington Wine Month caps off with the four-day Taste Washington extravaganza, featuring more than 225 wineries, acclaimed local restaurants, and educational seminars (including the Cider Renaissance seminar with our editor).
But that is not the only way to experience the Taste Washington Wine Month, throughout the 31 days of March numerous wineries, hotels and businesses will be hosting special events and promotions to bring the wonders of Washington wine direct to you.

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